Resources for Actors

Are you an actor? Well then this post is for you.

It can be overwhelming with picking the right classes, headshot photographer, news articles, etc. BUT over the years I have been able to find my ‘go to’ websites and resources that have helped me. So below I will make a list of my top sites and tools I use as an actor that will hopefully help some people just starting out.

Resources

Backstage – Founded in 1960, has been a great resource for all those in the industry, from casting to news and helpful articles. You can sign up for a subscription and apply to castings, or you can visit their site for useful articles on a range of topics! I had the pleasure of attending a Zoom event with Backstage and listen in on a Q&A with a casting director. You can find all of their videos on their Youtube channel as well if you ever miss one.

WeAudition – This is a great website I have recently discovered, thanks the the 98% Podcast. If you are stuck for a reader it’s no problem, easily find someone suitable to be your reader or make money yourself by being available to others. There is also casting calls, advice and support. Be sure to check it out and if you want a discount code, check out my Featured Friday post with the 98% podcast;)

Spotlight – Okay, so many actors will be familiar with this one, or are on it if they have an agent, but besides it being a platform for your profile and casting submissions, there are many things you can utilise. I regularly check out their blog and Youtube channel. If you are a member you are also eligible for discounts – who doesn’t love a little money off?

Masterclass – This is subscription based, but you have the option to pay for one class or unlimited for a year. Personally, I would go with the unlimited for a year because there are so many amazing classes you can take advantage of. There are several categories, but for this particular post, I explored the tv/film genre. I learned from Natalie Portman on acting, Shonda Rhimes on TV scriptwriting, Samuel L. Jackson on acting and more. Learn at your own pace and do it online!

Ace your Audition – A great website to find free monologues for auditions or just to practice with.

These are just a few great tools you an use and I am sure there are many others! Feel free to get in touch with more suggestions. I would love to hear more ways I can keep learning and practicing my craft (:

How to Make a Short Film

Do you have an idea you’ve been dying to bring to life but don’t know how? Today, I am going to walk you through the process of how to make a short film.

Short films are typically 40 minutes or less. Ideally, the sweet spot is about 7-8 pages of script as short film festivals prefer shorter films but don’t let that stop you from making a longer one if you prefer! If you are just starting out, short films are a great place to start and build your portfolio. They are also great if you have a concept for a larger project, let’s say a feature film or TV series, but don’t have the capacity to film that big yet and would just like to film a “teaser.”

Whether you have a big budget, no budget or somewhere in between – the short film process will be the same. Do not let filmmaking intimidate you, but do educate yourself on all the pieces of the puzzle it takes to pull one off.

The Process

  1. The Script
  2. Budget & Breakdown
  3. Cast & Crew
  4. Preparation
  5. Filming Day
  6. Edit & Colouring

Read more below

I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions, drop them below!

I can’t wait to see all the amazing projects you make (:

Don’t forget to follow my blog if you like my posts and follow me on social media, I will try to follow back.

Boost your Productivity!

Has the long lockdown shot your productivity? Having a good morning routine can help!

If you are working at home, like me, you know how difficult it can be to separate work and home life. It can be so easy to wake up and turn straight to your phone or open up your laptop, but before you jump straight into all the chaos, having a good morning routine can set you up for the day and boost your productivity! Don’t let your schedule control you, but rather you control it.

Productivity isn’t always about how much we get done, but how well we do it. A morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, and if you start it off by reading a negative news article it might linger with you and affect you more than you know. So instead of going straight to the phone, or getting straight to work, giving yourself just 30 minutes (or more) in the morning can give you the clarity you need for the rest of the day.

Here, I have outlined what my morning looks like. Everyone’s will look different, but I personally find waking up early allows me to get everything in (exercise, journaling, breakfast) before sitting down for a busy day of work.

Whatever you are working on (writing a script, practicing for your next self-tape, or working on the production side of things) do it with a clear, fresh mind!

Morning Routine

What is your morning routine?

Stop Being Bored: Top 5 Things to Start Doing

Constantly staying in the same place for a while can start to make you feel you have nothing to do, but stop being bored!

Ask yourself – what is the one thing you have always wanted to do but never have had time for? Really think right down to the annoying jobs of cleaning out your computer files – okay that is not the most fun thing you can do, but if it needs to be done now is the best time to do it.

If you can’t think of any though, here are my top 5 activities for you to start doing that could keep you entertained and productive(:

Activities
  1. Currently I am enrolled in Club Life Design and have been upping my photo editing and video skills! You don’t have to be a photoshop pro or have an expensive camera to learn how to make amazing pictures, all you need is your phone! So why not start learning how to up your Instagram game?
  2. Frustrated you can’t go to the gym? There are loads of apps or youtube videos to help you get your workout motivation back and those new year goals on track.
  3. This is my absolute favourite. When I was younger I loved scrapbooking. I had so many stickers, paper memorabilia from plane tickets, ticket studs, etc. It’s a great way to reminisce on old memories and flick through them every now and again.
  4. If you are more into chill days, writing a list of films you’ve always wanted to see before but never have got round to is a good way to plan a movie night. Don’t forget the popcorn!
  5. All I can say is Pinterest the hell out your time.

I hope some of these activities have inspired you and do let me know what you get up to!

Make your 2021 Dreams Come True

Do you have new years resolutions? A goal? A dream? You may be thinking in the current climate you can’t make yours happen, but I am here to tell you that with a little perseverance and a positive outlook – you can achieve and accomplish anything you set your mind to. It just might take a little creativity (:

How to get started:

  1. Write down your goals – This step is often looked over or severely underestimated. But, when you have something written down you hold your self accountable and you remember it. No matter how small or big your goals or dreams are, WRITE THEM DOWN! When you have a clear vision of what it is your are trying to achieve, 1) power of manifestation and 2) you have a better idea of the things you need to do to make those things happen – which leads me into….
  2. Small Steps – So now that you know what your working towards, what are the steps that you can be doing everyday to help make them happen? Because let me tell you, nothing happens over night. Even if we wish it could, it doesn’t.

3. Ways to help – I know, I know, the road looks long ahead and you may feel like giving up along the way or like it’s never going to happen. Hang in there though, there are things that can help.

  • Keeping a diary and set your deadlines for short term goals in order to achieve your long term goals.
  • Hanging up your goals somewhere that you will look at everyday to remind yourself what you are working towards
  • Take a day for yourself if your feel overwhelmed, not everyday will be a good day and there will be set backs, but having a day for yourself to recoup and rest will help recharge your motivation.

Finding Opportunities:

Although the Pandemic has cut off lots of ways to network, from going to events, meet and greets etc. However, the online world is not something to take for granted! Many organisations, courses and film festivals have made it easy for you to access all this straight from your phone or laptop.

  • Raindance Film has an abundance of resources/course, networking sessions and ways to help you build your filmmaking career straight from the comfort of your own home
  • LinkedIn: Don’t have one? Get one! It is a professional site, but if you are looking for a job or want to meet new creatives in your industry – get connecting. You never know who you’ll make an impression on. Just make sure that you what ever you post is kept professional and respectful.
  • Facebook Groups: Do you have a passion or interest in something? Well, there is probably a FB group for that! Becoming part of a community of people that are interested in the same things you are is a great way to meet people and collaborate on new projects or ideas.

Don’t give up!

The number one thing to remember – DON’T GIVE UP!

It’s so easy to quit, to throw in the towel, but then look at what your are throwing away – your dream! I have wanted to be an actress since I was a little girl. I was the so shy, hated performing in front of people, but I knew that one day I wanted to be on television or on broadway. My journey has been an abundance of small steps. From singing on the coffee room table in front of my dad to get my confidence, starting dance so I could perform in front of people with out talking, acting classes in front of camera, etc. Am I an A list actress yet? No. But I know that everone’s journey is different and I am buildning my confidence and talent to get to my ultimate dream.

So don’t give up. Believe in yourself so others can too.

Take back your Creativity this Lockdown

Is your creativity dwindling? Are you finding the third lockdown a bit difficult to find that spark again?

Well, look no further! I am here to help you jumpstart that creativity again and help you find some fun things to do while you may be endlessly bored at home.

Spark Your Creativity

Spark you Creativity With these Tips

Still struggling?

Are you reading that list and thinking to yourself, I have done all of that already? What else could you do?

I have a challenge for you!

CHALLENGE

Can’t wait to see what creativity sparks within you!

Lockdown 2.0 What To Do

Hello, I hope you are having a lovely Saturday!

So, second lockdown… I’ll be honest when I heard about it I was not the most thrilled in regards to not being able to see anyone and things getting shut down again, but I am here to make the best of a not so great situation.

How it Started

If you have not been working as a key worker or have been laid off (like me) most of the year will have felt the same, and you’re starting to stare at blank walls wondering “when will my life begin (again)”, like Rapunzel. The bright side is, maybe you have finally had time to read that book you have always wanted to, spent time with the kids at home, had more play time with the pup, maybe even some DIY around the house. BUT what happens when you have done all that and are stuck with what to do next?

That was me last week. I felt I had done everything I could to stay occupied and I was getting tired of finding things to do, I even have struggled with what new series to pick up after watching all mine (any suggestions, drop below). The majority of lockdown I have searched almost every job sight to find work and have been in and out of hope finding the right one for me. It can be very difficult, especially for creatives, because my inspiration draws from everywhere and when I have been mainly stuck in my room isolated by myself 90% of the year, it can be difficult to generate new ideas or inspiration.

How It’s Going

However, things have started to look up. Thankfully, the film industry has been able to continue on and I will now be producing two other projects along side my short film, that is currently crowdfunding (be sure to check it out in my last post if you are wanting to support). All these projects have given me something to occupy myself with, and I look forward to being a part of. I am hoping for a more consistent job so that I can continue to stay in London, but for right now these opportunities allow me to do what I love and gain more experience. My advice to you is to join Facebook groups, stay connected and maybe dabble with creating your own work and projects to keep you busy.

If you are struggling, rest assured that you are not alone. Remember, take time for yourself and do not be too hard on yourself. This is a strange time for everyone and if you don’t have any work coming in or have something to keep you busy, here are a few things you could start doing in a fun BINGO way (:

What should I do?

Hope this helps!

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Twitter – jennjames22 Instagram- jennifer.james16

Must-Have Books : Film Industry

Hello, and welcome back to Double-j-creative! Today I will be doing another “must-have books”, you can find my last one on helpful books for actors in a previous post.

So, if you don’t know, I went to university to study film and got to do a lot of practical work for film and tv production. Although I love being an actress, and hope to continue to pursue it when the right role comes along, I am very interested in becoming a production assistant. It has come to my attention that this is where my skillsets are strongest out of all the roles in production, and I am very passionate about pursuing it.

Over lockdown, and even now, has posed a significant challenge to do anything in the film industry. There are some productions starting up, but for those still trying to get their foot in the door it is a little harder to get work. However, I have been determined not to do nothing. I am one of those people that has to have something to do and be proactive about my career. It is a blessing and a curse because as times such as now, I am feeling that more and more I don’t know what more to do with myself. So if you are in the industry and have ways you have been staying proactive comment below, I would love to hear from you!

More to the point, one thing that has kept me occupied is reading! Lots and lots of it! There are so many great books out there if you are wanting to learn more about the industry and get some good tips. Here are some of the ones I’ve been reading and love:

Must-have Book List :

Producer to Producer – Thinking of becoming a producer one day, or are making your own films? This is a great manual to get you going! From pre-production, budgeting & finance and distribution – this book has got it all! You can even get free downloadable templates.

Action! – Now, there is an actress and a crew one of these books so make sure you get the right one. Or if you are like me, get both! This is a very helpful guide to navigating you career into the film industry. A breakdown of each role, CV tips, looking for jobs and what to expect when you are on set.

Making Your Own Movie – I refer to this quite a lot and could be very useful to aspiring filmmakers, especially during COVID. Take 39 steps to creating your first film, which could be completely on your phone! Also, there are some helpful templates in the back of the book to refer to, as well as film suggestions.

Poldark : The Complete Scripts : Recently I have been rewatching the Poldark series, and I am a sucker for period dramas. I was so excited when I saw they had a book with the complete scripts so that I could follow along as I watch the series to see the translation from script to screen. If Poldark isn’t your thing, I still highly recommending reading scripts. Whether that is from online download (check out Shore Scripts) or finding books like this one.

These are just a few I have, but I am sure there are plenty more!! I am constantly on the look our for more helpful books to add to my collection so if you have a suggestion drop it in the comments.

UPDATE

A little life update, I have been pretty busy lately and will soon be filming this month on a teaser. It’s all very exciting and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. With that said, I will now be posting every other week. I hope you continue to follow my blog and let me know if there are things you want more or less of. Thank you(:

Stay safe, stay well!

Morning Routine for a Productive Day

Let’s talk about routine. During COVID lockdown, I’m sure most of us can agree that any routine we did have was thrown out the window and the days have started to feel merged together. Personally, as someone who is use to routine and sticking to schedules, I can definitely relate and have had a very strange couple months trying to get back into some “normality”.

But things are starting to get moving more, people beginning work again and things trying to go back to routine. It can be difficult to get start new habits, but I’ve put together a simple morning routine suitable for anyone looking for a way they can jumpstart their morning again! A good start to the morning is great way to set up the day and get you motivated to do all that you want to achieve. You can adjust to how you like, and what feels right for you.

Below, is recently how I’ve been starting the day and I have noticed a nice flow. I have a yoga matt in my room, so as soon as I’ve drunk my water, I love to stretch out on it and do a little morning flow before I sit down to work. I usually only work from about 8.30-10.30am answering emails and getting all the important tasks out of the way before getting out for some fresh air and stretching my legs. I feel it is so important to get out earlier in the day and then maybe again before nightfall. I honestly can’t sit still all day, so this breaks it up for me and it helps me generate ideas or think clearer on what needs to be done later.

A little tip: Try and write down your daily to-do’s the night before so you have a clear vision of what the day entails. Even better, right the whole week on Sunday (goals, errands, appointments, etc. ). I am a firm believer in writing down goals to achieve them.

Resources for Actors

Are you an actor? Well then this post is for you.

It can be overwhelming with picking the right classes, headshot photographer, news articles, etc. BUT over the years I have been able to find my ‘go to’ websites and resources that have helped me. So below I will make a list of my top sites and tools I use as an actor that will hopefully help some people just starting out.

Resources

Backstage – Founded in 1960, has been a great resource for all those in the industry, from casting to news and helpful articles. You can sign up for a subscription and apply to castings, or you can visit their site for useful articles on a range of topics! Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a Zoom event with Backstage and listen in on a Q&A with a casting director. You can find all of their videos on their Youtube channel as well if you ever miss one.

WeAudition – This is a great website I have recently discovered, thanks the the 98% Podcast. If you are stuck for a reader it’s no problem, easily find someone suitable to be your reader or make money yourself by being available to others. There is also casting calls, advice and support. Be sure to check it out and if you want a discount code, check out my Featured Friday post with the 98% podcast;)

Spotlight – Okay, so many actors will be familiar with this one, or are on it if they have an agent, but besides it being a platform for your profile and casting submissions, there are many things you can utilise. I regularly check out their blog and Youtube channel. If you are a member you are also eligible for discounts – who doesn’t love a little money off?

Masterclass – This is subscription based, but you have the option to pay for one class or unlimited for a year. Personally, I would go with the unlimited for a year because there are so many amazing classes you can take advantage of. There are several categories, but for this particular post, I explored the tv/film genre. I learned from Natalie Portman on acting, Shonda Rhimes on TV scriptwriting, Samuel L. Jackson on acting and more. Learn at your own pace and do it online!

Ace your Audition – A great website to find free monologues for auditions or just to practice with.

These are just a few great tools you an use and I am sure there are many others! Feel free to get in touch with more suggestions. I would love to hear more ways I can keep learning and practicing my craft (: