I’m primarily an actor in LA, but recently went behind the camera to make my first short film “Kodar: The Primordial God of Light and Ether”, starring Maddie Ziegler. Ask me anything!

  • BlazeM
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    2 months ago

    Hello Will, thank you for the AMA!

    As a first question, what do you think are the biggest misconceptions people have about the movie industry?

    • nelly32418OP
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      2 months ago

      I think a lot of people would be shocked by the amount of “name” actors who still audition for roles. I’m not yet a “name” but have some friends who might be considered one, and they still have to grind and audition for pretty much any decent script/project that’s put in front of them. Unless you really break into that top one percent of celebrity status, you’re always fighting for the next job. Which is also why a lot of actors have started to make their own content, kind of flipping the power dynamics and giving yourself more control in your career as opposed to waiting for the phone to ring.

      • BlazeM
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        2 months ago

        Thank you!

        The film industry is sometimes considered to have a lot of nepotism, is it correct or not based on your experience?

        • nelly32418OP
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          2 months ago

          I’d say it’s the same amount of nepotism as pretty much any other industry. If you know someone or are related to someone important, you’re afforded more access and opportunity earlier in your career. But even still, if you have that advantage, you still gotta show up and do good work!

  • decerian@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    Hi Will!

    Now that you’ve tried out directing as well as acting, which side of the camera do you prefer?

    Are there any things you’ve learned from the experience of directing that you think will help in future acting roles? Additionally, is there anything you would do differently about directing Kodar if you got to start over from scratch today?

    • nelly32418OP
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      2 months ago

      I don’t think I necessarily prefer one to the other, my ideal world would be directing and acting in the film a la Ben Affleck. I think it’s much harder to get a movie off the ground and make something as opposed to just be a hired gun as an actor, so it’s hard to compare. It’s definitely an adrenaline rush when your’e directing a whole crew and cast and responsible for the whole day as opposed to just your scenes.

      To help future acting roles I’d probably say learning to not take a director’s notes as a sign that you’re necessarily doing something “wrong” and rather they just want a different option in the editing room for flexibility. For instance Peter Farrelly would have you do a line like 20 different ways all in a row, but that wasn’t because I was doing the line bad, he just wants the flexibility to have it different ways in the editing room to match thew tone of whatever the final edit ends up being. So basically as an actor, go easy on yourself.

      If I could do it all over, I would work on the transition between Maddie finding out she has cancer into the cosplay with Kodar. That has been our main note, is that some people don’t buy that this girl who just found out such devastating news would then be so flippant about playing into the cosplay with Kodar. I imagined it that she needed to do it as a way of coping with the bad news, but maybe it doesn’t read clearly. So probably would go back into the script and figure out how to land that smoother.

      • troglodytis@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        I understand that note and really disagree with it. Brains do weird protective shit in those moments, and being able to retreat to a place of comfort… Yeah, that fast escape is real

        • nelly32418OP
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          2 months ago

          Well thank you! That’s where my mind was when I made it, and I think I still believe that to be authentic. It’s just hard when you get the same note a bunch of times you start to think it’s correct

        • thejoker954@lemmy.world
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          2 months ago

          True, but it’s really hard to properly translate the ‘emotional logic’ of it.

          To me It’s kinda like 2d vs 3d - there are tricks you can do to add some of the 3d information to your 2d space, but at the end of the day it’s still ‘flat’.

  • BlazeM
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    2 months ago

    Who do you think are currently the most influential people in the movies industry?

    • nelly32418OP
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      2 months ago

      Filmmakers: Spielberg, Scorsese, Gerwig, Nolan, Cameron, Cohen, Fincher (I also think the Duplass Brothers are always influencing the indie scene, they just produced the first entirely independent full television series that they managed to sell to Netflix for distribution)

      Actors: It’s always changing but my friends and I have a theory that the only actor in the world who isn’t jealous of other actor’s careers or worried about someone else getting the offer is Leo

      • BlazeM
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        2 months ago

        Thank you, interesting list! If you had to name “rising stars” (so people who still have to become mainstream), who would that be?

        • nelly32418OP
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          2 months ago

          For actors I think some of you may already know him but I did a movie with Lewis Pullman and I think he could (or might already be) the next big leading man. For filmmakers, Cooper Raiff (who’s already had a lot of success) in my opinion could be winning Oscars one day.

  • darakan
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    2 months ago

    Hi Will, really liked the short film. How long does something like this take to create? I assume it starts with writing a script and then all the way to when it’s ready for release.

    • nelly32418OP
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      2 months ago

      Yeah so since the script was only ten pages it was written over the course of a day or so. But then revisions for a few weeks after that. Then pre-production, raising money, casting, hiring ur crew, that all takes at least a couple months. Then the shoot was only two days. And then about 6 month in post production editing, and then a few months trying to figure out how to release it! So all in, about a year and change.

  • BlazeM
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    2 months ago

    With Kodar now being released, what are your next projects?

    • nelly32418OP
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      2 months ago

      Acting wise shooting a pilot in Canada, have a couple films coming out in the fall. Writing/directing wise I’ve optioned a script called “Coffin Club” about a group of elderly people who build coffins in preparation for their death as a means of coming to terms with mortality (it sounds depressing but I swear it’s a dramedy). Trying to get financing for that, and also writing my own feature that still needs some time!

    • nelly32418OP
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      2 months ago

      Probably not, we’ve floated the idea of expanding it into a feature, but not sure how that would look yet. Right now just focused on writing and developing other material!

  • BlazeM
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    2 months ago

    What are movies that inspired you to become an actor?

    • nelly32418OP
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      2 months ago

      To be honest, I remember watching Toby Maguire’s Spiderman when I was like 10 years old and then leaving the theater to go play a little league game and I felt like I was on top of the world and was literally a super hero myself lol. And Toby’s Spiderman was such an average Joe of a dude that I felt like being in a movie like that felt more accessible. Since then I’ve had many more “cinefile” type movies that have inspired me (The Duplass Brothers, Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Nolan), but it was probably that Spiderman that set the wheels in motion.

  • XNX@slrpnk.net
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    2 months ago

    I’ve seen behind the scenes videos of movie sets and a lot of them seem to still have a pretty decent covid protection protocol. Was there masks being used behind the scenes on Kodar? Are there any other things people do to prevent staff from getting sick?

    Also how did this AMA on Lemmy come about?

    • BlazeM
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      2 months ago

      Also how did this AMA on Lemmy come about?

      Will posted his latest movie in a few communities, I suggested him to do an AMA

    • nelly32418OP
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      2 months ago

      Most film sets don’t require tests or masks from my experience at the moment, but as recent as a few months ago they did. I shot Greatest Beer Run Ever during the thick of COVID and had to do a mandatory quarantine in Thailand in my hotel room for two weeks before being allowed to work (and then required to test every day and wear masks).

      For Kodar we left it up to the individual, we encouraged to wear masks but didn’t mandate it.