Question from Carl P in Los Angeles, CA: How important are headshots and what is your philosophy behind the type of headshots that are needed as I am primarily a film and TV actor in Los Angeles.
Bob opened by welcoming all to this edition of his column on Times Square Chronicles where he speaks on video in addition to a written summary. He reminded the readers that the column is devised to answer viewer questions asked of a manager and/or producer like himself, so please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
He mentioned that the column is a benefit for The Actors Fund and elaborated on it some. The link to donate was on the video and is below the written summary here.
He then announced that his guest today in column 1 of a 2 column interview is longtime Los Angeles based agent and manager, Jacque Pedersen-Scrimscher. Hailing from the South, she also was an Atlanta agent at one time. Bob talks about how fortunate he was that Jacque has moved over from the agency to join Step Forward Entertainment as the Head of the West Coast office talent management division.
Jacque began by saying the question is her favorite as she is an expert on headshots and gives seminars on this subject. She went on to say that only casting directors or associates can give the actor an audition and it comes down to their headshots. Offices now get 2 to 6,000 submissions and the pictures are 1″ by 1 1/2″, 30 to a page and they go through them – your photo must ‘leap up’ at them. Most important, these pictures must be character specific. If submitting for a cop, you can’t have long hair or pictures of you body surfing. You must look like a cop, but without a uniform. A navy blue shirt should do it for a male or female, with any type of long hair pulled back. Do not think you can change your look after you get the job as it is the picture that will get you the audition and you need that to book the job.
She talked about how actors will put up 5-6 pictures and upload on casting sites, but they are the same picture. Smiling in a blue shirt and not smiling in a blue shirt does not cut it nor cover the actor. These are not different characters! These pictures waste agents, managers and casting directors and cost time and money and it will not get the actors in the door!
To Carl, she said he probably doesn’t need commercial pictures as he said he is focused on TV and film, but definitely needs the character driven pictures. The other thing she then discussed is ‘the money shot’ the one they will flash on the TV when you win your academy award. All the ‘A’ listers have this shot as you will notice whenever they win something or there is a story about them, it is ‘the money shot’ that you see – even if it is old. She used the example of Meryl Streep, whose money shot is a picture from the 1980’s but is still shown as if she hasn’t aged for 25 years. But casting knows her so it doesn’t matter.
Bob then promoted the upcoming column and Part 2 of the interview with Jacque. Reminded the readers/viewers about The Actors Fund and where to donate. Also, again gave viewers the URL to email a question to him. Bob thanked the viewers and mentioned that links to the other columns are below this summary.
Bob Blume’s company website is www.StepForwardEntertainment.com
To Donate to The Actors Fund: www.actorsfund.org/stepforward
To see more Ask Bob Blume columns click on the subject