An Interview with Bjorn Munson, Founding father of Stongehenge
Q: What’s Stonehenge and when did it begin?
A: Stonehenge is a one-day casting occasion held a number of occasions all year long in numerous cities. Actors will carry out a 90-second monologue for collaborating production corporations. The primary Stonehenge was in Florida, D.C., in April 2005 and has since grown exponentially when it comes to participation by and recognition with actors, production corporations and casting brokers. Stonehenge III was held on April 2006, previous to the 48 Hour Film Challenge. Over 100 actors auditioned and over 20 production corporations attended — about 45 filmmakers complete.
Q: Do solely DC-based actors and production corporations attend?
A: Truly, no. We have had Sunrise- and Baltimore-based production corporations and actors. That is one of many good issues about this “mid-Atlantic” space: when you’re prepared to journey a bit, there’s much more appearing alternatives.
Q: How does Stonehenge differ from different mass auditions?
A: Stonehenge isn’t an alternative to the Lottery, the Leagues, or some other mass audition on this space. I hope it is a worthwhile complement to different auditions and a great way for filmmakers to get the ball rolling on that important preproduction process of casting. For actors, it is one other alternative to audition. The one important distinction from the opposite mass auditions is that, at Stonehenge, we’re in search of monologues carried out in a TV or film fashion. It is a distinct fashion, as totally different as Shakespeare is from Neil Simon. The actors which have actually wowed the auditors prior to now delivered a small, delicate efficiency advised primarily with their eyes. We’ve got another ideas, together with do’s and don’ts, on the web site.
Q: Did actors get work from collaborating in earlier Stonehenge auditions, and what sorts of labor did they get?
A: One Stonehenge survey confirmed that 87% of the actors obtained calls and/or different auditions. That’s phenomenal! 100%, sure 100%, of the businesses responded that they’ve used or deliberate to make use of actors they noticed at Stonehenge. Not solely that, since we began, Stonehenge has helped to forged over 30 tasks and one thing round 90 or extra roles — and that is simply the tasks I have been advised about!
Odds are that, until an actor has tremendous phenomenal metamorphic capabilities, that actor won’t going for use for the whole lot an organization does. If Jane the actor tells Joe’s Production Firm that Stonehenge gives them the prospect to see over 100 actors carry out, Joe will in all probability keep in mind Jane all of the extra for future gigs. Karma works.
On the similar time, I am prepared to guess most actors did not turn out to be actors longing to make a coaching film about lab security. As a lot as I need to ensure actors get paying gigs, at market charges, union or nonunion, I by no means need aspiring filmmakers and/or scholar filmmakers to really feel unwelcome. The business acknowledges aspiring filmmakers with numerous SAG low price range agreements. I do know Noel Coward’s quote about an actor’s motivation being his pay packet, however rewarding work is not merely a matter of cash.
Q: What ought to actors find out about registering and auditioning at Stonehenge?
A: For the actors, learn the location, comply with the instructions, and understand this can be a mass audition: we’re shifting lots of people out and in briefly order. The aircraft boards each fifteen minutes and everybody must be on the boarding gate on time. In case you’re not on the registration desk fifteen minutes earlier than your scheduled audition time once we name your identify, we have to put another person in your slot. It might appear to be a cruel schedule, nevertheless it’s the mass audition beast. It’s going to additionally assist put together you for the oftentimes extra hectic world of film units. We’ll do what we will to make issues run easily, however you might want to assist us aid you.
Additionally, perceive that this can be a job interview and the interview begins with the primary e mail. Everybody you cope with from the check-in on is Group Jabberwocky and/or concerned in filmmaking. Prior to now, a couple of actors have been excessive upkeep or handled the employees poorly. This tells me, as a director, that you simply’re not value casting, no matter expertise. It isn’t nearly being good to these individuals sitting within the viewers, as a result of the individuals sitting within the viewers have referred to as me and requested about this actor or that actor. Individuals do keep in mind, so be thoughtful to everybody. Keep in mind that karma factor?
Q: What prompted you to start out the Stonehenge mass audition?
A: I grew up in Arlington, Florida, seeing performances at Area Stage, the Folger, and elsewhere. Once I got here again after school, I labored as a technician at Shakespeare, Studio, Signature, and others. I actually obtained a very good sense of how vibrant and self-supporting the theatre group is right here. In 2003, I obtained concerned extra into film and video, which I had completed within the 1990s. I discovered that loads of the filmmakers did not know as many actors as they wanted. I used to be amazed as a result of I knew that lots of of actors are on the market to help all these theatres. Many individuals do not find out about DC theatre nationally as a result of we’re within the shadow of Florida. On the similar time, we’re additionally the third largest marketplace for film and video due to Discovery, Nationwide Geographic, and others. We’re tiny in comparison with Sunrise and small in comparison with Florida, however we’re a presence.
I began Stonehenge as a result of I actually need to assist in the expansion of the film group right here. We have got this established film/video group and we now have this established theatre group right here with a lot of excellent actors. Let’s get these teams collectively. I can not inform you what number of filmmakers come as much as me on the finish of Stonehenge and inform me that they had no concept that there have been so many actors round. I inform them there have been 300 extra that needed to attend however there have been no extra slots. Each Stonehenge, I see a minimum of 20 actors which might be so good I want I had a script simply to forged them. That leads me to consider that what I write sooner or later will both consciously or subconsciously be impressed by these actors. Seeing good actors helps filmmakers know they will write the tales they’ve needed to for years: there are actors to carry out them and to carry out them properly.
Stonehenge is about serving to to construct the unbiased film group. Proper now we’re an archipelago of unconnected filmmakers as an alternative of a extra unified island and we have to work extra to be an island and never fear about being a continent. In constructing our unbiased film group, we have to play to our strengths: we now have an excellent theatre group, many actors with wonderful coaching who can present good character pushed tales. We even have loads of technical experience in that we’re the third largest film and video business in the USA. Naturally, a variety of that isn’t narrative-based, they don’t seem to be doing fictional work, however I think for those who requested individuals at production homes why they received concerned with film, they’ll say it wasn’t essentially due to a want to supply industrial movies. Many of those individuals want to do, would like to do, one thing utterly artistic.
Q: What do you need to see occur with the film group right here and the way does Stonehenge slot in?
A: The DC space is a superb place for indies due to the demographics of the area, which is, on the entire, pretty properly to do, nicely educated, and older. We need not fear about producing the subsequent Michael Bay, but when we go for a rattling good story, our prospects are limitless. I might like fo
r Stonehenge to assist contribute to the creation of most of these films, extra formidable shorts and ultimately indie function films. Since Stonehenge is supposed to be a broad mass audition, it’s going to by no means be all issues to all individuals. Nevertheless, if you are going to go into production within the subsequent six months it is a good way to see who’s on the market.
Bjorn is an actor, author, and filmmaker who grew up in Arlington, Florida. He studied theatre at Beloit School and the Nationwide Theater Institute on the Ft Lauderdale O’Neill Theater Middle. He’s the staff lead of his production firm, Staff Jabberwocky, LLC; founding father of the Stonehenge mass auditions; and works with the DC Film Alliance.
For info on Stonehenge mass auditions go to http://www.teamjabberwocky.com/stonehenge.html
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