SUPPORTING YOUNG FILM ACTORS WITH THE REEL SCENE
Alex Fidelski on talent, tool kits and the importance of short film as a showcase
As an aspiring actor, I studied and soon realised that there was no clear route to the industry, and certainly no explanation about how to make it. So, after lots of independent courses and a time in drama school, I realised that loads of people needed help to get acting placements. I decided to teach actors how to gain a foothold in the industry and working with an American enterprise, I soon learned that actors needed to build their brand and raise awareness of who they were and what they could do that was unique.
Acting is a profession and we need to generate business, like any other enterprise – and so The Reel Scene was born. We don’t just provide acting training, we also give people the opportunities and show them how to create the tools they need to promote themselves effectively – the headshots, the showreel, the network building techniques. To actually go out and pursue acting and understand that it’s a business is essential. We don’t have teachers at The Reel Scene, we have actors, we have agents come in, we have producers, directors that run classes and workshops.
Getting back to our link to the Earl’s Court International Film Festival and Film Earl’s Court, the filming aspect, as well as the business aspect, is really important. Leading filmmakers work with us and help students create on screen showreels. Acting students also get a chance to work behind the scenes – if they’re interested in editing, they can learn. It’s important that they understand and respect the production process. It’s not all about you, it’s about your team. It’s collaborative – they start to realize they are a cog in a big wheel.
So, at the end of each course we shoot a film, so not only do they have headshots that they can show, but they also have a film that will bring them to market. The Reel Scene has made eight films in total. And that’s where we met the Earl’s Court team. Film Festival winner, Henry Scriven, is one of our mentors. I explained what we do, Caroline explained what she does, and there is that sense of community of support. We are now collaborating with Film Earl’s Court on the next Reel Scene student film – Film Earl’s Court is helping with that and hopefully we will be screened at the festival in 2022! Before that, a short film that we shot with Frank Harper and Steve North called Sisterhood is going to be screened at this year’s festival.
If you would like to learn more about The Reel Scene, go to www.reelscene.co.uk