The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Attempts to enter the film industry

This morning I received this letter in the post with regard to my screenplay submission for a short film:

Dear Kim

Thank you for your application to GMAC Shorts Talent Pool. We received a high number of applications this year, the quality was exceptional and so the competition for places in the Talent Pool was tough.

Your Cineworks Narrative Fiction application has now been read and reviewed internally as well as externally by independent industry professionals. Your project ‘I Met Myself The Other Day’ ref. Number CINE W14 has not been selected for the GMAC Shorts Talent Pool…

Telling me that a huge number of extraordinarily talented people applied so I didn’t get in, isn’t really any kind of compensation, yet those who compose rejection letters regularly favour this approach. Are they implying that it’s really just a lottery, so the more entrants, the lower the odds in my favour, or are they saying that if there’d been less applicants of lower quality then maybe I’d have been considered? Either way it doesn’t exactly reduce the crushing sense of disappointment.

I’d felt really good about my application too. Still, for all I know, “independent industry professionals” could mean the people who clean camera lenses. Once again those who should know better are failing to recognise huge talent when it’s plonked right down in front of them. Either that or I’m still suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect*

Still, last night Rogan & I went along to the Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries to join about 120 other people putting themselves forward as potential extras for a few scenes in a forthcoming horror film to be shot only a few miles from my house (see last post – Extras).

We filled in the application forms, which were purely about physical characteristics (height, collar size etc) and contact details, then were photographed with an ID number scrawled in felt pen on the back of the form while we tried to look Eastern European.

Rogan, however, along with the rest of the children who turned up, was videoed for a minute or two and asked his name, his school, his favourite subjects and whether he’d ever acted. His responses about his performance at school assembly had me swelling with fatherly pride. That boy has star material written all over him (not that I’m biased in any way, you understand).

Standing next to a couple with blonde highlights and surfer dude t-shirts, I began to think we had as much chance as anyone else. However, I found out this afternoon that several genuine Serbians turned up after we left, so I’m not holding my breath. Apparently if we’ve not heard anything by the end of the month then we can safely assume we’ve not been picked.

Whether we’re successful in getting the role of Body Part #27 or not, Rogan enjoyed our wee foray into the world of casting, and happily regaled his pals in the playground with his adventures, probably convinced he is the next Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. Meanwhile I can see that at this rate I’m going to have to start a sideline of inserting horses heads into producer’s beds** if I’m ever going to make headway into the movie business.

* See Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments

The Godfather

While Rogan and I were at the dump this afternoon, putting out a car-load of cans, bottles and cardboard for recycling, Maggie took the call to say they weren't going to use us as extras. Apparently they were rather taken with a 6 year old who looked cuter and more vulnerable for the part of the kid.


Stella said...

They're all bastards Kim, they'll be sorry when you're rich and famous.

Kim Ayres said...

Ah Stella... you understand completely

Dr Maroon said...

I met myself the other day?

Well it had me laughing.

michael the tubthumper said...

i knwo someone that used to work down at gmac

not that easy to get anything done with them.

they are chronically underfunded

Kim Ayres said...

Dr Maroon - c'mon then, show me your latest rejection letter.

Michael - does that mean they can't afford to employ decent readers? (I'm not bitter at all. Really, I'm not. At all. No.)

Attila The Mom said...

That's so exciting! I mean even to go out there and give it a shot! Good luck to you guys!

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Atilla, but we've just received a call to say they're not using us. Fortunately we'd already decided to have pizza for dinner - Rogan's favourite - so hopefully that willact as some kind of brief compensation.

quinn said...

awwwww sorry to hear that they don't know talent when they see it....good thing you have pizza...we do the same here ..when all else is failing we order pizza...!!!

Remind Rogan there was a time when they were turning their noses up at Jonny Depp....and just look at him now!

p.s. what I would really love to have for christmas IS johhny depp ...

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kim!

Don't you just love the "creativity" of those standard rejection letters, from people who claim to have the skill and the "creativity" to discover hidden creative talent? I just love this common line: "Due to the high number of exceptional candidates..." Indeed, BOLLOCKS! It's a jungle out there.

Anyway, just want to wish you and the gang a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS and an even better NEW YEAR!

Best wishes,


Kim Ayres said...

Quinn - it's very noticable that most women under 28 prefer Orlando Bloom, but most women over 28 prefer Johnny Depp.

El Branden - you too my friend :)

quinn said...

Good to know I am acting my age LOL>

hmmmmm....well,,,I suppose if Johnny Depp is unavailable for christmas I certainly wouldn't mind Orlando bloom...

Anonymous said...

I want names and telephone numbers. Don't worry, I'll handle everything. No evidence will be found, I promise.

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