The Strippers vs. Werewolves promo has spread across the net and seems to be generating a fair bit of interest. This is it, if you haven’t seen it yet:
Some of that interest is positive, some of it’s negative.
Some people chuckle at the concept and are expecting a comedy. Some people salivate at the implication of nudity (because it’s sooo hard to see moving images of naked women in the 21st Century) and are expecting to be aroused.
Some people pour scorn on what they perceive to be a badly made serious film. A few even get very irate when they realise the film didn’t have a huge budget and seem to be of the opinion films shouldn’t be made for anything less than millions.
I kind of expected all these opinions, to be honest; but the opinion I find odd is the aggressive hatred aimed at some members of the cast for being *gasp* ex-soapstars.
It’s very weird. The press love ex-soapstars. So do a lot of real-world people, you know, the ones you can actually meet and interact with. Show them a trailer with some recognisable faces in and they get excited. But not online. Online (or at least the portion of online folk who comment on horror-comedy promos) think ex-soapstars are scum and proof-positive the film-makers are scraping the bottom of the barrel.
There’s this idea that once an actor leaves a soap, they’re unable to get work again. Yes, that’s sometimes true; but then the default status for most actors is unemployed – it’s not a condition reserved for ex-soapstars.
From a UK film-maker’s point of view, soapstars (ex or otherwise) are a good thing. They increase the likelihood of financing and distribution, garner a lot of press coverage *and* they can act.
Apparently, some people dispute the acting part; but I think that’s unfair.
Okay, so the truth about actors is the same as it is for writers. Possibly even more so: line up 1000 actors and you’d be lucky to find one who can act.
If you can remember your lines and frown on cue – congratulations! You’re in the top two percent of actors!
Given the sheer volume of bad actors in the world (including all the people who say they’re actors despite never having acted in anything) and it’s statistically correct to round it up and say all actors are bad actors.
But not actually true. There are also a lot of good actors in the world.
Competition for roles in soaps is intense, it’s not like they can’t afford to pick and choose. A lot of already well established actors have their favourite soap and would love a guest role. You don’t get a role in a soap if you *can’t* act.
That’s not to say all soap actors are great actors either. In the same way not all painters are great painters – just because you’re not a genius who resonates throughout the ages, doesn’t mean you’re not good.
One thing soap actors are good at is getting it right quickly. The nature of the soap environment means they have little time to learn their lines and have to nail it in as few takes as possible.
By comparison, theatre actors may have months to learn their lines and weeks to rehearse. Film actors may have to learn their lines overnight but have multiple takes to get it right.
The script on a film can change massively between the first day of shooting and the last. Actors change, locations fall through, whole sequences are dropped because the schedule is too tight – it’s in a constant change of flux.
The schedule on a low-budget film (and in the UK, they’re all low budget) doesn’t allow for multiple takes. You rarely get time to film the whole script, let alone shoot extra improvisation takes.
The best actors, from a UK film-maker’s perspective, are ones who can take a script at short notice and perform it to a the best standard possible in very few takes. Ones who’ve had years of practice of working in high-pressure, time-starved environments.
You know, soap actors.
The fact they come with built in press attention and pique the curiosity of a large swathe of the population is no bad thing either.
A lot of very good films fail to get distribution or never get the audience they deserve because no one’s heard of anyone in the cast. One ex-soapstar generates inches of column space and can make the difference between financial success or failure.
The funny thing about people leaving negative comments about the cast on an online trailer is the cast have done a portion of their job – they’ve raised awareness of the film. Even if a percentage of people hate seeing ex-soapstars in a trailer – at least they’ve heard of the film and at least the film got financing and distribution for them to actually see it.
I’m not saying every film should have a soap actor in it; but I do feel fortunate to have worked with some over the last few years and I love watching the thrill of recognition on people’s faces when I show them a soapstar-laden trailer.
I can’t wait to see who’ll be speaking my lines next.