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A panel discussion at William Byrd gave students access to actors and producers.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Students eying careers in filmmaking got some sage, and practical, advice Friday.
For instance, how to behave on set.
“Be incredibly polite and humble,” said Greg Robbins, a producer, director and screenwriter.
What type of attitude to have after a less than stellar audition:
“When you leave an audition go: ‘What did I learn from this?’ Don’t beat yourself up,” said actress Sandra Van Natta, who has appeared in “The Notebook” and has a role in the upcoming Hallmark movie “The Shunning.”
And what is the best place to start a film career?
“Be a big fish in little pond,” said actress Nancy Stafford, who has appeared in “Matlock,” advising students to start in a small market, get training and build a resume before heading to New York City or Los Angeles.
The Hollywood wisdom came from a panel discussion Friday at William Byrd High School with guests who are appearing at Saturday’s Roanoke County Arts and Entertainment Conference.
The hourlong discussion held in the school’s auditorium gave students an opportunity to learn about careers in filmmaking and how to make that dream a reality.
Panel members encouraged students to learn what they are good at and pursue it. They also explained with the Internet and YouTube there are more opportunities for young artists to get their work out there and noticed.
“You have so many means of getting your work seen,” Van Natta told students.
But Stafford cautioned students not to focus on just putting lots of content online. Instead, she said, focus on quality. She said studios today have staffers whose job it is to scour the Internet for the next big thing.
Said actor, writer and stand-up comedian Torry Martin: “That’s what will make something go viral, the quality.”
William Byrd senior David Robey, 17, said the speakers made good points.
He said he likes to write screenplays based on politics and what’s happening in the world. He’s done some acting but said his passion is writing.
“You think ‘no one does what I do,’ ” he said. “They do.”
Robey said talking to the panel Friday gave him a bit of confidence and it was important to him to get advice from people in filmmaking.
“That’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s priceless.”
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