When talking pictures were first introduced, not everyone was convinced that they would be a hit. Many people thought they would be a simple fad that would soon be over. Those that didn’t adapt to the changing landscape where never heard from again.
What we’re talking about today is just as big of an innovation.
This is something that tends to get lost on us actors, and you might be wondering what tech innovations have to do with your acting career.
Stick with me for a moment…
Think of it this way, when the industry moved to talking pictures, actors were judged by an entirely different set of criteria. Before “talkies” came about it didn’t matter if you had a pleasant voice or a heavy accent. It was irrelevant until talking pictures became the dominant media.
Those that saw the move coming were able to prepare for it, and seized the opportunity. Those that didn’t, were quickly forgotten.
Think of how quickly the industry adopted CGI. It went from 2D movies with an explosion scene, to full 3D pictures with entire worlds created in CGI. This happened seemingly overnight and it shows no signs of slowing down whatsoever.
What does this mean for you as an actor?
For starters, production is different. It no longer takes place on a faraway island where the surroundings are enough to get you into character. It takes place in a soundstage, under artificial light, while you’re covered head to toe in sensors and wearing a helmet cam to capture your facial expressions. More than ever, your acting skills have to be top notch.
Even more important than that, is how technology is reshaping the casting process. Long gone are the days of talent being discovered at a community theatre production or a cattle call. Today, the actors that are getting attention from Hollywood, are the actors that have the attention of an online community.
It happened in the music business and it’s happening in our business.
The man driving this change is none other than Lyor Cohen, commonly referred to as the most powerful man in the music business.
Lyor Cohen spent decades at the helm of the biggest labels around. Feeling like the industry was too slow to evolve and adapt to the streaming services revenue model, as album sales sharply declined, he started his own label: 300 Entertainment.
He spent 2 years in the heart of Silicon Valley, learning about the coming technology and working to understand how tech could help evolve the music industry.
One of the chief problems that he used technology to solve, was sourcing and launching new talent.
I’ll get to how this all ties into Hollywood and your career in just a sec.
See, what Lyor did was automate that process. The old school way of sending out talent scouts to find new acts, bring them in to record a few demo tracks, market test the demo tracks, and then explore signing them to a full recording contract, was long and cumbersome.
This process could take months. Today, that entire process takes days. What Lyor Cohen did was create a system that scours the web, picks up on emerging artists that are generating attention and puts them on a “watch list.”
If the artist continues to generate positive attention, the system then recommends that artist to the executives, who can act quickly to sign the artist and launch them much faster than ever before.
This is where it starts to affect your career. See, Lyor’s company 300 Entertainment was actually a joint venture with Google.
Something you should know about Google is that they, self admittedly, only focus on “moonshots.” This means that they will only tackle problems that can grow the company 10X instead of a measly 10%.
You know that YouTube super channel that has the best music, VEVO? It is actually a joint venture owned by Universal, Sony, and yep Google!
This is important because YouTube, a Google company, has long since been positioning itself as the next major studio. It is now bank rolling content creation, and has built production studios around the world, to produce its own shows.
For about ten bucks, you can already catch some of them on YouTube Red.
YouTube is about to make the leap and declare itself a studio. The move isn’t surprising. Other tech companies have done the same thing with much success. Netflix now has a production arm, so do Hulu, and Amazon amongst many others.
Even Gary Vaynerchuck has stated time and time again that soon the major networks will no longer be ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX. They will be social media and tech companies, turned into studios.
The cards are falling exactly into place. Facebook live is a mere precursor to streaming content. Why turn on the TV and channel surf, when your favorite shows are waiting for you on your timeline?
The investments that Facebook is making into virtual reality are not in vain. The company is positioning itself for a time when the television is no longer the way we consume entertainment.
Facebook is already in the entertainment business, and shifting into producing content rather than just giving you the ability to share it, is the next step in their business.
The fact that the industry is shifting into being controlled by tech companies means several things.
Namely, what tech companies focus on, is taking humans out of the equation, replacing them with algorithms and machines.
You already see it happening with drone technology in production. It used to take a team of 3-4 people to operate a camera dolly. Now all it takes is 1 dude, a drone, and an iPhone to accomplish the same thing.
This kind of monumental shift is happening where it matters to you most of all: The Casting Office.
See the man behind this movement, Lyor Cohen, announced that he has partnered with the leading social media platforms to “identify emerging artists and develop their careers.” He went on to say “If you want to get signed, you have to engage with Social Media, and of course YouTube…this is what allows artists to be discovered and be more successful.”
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this will be isolated to music business. It has already bled over into our business, you might just not have noticed it yet.
When the head of the newest major studio in town tells you the secret to being noticed by them, you should take note of it.
What has happened is that industry has basically declared that social media is the way in. The reason is simple. If you control social media, you control attention. If you control attention, you control a revenue stream for the studio. Remember, this is show business. At the end of the day it’s about revenue for the studios.
So let me ask you a simple but bold question, grasshopper…
What did you do today to grow your social media presence and build your credibility in the industry?
If you did anything at all, was it a moonshot or a safe play?
The studios are no longer letting talent come to them by mere chance. They are actively going out and searching for it. They’re just doing it with computers these days.
This means that you don’t have a CD to impress anymore. You first have to impress the computer before you can even get to the Casting Director.
How do you do that?
Simple! I’ve actually been telling you about it for quite some time now. Build your social media following and boost your IMDb STARmeter, the industry’s measure of your credibility. Go here for all of the details on that.
Do this and your chances of success skyrocket.
Industry executives are telling you that this is the way in. So start heading in that direction.
Or don’t and just keep doing what you’re doing and getting the same results that you’ve been getting so far.
…understand however that it might just be your last chance for a very long time.
Because of how much work goes into building your social media following and boosting your IMDb STARmeter, I have to ensure that our team can handle the workload of bringing on new members.
We are just about at 100% capacity.
So, if you go here and the details are gone, that means we have officially closed the program. It’s a pretty lengthy process to expand our capacity, so when that happens I cannot be sure if or when it would reopen.
Do yourself a favor and go check it out now while it’s fresh on your mind.
If you decide that it’s not right for you and you want to go it alone, no biggie. I’ll still be around with more insider info and career igniting strategies.
However, you don’t know what you don’t know. So go and get the details while you still can or risk missing out.