So You Wanna Make Movies? The 12 Step Program.


Dear Student Filmmakers,

First off, allow me to say as a general note that I adore your ambition. As someone pursuing a similarly tough road, I know the struggle! It’s tough to be a fish swimming upstream. So many of you have incredible talent and promise, so much ambition and passion.RG_London_1985

Which is why I feel compelled to ask you WHY you MUST insist upon doing every single thing I am about to mention!! I read your posts advertising roles in your films for actors, I submit for your projects! I am NOT making these things up and I am completely baffled by every single one of them. STOP IT ALREADY! For the love of all things bright and beautiful, desist immediately. Listen up, pay attention, here we go.

  1. Calm down with the nudity. I don’t care how “tasteful” you think you’ve written it, I (and every other actor I know) skips right on along every time I see the words “student film” and “nude” in the same sentence. It blows my mind every single time I see a post like this (and I see them A LOT.) I always sit and wonder who the hell is sitting in their dorm room, gleefully writing a nude scene and imagining that actresses everywhere will immediately line up to strip down for them. You are not paying your actors, you are not Martin Scorsese. You don’t even have an EXCUSE, so move along please.
  2. Same goes with the estranged father and/or rape themes. This is no longer an original or moving concept. If I see ONE more student film with the description “emotionally distraught girl of 20 deals with her rocky relationship and turmoil following her rape, while also reconciling with her estranged father” I will scream. Not trying to be insensitive here, but you throwing your characters into terrible situations does not make you an artist. Sorry dude.
  3. Spell check your screenplays. And emails. And anything else in which you need to spell. One slip up is one thing, but if you’re confusing your/you’re, there/they’re/their, AND misspelling every other word, I have no choice but to question your intelligence.
  4. No more sci-fi student films, people! You have no budget. You have no set. You have no CGI. What about that equation adds up to a convincing sci-fi film?! I refuse to be documented in a movie where you’ve built a robot out of cardboard boxes. Next.
  5. Same goes for ghosts.
  6. And car chases with fiery explosions.
  7. No, we cannot come to an audition at 11:16PM tonight and film the project tomorrow. We are not merely sitting around twiddling our thumbs, desperately waiting for the next student film to come around! Think, people. Think.
  8. Do not take a scene or movie that is already famous, change the title and names of characters and expect me to submit for it. I don’t even need to go further with that one.
  9. Just because you’re doing it in black and white doesn’t mean it’s good.
  10. Just because you’re shooting on a fancy camera doesn’t mean it’s good.
  11. Stop describing your characters as “beautiful.” Liiiiike, I don’t know you, I don’t know what you find beautiful! You are also then putting me in the incredibly bizarre situation in which I have to sit there and size up my own beauty. Nope, try again.
  12. Get your shit together. Don’t schedule my audition and then change the time and place 12 times. Don’t show up to “set” without a plan. Don’t blame your laziness on the fact that “films take time”…If I’m ready, you should be too. And I say that with all the sass in the world.

If you follow these basic guidelines, every single actor submitting for you will give you a round of applause, a hug, and a cookie. Please. Make like Nike and just do it.


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