Let's face it, when you're first starting out, you don't have the kind of money you need to hire somebody like Johnny Depp. You're going to be dealing with unknowns who may or may not be very good. So what you want to do when hiring an actor is look for somebody with two things...looks and personality.
Let's start with looks first.
Like it or not, when people go to watch a movie, they like looking at people who look the part. Notice I didn't say, look good. There are plenty of character actors out there who are less than handsome to say the least. However, they look the part. So, you want to look for people who, right off the bat, look the part. This will actually make up a lot for any lack of acting ability.
Then we have personality.
There are a lot of people out there who really can't act all that great, but they have tons of personality. Maybe it's in the way they smile, or the way they laugh or tell a joke. Maybe they're great with one liners. Maybe they're just naturally great talkers and interesting to listen to even when they're just being themselves.
Ever watch some actors on talk shows? They're not acting and yet they are so interesting to listen to speak. And then there are some who bore you to tears. You want to look for somebody with that personality where you can listen to them talk for hours.
You'll know it as soon as you spot them.
When first starting out, you're not going to have your pick of the best. However, by concentrating on finding somebody who looks the part and somebody who has a great personality, you can make up for a lot of acting flaws.
Not only should the actors be interesting, the whole production should be interesting. You can have a great actor in a boring movie, and it's still a boring movie.
Quentin Tarantino has made some of the most groundbreaking films in history including:
- Inglourious Basterds
- Pulp Fiction
- Reservoir Dogs
- Kill Bill
If you've seen his films, you know that they are truly unlike anything that anybody else makes.
Well, Quentin has just one tip for people and it may very well be the most important and dead on tip I have personally ever heard. In his words.
"Make a kick ass film. Make a Reservoir Dogs." I really had to think about this for a second before I finally got it...and I did get it.
See, there are a lot of very mundane films out there. How many love stories have you seen and how many of them are truly unique and inspirational?
How many movies have you leaving the movie theatre saying, "Damn, that was one hell of a movie" and shaking your head in amazement? Quentin Tarantino's movies do JUST that.
And the point he's trying to make with that one statement is simple. If you make a film that is so kick ass, so different from anything else out there, people can't help but notice.
I'm not saying that the movie has to be a work of great art. I'm saying, or more correctly, Quentin is saying that the movie has to be something that will jolt people in the side...maybe even make them feel a little on edge.