Friday, April 15, 2016

Experiencing the Outlander Press Tour, Steve McCarten explains the Film Industry!

OutlanderHomepage Originals,
Edited by Nancy M Guillory

Identifying talent from the UK!

While attending the Tartan Day Parade, and the festivities associated with it, I stayed at the Algonquin Hotel, where the Caledonian Society held the press conference with Sam Heughan for his appearance as Grand Marshal.
Wow, to be in the lobby and see that whirl wind as he entered the hotel was something...

They whisked him off for an interview and photo shoot, while a lobby mobbed with people, were breathless from the excitement! Is this what all actors dream of? Four years earlier, a little known Sam got the role of a life time as Jamie Fraser, and everything changed for him!

The fan girl in me took over as I wondered out loud what it must be like for him right now, and what he went through in his acting career to get to this point. I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to a charming Film Maker from Ireland, Steve McCarten, Artist, Actor, Film Producer, Director, currently working in England, who remarked on my musings.

Naturally, having an Outlander Blog, this was an opportunity of a life time for me, and he had an opportunity for me as well. He happens to be 'Kickstarting' a funding page to make a "Proof of Concept" reel and eventually have his film "Faithless" made into a movie.

Ever wonder what Sam Heughan went through as an Actor early on? Or Caitriona Balfe coming from Ireland wanting to study acting?
We've heard the stories about both our leading stars, on their characters and how they suffered through auditions before landing their roles in Outlander!

Sam telling the Associated Press recently, that he would take buses from one audition to another in Los Angeles. Cait explaining to ELLE magazine last year, that no one would take her seriously coming from the modeling world, so she moved to LA and took acting classes for years.

Was it because they were from the British film industry trying to make a name in the States? Is it a hard process in the UK? Or just tough to "be" an Actor anywhere? There is obviously more filming done in England than Scotland, so is that why Sam Heughan went there early in his career to do soaps, and commercials?

When Maril Davis told the audience at the NYC Apple Store Panel, she had the idea for Outlander years before the undertaking to make it a show that became what we watch every Saturday, I wondered what the "process" is like to develop a film. Just how did Outlander creator Ron D Moore choose Anna Foerster, the amazing Director of the "Wedding" and "Both Sides Now" for those episodes?

When I see a great production such as Outlander, I watch the show with a critical eye because I am a book reader, and I compare what Diana Gabaldon has written in her books, to how Matt Roberts has written an episode. I'm amazed that both are about the same subject matter, coming from a different end, but to the same point of the story.
Hmm, how'd they do that?

As the questions and answers about the process flowed easily between Steve and I, I wanted to know more about this man explaining the "Industry" to me, as only someone could who has been there and done it!
So here is a little bit about Steve McCarten and his inside account of an Actors struggle to create his art, and what it is like to produce a film...

Steve McCarten is from Belfast Ireland. A career in the entertainment industry was never a question for him. He studied at the Bournemouth University for three years. He has acted in various plays and productions in England, before creating his own production company, Kinetic Film. He has gone through the audition process with Poldark for the BBC, and many more productions as well. He made his Directorial debut for "The Egg" and two movies he has worked on are at The Cannes Film Festival. Most exciting is his film company is creating a feature film "Faithless", that we can all become a part of!

1. What is a day in the life like, when you audition? Must be a tough process, done over and over, out of love for your craft..

Steve McCarten:
Actually most of the work is done in the lead up to the audition. If you’ve been fortunate enough to receive sides for example, then you’ll need to get “off book” and know the performance before you go in the room. The day itself for me personally can be really good. I get a train up to London for example, and then I’ll find the audition room sometimes up at Spotlight Offices, or in the Casting Directors offices. I’ll grab some water, wait to be called, then go in and do my thing and then leave and forget about it. No point dwelling on what could have been. Get in and get out.

2. Take us into that mind set. Have you ever really wanted a role and it just escaped you?

Yeah of course, but I’m not the only one. There’s thousands of Actors all over the planet going up for roles. I once went up for a role and they were seeing twenty guys for that one role and others only six guys, so it can be pretty competitive.

3. Do you believe there is a difference in what Country you come from, from the stand point of learning the trade? Education?
We've heard so many Irish, English and Scots, come over to the U.S. and fool Americans with an American accent. It seems so flawless, tell us, is there a trick to it?

I think the training has a huge part to play. The thing in England, and in Ireland, that backs up that training is a comprehensive national theatre. This is where you get to cut your teeth and put into practice everything you’ve learned at drama school for example.
Although there’s nothing quite like just getting out there and doing it. Don’t get me wrong the U.S. has produced some amazing actors of their own.
As for the accent thing, again, it’s part of the training. And of course like the old story when the violinist asks the tramp, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall", and the tramp responds, practice practice practice! I can’t overstate this element of the craft enough!

4. What is it like to be an Actor in Ireland? I know you live in England now, is that very different from acting in Ireland?

Well I actually came into acting quite late in life, like a lot of great Actors from Ireland, Brendan Gleeson and Liam Neeson to name a couple, both started later in life and they’ve done OK.
I’ve always had the calling and realized one day that if I don’t chase this crazy dream then I never will. As for being an Irish Actor in England it really doesn’t matter. Most of the roles either require native English or American accents anyway, so it’s never a problem.

5. What's it like on set, once you've got the role, ? What's the comparison in the different Countries.

Well I’ve only been hired in England and Ireland but of course I’d love to be cast in the States and think I could add to the profession here. As for comparison, there’s really not a lot to speak of, the process from spotting a job to actually landing the role is pretty much the same wherever you are. There’s nothing quite like being on set though.
When you’re there, and you’ve been through wardrobe, and they’re about to roll the camera, the feeling, it’s really something quite special.

6.  Is it easier, or harder, to be a Director than it is to be an Actor? We always hear Actors become Film Directors. Why is that? To take control of their own careers in the industry?

I’d say being a Director is easier, but only in the sense that I can grab a script, a few Actors, and go shoot something. It might not be any good, or it could sweep the film festivals. It’s unbelievable but it’s how it can happen. Being an Actor is tough and not for the faint of heart. You spend ninety percent of your time looking for work or promoting yourself and only ten percent doing what you actually set out to do in the first place- Act!
I can’t really speak of other Actor/Directors, but for me it was acknowledging that I had a voice and I needed to say something, and it’s been growing from there ever since.

7. What is it like to become a Film Maker? What does that encompass? Is it like what Ron D Moore, and Maril Davis do for Outlander? Why produce your own film?

The transition from actor to Film Maker is a precarious one because it’s quite easy to fall flat on your face. But, I’ve been lucky enough to be associated with some great people in the business, like Suki Singh for example, is a mentor of sorts for “Faithless”, (Steve has also worked with Suki, on "Who Am I", video below) who have helped with that transition. Suki, I am very proud of for his second feature film, an online movie, Olive Green, has received the Excellence Award at The London Book Fair this year!
The whole process of producing a film, whether a short or a feature, is huge, and I’d need another blog post just to explain, but mainly producing is doing all the logistical work that makes a movie. Raising finance, organizing crew, cast, and dealing with legal issues for example. It’s a massive undertaking.
I think we do it because ultimately we need to have creative control over what we produce. If a studio has too much influence it can often dilute the original concept, and that’s not good.

Credit Suki Singh Video

8. You have two films that you were involved with going to The Cannes Film Festival.. So does Caitriona Balfe for Money Monster. Tell us about it and your participation.  We know you are a Film Producer, Actor, Director, Which did you do on those projects?

Yeah, I was lucky enough to work with Tim Clague, and Danny Stack, on their feature film debut "Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg" as both first Assistant Director and as Cast, although you only ever see my legs in that. A little cameo you could say. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be connected as Cast with the great British horror "K-Shop" which has been very well received by the market.

9. What's been your most recent project? Tell us about it. You have a film you’re trying to fund? "Faithless" A Steve McCarten Film. That is exciting, how does funding a project work?

My most recent film was The Egg: Existence starring Jamie Lee-Hill and Sean Pogmore, a short film looking at the meaning of life through the words of Andy Weir, Writer of The Martian starring Matt Damon. It’s already received over 17,000 hits on YouTube and I’m very proud of it considering it was shot on a shoestring budget.

My next project, I’m very excited about. It’s a proof of concept for a feature film, "Faithless". Often you’ll get a great idea for a film but the money men will be a little hesitant and want to see a short version of the film, or a scene from the film, so the Film Executives can see the direction you are taking the production. So with that in mind, I have taken the opening of the film, and will be shooting a very powerful, and dramatic, set of scenes that set the tone for the whole film.

If you like, you could find out more at my "Kickstarter" page, (Below) where you could help contribute to get the film made, and be a part of history yourselves. For the Donations made, we will list the Contributers in the "Faithless" Movie Credits! 
10. And the top question every Outlander fan wants to know is..... Do you plan on or want to audition for a role, any role on Outlander? And what would that be like for you?

Oh good yes. I would love to be in Outlander, let’s be honest, it’s a great show. Excellent writing, set design, directing and of course the main cast, two superb actors. Essentially, I think any actor who recognizes a good show deep down wants to be a part of it.  Why wouldn’t you? If any auditions come up I’ll be there for sure, knocking on the door.

Below is a video short of Duncan Lacroix (Murtagh of Outlander) and Steve McCarten, starring in "A Terrible Beauty". A dramatic telling of the 1916 uprising of Dublin! Very Powerful stuff.

Easter Rebellion 1916 from Tile Films Ltd on Vimeo.

About Steve's Funding Project:

Steve on Facebook and Twitter for Faithless fund kickstarter

Steve McCarten Profile from:

Steve studied drama at Bournemouth University and on stage with Dramatic Productions at Lighthouse Theatre Poole.

It was during the early part of 2009 that Dramatic Productions was formed by director, Sasha Paul, and he quickly became one of the resident players. His time with DP enabled him to play a range of characters including Geoffrey from Alan Ayckbourn's 'Absurd Person Singular' and Mitch from the superb Tennessee Williams play 'A Streetcar Named Desire' alongside the wonderful Nicole Faraday and Emma Quinn.

These productions relied heavily on dramatic performance, comedy timing and hard work. Garnering praise for his role as Mitch in particular, Steve has turned his attention to more character driven roles and productions. In the last few years Steve has channeled his energy into Film and TV, having worked with Bradley Walsh on ITV's 'The Odd One In' and 'James Corden's World Cup Football', he's no stranger to TV.

The last few years have seen Steve take on more demanding and mature roles, he is especially looking forward to reprising his role as Harry Devore from the British thriller 'Glass Eyes'.

Alongside Steve's energetic acting career, he has also been working closely with a number of industry professionals and now is in command of his very own Production Company 'Kinetic Film'. Although started off specializing in corporate film, the company and Steve are looking forward to the future and the development of theatrical film and TV series.

Steve's latest achievements include the role of Cpl. Bullock in Tile Films beautiful depiction of the uprising in Dublin 1916 'A Terrible Beauty'. Having an amazing Festival circuit and was broadcast on Bloomberg, History channel, and Irish channel TG4 and BBC2 in England.

The many characters of Steve McCarten 

Liz Mercado Associates Procurement and client 

No comments:

Post a Comment