Celebrities 1

Posted: July 21, 2012 in Film Journey, Video Production
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About celebrity actors – you may be surprised, but sometimes you can get a name celebrity actor to become involved in your project simply by asking. The hard part, of course, is finding the right person to ask. This is usually an assistant or publicist or a manager. Dig through website after website – even social media sites – you may uncover the right person, along with an address or telephone number. And then the celebrity needs to be available at the right place and at the right time. But if you are doing a film or a documentary about a certain topic, and it happens to be a topic that is one of passion for a particular celebrity, you may be in luck. A lot of times these celebrities will help because they want to get the word out about this particular subject anyway they can.
One time I got a well-known soap opera actress to be on a program I was doing on epilepsy. Since she was parenting a child who struggled with epilepsy, she had become the spokesperson for a foundation. She volunteered to help me – did not charge me anything – and the next thing I knew I was in her living room in Hollywood, setting up cameras and equipment for the interview. It was fantastic. (Now this interview was not a zero dollar endeavor – I had to pay for my airfare, hotel, etc. – but it was low-cost, considering that was the extent of what I had to pay, and I was able to have a celebrity presence in the program.)
Tip: Find ways to make things easy on the celebrities. I found a workable solution when I was producing a national talk show. I would track down celebrities who were on book tours. I would let them know that I could set up to record the interview in the same hotel where they were staying. All they had to do was travel the elevator to my hotel “TV studio” to sit down with me for twenty minutes. This was very easy for them, and allowed me to gather some great interviews; including the time I found myself (the producer), the camera operator, and the host sitting with a former President of the United States.
Tip: I built a program around the book topic that this President had written, so he was able to promote his book, I got a great interview, and all he had to do was step out of his hotel room into mine. And he did this at no charge! So keep an eye on new books being released. They are usually supported with a book tour, and if you can get to the publicist early enough, you might get on the list of accepted media outlets. I comb the issues of Publisher’s Weekly. This magazine lists all the new books coming out months in advance – just what we need to know to get to the publishing company before the tour starts.
Another treasure chest of interview potentials are organizations and foundations that support your particular topic. Check for these websites, and see if they have spokespersons. These people are regularly of a celebrity nature, and it is their responsibility to talk to the media about the work of the foundation. An afternoon of research can go a long way.
Of course, some folks will only talk to the major networks and shows, so be prepared for a good handful of “no’s.” I’ve gotten “no’s” from many people. In fact, I even keep a folder of the “no” emails and letters I’ve received. It makes it (kinda) fun, and just getting a response at least tells me I was on the right track. Remember, you can’t get a “yes” unless you ask.

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