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On Tue, 30 Sep 1997 13:38:47 -0400 Avital Bins <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 
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> ******************************************************************************
> ********************
> ******************************************************************************
> ********************
> The following is taken from a feature article in
> Hollywood Success Magazine
>
>         FEATURE  FILM  PRODUCER / DIRECTOR
>         Bryan Michael Stoller
>
> Maximize Your Potential!
> by Kelly Hill
>
> Bryan Michael Stoller started in the film business at the tender age of six
> in Ottawa, Canada.  Fascinated by the Gumby shows, he made his first film at
> age 10.  At 12, he was the star of his own television show in Toronto called F
> ilm Fun, co-hosted by his sister Nancy.  The show covered all the
> behind-the-scenes makings of a film - everything from interviewing the
> director to production of the soundtrack.
>
> Bryan went on to do several commercials in Canada and filmed his first TV
> movie, Just Like Magic, at age 17.  His eleven years of experience inspired
> him to set his sights on Los Angeles.  He applied and was accepted to attend
> AFI as student director.  He moved to California with comedian friend Howie
> Mandel.  Howie ended up starring in Bryan's first student film along with a
> cameo by George Carlin and some help from Robin Williams.
>
> Since then, Bryan has gone to work with such well-known stars as Barbra
> Streisand, Dan Aykroyd, and Rock Hudson.  He has also helped discover unknown
> talent such as Paula Devica (who is now starring on Party of Five) and
> Brandon Adams (who then starred in Michael Jackson's video Moonwalker and has
> gone on to star in The Mighty Ducks I & II.
>
> Bryan has produced and directed several independent and studio projects.  He
> directed an episode of Tales from the Darkside, which is currently running on
> the Science Fiction Network.  The episode is The Bitterest Pill.  He also
> directed a film for Paramount entitled Undershorts - a Brief Movie.  It is a
> series of comedy shorts with cameo appearances by Linda Blair and comedian
> Gallagher.  The film is awaiting release.
>
> Recently, his company produced three independent feature films.  Turn of the
> Blade is the story of a female helicopter pilot caught in a fatal attraction.
>  The film co-stars Julie Horvath, an APS member whom Bryan met through an APS
> networking function.  The film has done very well overseas and will be
> released here very soon.  His film Dragon Fury II also co-stars an APS
> member, Cole Andersen.  Bryan's feature film  The Random Factor (with Dan
> Aykroyd) stars Andrew Divoff (who co-stars with Harrison Ford in Air Force
> One), and has just been released to the home video market.  Bryan's
> reputation for being "easy to work with and totally professional" has kept
> him very busy in the industry . . . and he's getting busier!
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ------------------------------
>
> You are a producer and a director - which do you prefer most?
>
> Director, because it is more creative.  You are working with emotions and
> psychology.  The producer is more technical.  In cooking, he is the person
> who assembles the ingredients to prepare the food and the director is
> actually the chef.  He brings the film to life.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> When you are casting, what is the most important thing you look for?
>
> Personality.  I encourage actors to develop your personality first.  I cast
> on personality first, acting second.  Also when preparing for an audition,
> study the character as opposed to just studying the lines.  If you know the
> character, the lines will come.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Any suggestions for the actor during an audition?
>
> If you are unclear about anything, take the time and ask.  It is your
> audition.  Also, be natural. Don't overexaggerate your movements in an
> audition unless it is for theatre.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> What if you have not achieved the level of success you desire as an actor?
>
> Network, Network, Network.  I can't stress this enough.  Develop the skill of
> networking.   APS is a good example of an organization that can expose you to
> some of the people to network with.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> What are some of the mistakes that actors make?
>
> Not following up on leads or waiting 4 weeks to reply when someone gives you
> their business card.  Be diligent about this business.  Be professional.
>  Don't lie on your resume.  Use a professional photographer and always send a
> note with a headshot.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -
>
> I understand that you also teach.
>
> Yes, I've taught a class called The A to Z's of Film Making.  It covers how
> to write, produce and direct a feature film.  I also teach a class about the
> metaphysics of acting which is simple and easy to understand.  It is about
> developing their personality and injecting it into their characters.  Many of
> the great actors inject their personality - Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino.  You
> see their personalities in every character.  That's what I teach.  I like to
> teach because I did not have a mentor, so it is a way of giving back, and
> it's a great outlet.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
>
> What is the film you are most proud of?
>
> I have several projects that I am very proud of.  There is a screenplay that
> hasn't been produced yet called Light Years Away that I wrote.  It has been
> optioned several times, but it hasn't gone any further yet.  It is an
> uplifting story about making your dreams come true.  Along the lines of Ghost,
>  or Splash.  It is very near and dear to me.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
>
> What is your ultimate goal in the business?
>
> I've been doing pretty much what I want to do.  I would like to direct and
> produce larger budget films, maybe do a few studio films, but you don't
> always have the control I have as an independent.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
>         What are your thoughts about the Oscars going to more independent
 filmmakers
> this year?
>
> Well, the meaning of independent is changing quite a bit.  I am sort of a
> rebel about that word.  Most of the Oscar winners were not solely
> independent.  To me, an independent is more of a struggling filmmaker who has
> to raise financing from several sources - private investors, etc.  He is
> usually not as well-connected as Miramax, who is owned by Disney.  Also their
> budgets are usually not as high.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
>
> Do you have a personal motto you live by?
>
> Actually, I have several.  If you want to get something done, do it yourself!
>  Also, the motto I've had since I was twelve - the problems we worry about
> are the ones that never happen and the ones that do, we deal with right away,
> so why worry!  Don't be obsessed with worrying.  As a producer, I have one -
> If it's man-made, it's negotiable!  My dad always says: You can't go wrong
> doing right and you can't go right doing wrong.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ------
>
> The term producer seems to be used a lot in Hollywood.  Any comments about
> that?
>
> Yes, make sure the producer is legitimate.  You can always ask for
> references.  If they are still securing financing on a project, don't start
> anything with them until they do secure financing.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---
>
> Do you accept head shots, resumes, and demo tapes?
>
> Yes.  Please send them to APS.  If I am interested usually I will request a
> demo.  Be prepared - most actors don't have a demo so be a step ahead of
> them.  Even if you have done a student film, get it on tape if you have a
> good role in it.
 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------
>
> Any final suggestions to actors?
>
> Don't get co-dependent on acting classes.  I see a lot of actors who aren't
> working get too dependent on their classes.  Make sure your personality is
> coming through.  Watch Michael Caine's tape on acting.  Watch movies with the
> volume down.  Network!  Remember, this is a business.   Be professional and
> follow-up on every lead!
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------------------
>
> Bryan Michael Stoller is expected to be one of six featured speakers at an
> upcoming BUSINESS OF ACTING seminar at the Hollywood Holiday Inn.  Recorded
> information is available by calling (213) 980-3375.  Seating will be limited
> to the first 75 actors who make reservations.  We hope to see you there!
>
> ----
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
> http://www.sa.ua.edu/screensite
 
----------------------
Donald Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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