Monday, March 9, 2009

Wow...just wow.


Sargent Collins aka Vic Colicchio.

And yeah I've been in lucky getting work, but I very seldom get hired for my NY accent. I use a few different hispanic "voices" and most of my credits are for those characters.

I also use"hector Comachos" voice in a lot roles.

But yeah I'm an old time New York native and thanks for taking not of that. much appreciated


Just when you thought your blog wasn't being noticed by anyone important, along comes an actor that plants a comment and thanks you for noticing him. Three months after the post, no less! (Look at my post, "New York State of Mind.") My blog has been autographed!

Of course, how he found my blog remains a mystery. I can almost hear the conversation now...

Friend: Yo, Vic! So guy mentioned you specifically in his blog.
Vic: Yeah? What'd he say?
Friend: That you knocked a New Yawk accent outta the ball park in Inside Man.
Vic: Awww, crap. Gimme the web address. I gotta see if he went on and on about being a New Yawk native. If he did, he's gonna box me in and all my work is gonna end up as a New York character.

Because, as you all know, I have that kind of power in the film industry. That I haven't sold a single screenplay, or even a short story, means nothing. I have Hollywood under my thumb, I tell you!! (Insert maniacal laughter here.)

I don't know Mr. Colicchio, and to be honest, I don't know how much of his accent was the New Yorker within. For me, having grown up on Long Island and working in Brooklyn, then living here in Arizona, my accent is skewed. The amateur actor in me throws accents around for comedic purposes, and that's about it. But there are times when I imagine myself on a set, in a role that requires an accent, and some dialect coach is constantly running over to me and saying how my NY accent sounds terrible!

Mine is a self-educated understanding of the actor's art. A lot of people think actors are babied 100%, and that someone hands them a script, they memorize a few lines, then go home to their mansions or penthouse suites. It should be that easy. If you want an education on the extremes of acting, watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, special edition. Each one has around six hours of extra material, and those actors went through hell.

But that's an extreme, as I said. Inside Man must have been a different kind of madness. Mind you, I have no facts; this is me at my best guessing.

The actors are up at all sorts of goofy hours, because exterior shots are reliant on the positioning of the sun. Sure, they can digitally manipulate the lighting, but that gets expensive. It's sometimes easier to shoot during the day, and use artificial lighting to mimic daylight. Thus, the actors get their call sheets for odd hours, and they have to be on set at that time.

By the time the actors get to set, there's the hope that everything is ready. Are the extras set? Do they know what to do? Did the director accidentally speak to one of them, and now the extras are demanding SAG scale rates? (Those tricky extras will try that!) Are all the lights functioning? Are all the props in place? Are there any continuity issues?

Continuity...There's a fun one to cope with. Films are rarely shot in order. If the weather is bad one day, they'll move the production inside, where they might shoot a scene that's toward the end of the movie, and they just started filming! For the actor, it's like trying to read a book, but reading different chapters at random. In between shots, the makeup people are running in to touch up. It could take a dozen takes of one shot to get it right, and actors aren't machines, they're human. They flub lines, forget a cue, and fumble props. Laughter ensues, and the takes now roll on forever. Then there are the things that can't be controlled on set. In the middle of a location shot, an ambulance could go screaming by when there's supposed to be a moment of piece. The siren ends up dominating the soundtrack, so the actors are dragged into a sound studio to re-perform their lines.

Inside Man, that astounding film that brings back that NY state of mind, was shot in 39 days. That's principle photography, as far as I know. That time doesn't include reshoots and editing.

Me? I'm the smallest, yet most important part of the process, provided I ever make a sale. I'm the guy who creates and writes the story. And once I sell the script, it's no longer mine. Script doctors may come in and fix this, change that, and by the time they're done with it, I may recognize the character names and the title...that's it. What do I want for my scripts? Well, a nice sack of cash would be nice, but as a nobody, I'll have to settle for what's offered. My greatest demand is a writing credit. If an ampersand appears before or after my name, so be it. I want that writing credit so I can become a member of the WGA.

But you folks go ahead and look up Victor Colicchio. In the minds of the masses, he may well be "that guy" who was in "that movie" or "that TV show." Me? I'll always be a fan of that small but great role in Inside Man.

Oh...and if you're reading this, Vic...*assumes Hollywood producer attitude*...I got this script. It's gonna be a blockbuster! It's the story about a guy and his dog...but the dog sings, see? I mean like an opera singer, right? And the guy is trying to make a bundle on the dog, but the dog is kidnapped by terrorists...

In all seriousness, I have a horror script that takes place mostly in Manhattan. Comments go through my e-mail first, and I accept or reject them. If you want to take a look at that script, send your e-mail address though on a comment, I'll jot it down, delete the comment, and then show you what I have. Oh...and it's on Final Draft 7.0.

Then again, faithful readers, I doubt he'll see this one. But here's hoping!

Be well!

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