Student films

Hi

Has anyone been let down by students at the London Film School?

I was recently contacted by one of their students who wanted me in his film - no auditions - and I accepted. He sent me a script and we spoke once on the phone. Since then I've not been able to get in touch with him, even though I've sent a couple of emails.

Is it worth getting in touch with the school in order to suggest they teach their students general manners, especially when they more often than not, want actors to work for no pay?

Thanks for your input!


  • 12 years ago
  • 10,184
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I would definitely write to the London Film School with as many details as you can give them. I have been involved with one project for the school which went very well. The London Film School is a valuable institution and I feel sure that it will take action to put your mind at rest and to maintain its reputation.


  • 12 years ago
  • 1
Albert Clack
Actor

I get irritated when I turn up to a student film audition in London - which costs me about £15 in fares from Hertfordshire and, on average, takes me away from home for about four hours - and they then have the cheek to ask if I would be available for a recall a few days later.

Needless to say (and it happened again last week), when I tell them that I do NOT do recalls unless they pay my travel expenses, they look as if I'm being totally unreasonable - and obviously I don't get recalled. It seems £15 would bankrupt a group of students, but an actor is expected to just put his hand into his pocket for them.

Somebody on the staff of the film schools ought to tell these twerps that, in the real industry, you get PAID for a recall, never mind expenses.

In future I'll be asking if they intend to do recalls before I go to audition, and if they do, tell them to forget it, and why.


  • 12 years ago
  • 2
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Too true Albert. It's the recalls that annoy most actors giving their time and at cost to themselves. But seeing as positive responses to the question 'Does this film conform to the National Minimum Wage minium' is still not met with an overenthusiastic and positive response, I can't imagine student producers ever agreeing to pay for recalls!


  • 12 years ago
  • 3
Albert Clack
Actor

I don't mind doing a student shoot for travel expenses only, so long as NOBODY else involved is getting paid, because I feel it's helping them to graduate. It's just that assumption that you don't mind paying to go to TWO auditions that gives me the 'ump!


  • 12 years ago
  • 4
Keith Hill
Actor

Definitely make contact. I had understood LFS were very keen on their students being efficient, and this chap sounds as if he's got things seriously out of hand. If he gets help getting himself straight now, you're doing him and everybody else a favour.


  • 12 years ago
  • 5
Leila Reid
Actor

That is strange, I know quiet a few London Film School students and I know that there are taught how to take care of there actors. I would say it might be worth googling the students name followed by 'London Film School' or have you tried searching on facebook for them.

When I have shot with them previously they have been very active until about a week before the shoot. At that point I know that they only check there emails every couple of days. I would say give it another couple of days then contact the school and ask if you could pass on a message to him for you.

Hope that helps.


  • 12 years ago
  • 6
Brian Shaw
Actor

Hi, I am in the same situation where I have recently been booked to do a student film with the SAE institute. They booked me out for a weekend then cancelled at the last minute and moved it to this weekend. They are now ignoring ny emails for this weekend. So far I have had to turn down almost £400 of paid work to keep these weekends free. That is stupid I know, but I have always been told as a professional actor that once you have commited to someone you can not let them down or you will get a reputation, so I turned down any incoming work as I was already commited. They were going to pay expenses. Do you think I can invoice the institute for the money I have lost. After all this and I wont even get my showreel footage. It's not fair.


  • 12 years ago
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Farah Sardar
Actor

Always good to take a mobile number once you've made a commitment. Better for communication.


  • 12 years ago
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Brian Shaw
Actor

You are quite right and it's a learning curve. I will make sure I get a mobile number in future. I hadn't thought of it originally as the communication was ok via emails. But good advice in future. Thanks.


  • 12 years ago
  • 9
Forbes KB
Actor

I know this is going to sound really arrogant, but unless it's a paid gig I have a policy of not auditioning! I also have a policy of not giving any free gig more than 2 days of my time!

This is whole point of investing in a showreel and building up a CV! If, as a student group, you can't cast based on these two promotional tools then look somewhere else.

Diva moment over!

x


  • 12 years ago
  • 10
Brian Shaw
Actor

I was doing it for showreel footage so not entirely free I suppose. Is that wrong?


  • 12 years ago
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User Deleted
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If you receive good quality footage that works for a showreel then I wouldn't say it was 'wrong'. A lot of people do have strong opinions about the whole thing but if you managed to get something out of it then be happy that you did :) But then always be aware that it's not necessarily the easiest way to do it and people have paid the price when things go wrong.


  • 12 years ago
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Rob Talbot
Actor

I'm with Forbes on the "not auditioning" bit these days and yes, the most I want is 30 sec so no point investing 5 days. If they want to meet me, my only concession is an informal chat at a time convenient to me - which tends to mean I'm already "in town" that day.

A 1 day shoot on a day I've not got a paid gig costs me nothing and I don't have to buy lunch that day. It's a "shot to nothing". Sometimes it yeilds good footage. Sometimes I meet good contacts. Always I have fun.


  • 12 years ago
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Farah Sardar
Actor

When it started to make me feel angry giving my time up for non-paid or NMW work, I realised it was time to stop.

In the beginning it was ok.


  • 12 years ago
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Albert Clack
Actor

Hi Fuzz. I think it depends on the attitude of the students. When they're auditioning you, you should also be auditioning them. Picking up vibes. If they seem arrogant or sly, walk quietly away. If they seem genuine, go with the flow. Albert.


  • 12 years ago
  • 15

I had a very bad experience with the london met school recently and will not do anything to do with student films,
But the london film school is an exception as they treat their Actors very well so i'd deffo report this student to the head tutor head tutor.
I dont think student films will provide quility footage for a showreel.
Their are Showreel companys who will film for a reasonable price.


  • 12 years ago
  • 16

I had a similar experience at Bournemouth University.A student asked me to do some work on a final year project, spoke on the phone, emails etc. A date and time was agreed and I turned up as requested, only to be told they had changed the casting... but had not informed me! I complained to the university and sent an invoice for my travel and time wasted. The university made the student pay my invoice.


  • 12 years ago
  • 17
Dan Gregory
Actor

Received a breakdown today. They are still not paying!!


  • 11 years ago
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  • 11 years ago
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Karen Allen
Actor

Hi all. Just wanted to add a more positive point- I just finished a student film for Northern Film School students in Leeds. Long story short, at 10pm after we rapped for the night one of the other actors drove off with all my wordly belongings in the boot of her car. I was completely stuck as I live an hours' train ride away. The young producer gave me enough money to get home and back again the following day and got me taxis to and from the train station. It was expenses only but all costs were reimbursed the following day and they couldn't have been nicer or more supportive. Not all students/ young people are bad! I totally understand your point of view though but they are still learning and I think you have to give them the chance to redeem themselves. If they prove themselves to be unreliable, find out the name of their tutor and complain, but give them a bit of time to sort themselves out.
I totally get why people don't want to work for free, and that is our choice too. But for folks like me, this gives me the opportunity to get some on-set experience and it doesn't cost me money like joining those dodgy 'agencies' where they charge you loads of cash to get experience :D I hope you get it sorted out. Cheers Kaz


  • 11 years ago
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