January 8, 2017 at 2:35PM

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How to get soldiers for WW2 short film?

I'm creating a 30-minute long short film on WW2. I have a set, and pyrotechnics, but I have no actors, or costumes. I preferably don't want to spend money on costumes for every actor, since there will be lots of extras being shot down/ blown up/ etc. I've been researching for about a month now, and all the costumes that look decent, cost an upwards of $400. And even if I buy the costumes, I will still need actors, guns, and footwear. I'm thinking about asking a reenactment unit to help film since they will have everything, but they're are no units where I live. What should I do?

8 Comments

Ask reenactors?
No actors at all? Is this your first short film?

January 8, 2017 at 3:48PM, Edited January 8, 3:48PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8405

Yes this is my first short film. I'm putting more money and attention to the overal "look" of the film, instead of camera/audio. I also have no actors. All I have is a decent camera, mic, location, and idea.

January 8, 2017 at 8:51PM

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Seth Demers
Director, Producer, Designer, Editor
15

I've seen plenty projects where the look was the purpose and they generally fall flat. Good story, compelling characters and convincing performances are what make movies interesting. A great director can get good performances out of non-actors but that isn't something I'd expect from a brand new producer/director/writer all in one.
What should you do? Collaborate with a good director, make sure you have a good story and dialogue. You may have to hold your production in another area so you can have access to a reenactment group and hire a couple of actors to fill the lead roles. Don't forget to do your research to avoid losing the respect of your performers and your audience.

January 9, 2017 at 9:25AM

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Thank you for the advice. I already have a story written, but I don't know where to get good actors. Where do you find your actors for your short films?

January 9, 2017 at 6:12PM

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Seth Demers
Director, Producer, Designer, Editor
15

I suggest getting plugged into your local underground production community and see who's good. You'll need a crew any way and that's the best place to start. You may otherwise have to place an ad and hold tryouts. I recommend avoiding stage actors though. Theater is very much about action while TV/cinema is about thought. It's difficult for stage actors to make that transition and I'd rather work with somebody with no training than try to change an experienced stage actor.

January 11, 2017 at 9:09AM

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Yep. On stage you have to make sure the rows in the back can see what is going on. This results in 'larger' acting.

January 11, 2017 at 2:57PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8405

Ok, I'll look into that. I want good actors, but I don't want them to be over the top.

January 11, 2017 at 6:48PM

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Seth Demers
Director, Producer, Designer, Editor
15

I would suggest to make something really short first.
Why?
Because you need that experience to make the best out of your cool and ambitious idea.
Everyone makes mistakes in their first film effort, so it would be better do do that on a project you can shoot in 1 or 2 days max.
For that project you can even ask friends if you can't find actors.
Once made you have something that will make it easier to find actors, because actors like to see you can finish a project.

It will delay your main plan, but you will find the result will be better.
(Making 2 different shorts first might be even better to hone your skills and build your network.)

January 11, 2017 at 2:55PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
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