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Tommy

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    11
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About Tommy

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    Member

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  • Website URL
    http://www.txactor.com
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Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Actor
  • Favorite movies
    Tender Mercies, The Searchers, The Great Escape, To Kill A Mockingbird, Dancer, TX Pop. 81, October Sky
  • Favorite music
    Bill Joe Shaver, Rodney Crowell
  1. I'm doing copyright research prior to using some old hymns in a film project. I'll be using new recordings of any hymns selected from the public domain so I'm not concerned with licensing a performer's work. Any other sites I should search for copyright info on hymns? Sites I've searched so far: http://www.ccli.com/UnitedStates.cfm http://www.pdinfo.com/list/hymn.htm http://www.worship-him.com/public.htm http://www.musicease.com/vhymnal.html http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/
  2. Peter Sellers as Hrundi V. Bakshi in THE PARTY. Written/Directed by Blake Edwards. Still makes me laugh since I first saw it in the theater in 1968. A riff on the Clouseau character...this time an Indian film actor, but lots of funny scenes. Tommy
  3. In scrolling through this section I notice that a number of members have had or are having experiences with loved ones who have or have had cancer. I am also among that group. A little background: In November, 2003, my wife Jane (married now 33 years...high school sweethearts) was diagnosed with IBC : Inflammatory Breast Cancer. The end of 2003 and all of 2004 are mostly a blur of chemo treatments, mastectomy, recovery from surgery and then radiation. Waiting for results of tests, etc., etc. Through it all we had literally thousands of good people across the country praying regularly for my sweet wife. Thank God...and I mean that literally....thank God, at the end of a year neither of us would wish on anyone, she was declared cancer free. She's now been cancer free for one year. At the outset we weren't given much hope that she'd survive the chemo, much less be around a year after treatment ended. (IBC is a nasty buggar that often goes undetected or untreated until it is far too late for effective treatment. As in Jane's case it appeared that she had a skin rash on her breast. Tumors are not always present and therefore not detected by mammograms. If you or someone you know has complained of a skin rash or "allegic reaction" on the breast...get it checked out IMMEDIATELY, even if a recent mammogram was clean ) A couple of months ago, Jane started on a regular infusion of a drug called Herceptin. This is not a chemo drug but is no walk in the park either. Like many of the drugs involved in cancer treatment, there are side effects. Those of you who have been through this understand. Since taking this drug she has, to some extent, gone backward...at least in the day to day "how do you fee" kind of thing. But the drug has had good success in extending the time between occurrances of cancer, so the risks and side effects are, we pray, worthwhile. So, even though she is cancer free at this time, she/we are not free of the effects and the aftermath of cancer. IBC is a particularly nasty form of breast cancer and has a disgustingly high statistical chance of returning. Through all this cancer business, Jane has shown tremendous faith, courage and strength...more than I could ever have mustered, that's for sure. Jane has been feeling particularly 'down' the past few weeks. Cracked ribs(radiation is a bitch), fatigue, headaches, etc. get old when they're a daily routine. So...cancer free, but not free of cancer. I think that phrase goes for the patient as well as for co-survivors, loved ones, etc. I will ask that those of you inclined to do so put Jane and our family (son, Austin, too) on your prayer list and on that of your church. Well...I guess this turned out to be more than a little backround, but I do tend to "go on". Thanks in advance for the prayers. They will be much appreciated. Tommy www.stillacting.blogspot.com
  4. Tommy

    actor's rant room...

    That's odd. I've said the same thing. Just different punctuation. Tommy
  5. I'm not a working screenwriter...but I know a few. So I'll give this long dead thread a shot. It's often impossible to know whether to blame the screenwriter...and if so, WHICH screenwriter. In a Hollywood film, even for a film where only one screenwriter is credited, it is more usual than not that a number of writers have had a hand in the shooting script. And that doesn't count changes that are made on the fly during production. One writer may do a dialog polish, one may be brought in to 'punch up' the female character(s), the big name star may want 'his guy' to take a pass at the script. In the end, after going through WGA arbitration, let's say the WGA decides that the original writer gets sole credit. Even though he/she may believe his/her script has been savaged by the other 2,3,4... writers who were in and out of the project. Hopefully the production bonus and sole writing credit bonus are enough to compensate for the 'hurt feelings' of the original writer. Making films is such a collaborative endeavor that, if the final product sucks, it just sucks and everybody involved shoulders some of the responsibility. Fairly or not. At least that's whay I've observed. YMMV. Tommy G. Kendrick www.stillacting.blogspot.com
  6. Tommy

    actor's rant room...

    Tommy btw, found us through my blog!! Which makes him my bitch I think. Just kidding, glad you're here Tommy! Dan, I'm an actor...I'm always somebody's bitch. Might as well be yours. Most films are about the "project" and not about the "Story". People think when you've got the kernel of an idea, some actors willing to help, some money and a free day, you've got a movie to make! Very true. It's important to make the distinction between writing a script and making a film. A film project can be about anything and everything but story. The writing and/or writer may be irrelevant. As for the writer, part of the distinction between script - film - project probably depends on whether you're a writer for hire or whether you're writing a spec script. If you've been hired by Tom Cruise's company to adapt a book/play/anecdote into a film script for him to star in...that's definitely about the project. If you're writing a spec script from your own idea (as opposed to an idea you've stolen ), then you may have any number of actors in mind (or none) for your protagonist and/or antagonist as you write. I'd say that in a spec, particularly for an unknown writer, story is more important than 'project', at least until after the script is finished. What will attract other 'elements' that take the script from spec script to potential 'project' is very much related to story and character. Starting first with the script reader for the company, agency, or ??? to which the script has been submitted. They tend to be other writers and writers tend to be attracted to story and character. If they write 'coverage' to your script that says you have no sense of story and write cliched, cardboard characters, you're not likely to get very far with that prodco/agent/whatever. (Does not apply to Christian films...kidding...sort of) The degree to which story and/or character attracts viable elements to a 'project' varies at least to some extent, by position (job title): The director may be attracted to the story/theme/concept/genre/character/paycheck (not in order of preference). The actor who can get the film made is probably more attracted, at least initially, to Character. This is particularly true for 'name' actors in independent films. ALMOST anytime a viable star appears in a film whose budget does not allow for them to make their normal $$$$$$$, it's because they were attracted to the CHARACTER, the role. Sometimes, to the director who has already pulled the rabbit out of the hat at least once. (This does not include name actors on the downside of their careers who have many reasons for working which have nothing to do with script/character, etc.) Having said that, many actors who can get at least help get a film made (very few can actually GET a film made) are just as attracted to a PROJECT by the other ELEMENTS already attached : the director, another actor, even location. It's not new to say it, but writing is REwriting. And nobody's doing it. Again, true....writing/rewriting. What's often difficult if not impossible to determine, at least in film, is where the writer got left behind and the project (committee: 2nd/3rd/4th writer ->director -> producer -> producer's girlfriend -> star -> star's wife -> star's girlfriend, star's boyfriend (different day), etc. ect.) took over. So sometimes a good script goes bad in production. And sometimes a bad script just gets worse. Once in a while a good script gets made into a good film. Oh Happy Day! And the chances of a bad script becomming a good film...well, It's not new to say it, but "If it ain't on the page, it aint on the stage". And..to try to circle back to the start...one way to get to be a writer for hire is to write a few terrific spec scripts that many people agree show that the writer has a sense of story and character. Of course it helps if one of YOUR scripts actually gets made into a film. ←
  7. Tommy

    actor's rant room...

    Thanks for the nice comment. I lived in Dallas from '73 - '79. Was at DTC for 3 years then freelanced doing mostly commercials and industrials prior to moving out to L.A. What a great time in my life that was!! I was able to 'cut my teeth' as a professional actor in Dallas and still have wonderful friends there. In fact I've been in Dallas a couple of times in the past week. Still trying to recover from the travel as I was just in Dallas and Shreveport, LA auditioning for some film and TV work. I hope I run into you as well. For one thing that will probably mean we are both on a film set somewhere. Take care and keep in touch. I've just started a blog (who hasn't?) that I hope to use to deal with my perspective on the acting biz. www.stillacting.blogspot.com
  8. Tommy

    actor's rant room...

    I know a lot of people who've taken the McKee seminars. And they are often enthusiastic about the experience. The 'funny' thing about ALL the screenwriting gurus is (at least to me): Name one GREAT, or even highly regarded script one of them has written... maybe there is one, but I don't recall it off hand. That's not to say one can't teach better than one can execute ... lots of examples of that. It's just that if I were paying a lot of money to someone who was going to tell me 'how to do it' I'd feel a lot better about it if they could point me to their completed work. Again, that's not to say that Field, McKee, etc. don't have valuable insights to offer. I think, like most creative endeavors, if the talent is there, it's trying and failing and trying again that will finally get the best results. Without the talent to tell an engaging story (at least for traditional narrative filmmaking), it doesn't matter which page your enciting incident happens on or where your second and third acts starts...it's not going to 'work'. I guess I'd better shut up. I'm starting to sound like I know what I'm talking about...and, not being a writer, I don't. Tommy www.stillacting.blogspot.com I agree. There a even a few software programs that guarantee to make a writer out of anyone who follows the step-by-step process built into the program. What? Also, I think Syd Field oversimplifies things. He has that "anyone can write a good screenplay if you just do these few things" attitude. Robert McKee does a much better job of shooting straight with would-be screenwriters: he basically states in Story that hardly anyone can (or does) write a good screenplay--and even if you do, trying to get it made into a movie is infinitely harder. ←
  9. Tommy

    actor's rant room...

    Sometimes, the Syd Field books and the like are part of the problem. They tend to make the same people (the same ones who think formatting software will solve their story problems) think there is a 'formula'. Plug into the formula and hello screenplay. My main gripe with the low, low budget things is... the writer/director (often the same person) doesn't really have a coherent STORY to tell. Therefore, even if they start shooting, they usually get lost along the way. And the film never gets finished (in most cases this is a good thing). But in the meantime, they've wasted a lot of resources and probably the time of a lot of actors and wanna be actors who are just trying to gain some real world film experience. I must see 50 casting calls a month for "shooting on DV" "no pay...but a copy of the film will be provided" ... Yeah. Thanks but no thanks. I guess it was my turn to rant. Tommy www.stillacting.blogspot.com
  10. Hey, there SDJ got a couple of decent reviews in Houston. Opens here in Austin this weekend. Even with all the good festival reviews/awards, it's taken two years to get the theatrical release. Based on the Christopher Cook short stories, shot on HD. Film looks and sounds great. And yes...I have a small role as Bro. Wiley. Check it out. LInk to a short scene of mine from: http://www.txactor.com Tommy
  11. Tommy

    actor's rant room...

    Neb, Just found this site....sorry to see you didn't get any replies to your post. I feel your pain! Part of the 'problem' is that with the advent of word processors and then screenwriting software EVERYONE became a 'writer'. Now with the affordability of digital video cameras, the same appears to be true for 'filmmakers'. Unfortunately these technological developments result in a LOT of lousy writing and filmmaking attempts. They also make possible that some untapped talent will get the chance to develop into a decent writer and/or filmmaker. In the meantime...it's tough having to pick through the sludge. Hope you are doing well. Tommy My Webpage
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