We've Got Hollywood Covered

From Big Screen to iPad, Filmmakers Must Adapt

Good work is the object we are after, and good work will find its way to a screen or stage that best suits the work

Last week, my husband giggled with electric delight as he installed a 46-inch flat screen TV and sound system equipped with a sub-woofer. He declared that our family room was now our home theater and went straight to the computer to start ordering up the Netflix.

I am thinking to myself, ‘Who cares? I don’t actually want a home theater. I want to go to the movies, the theater, the Wiltern … Why don’t we build a proscenium stage in the living room and have the children put on plays?

Well, the point is, storytelling has moved from the family hearth to the page to the “screen,” and that screen takes every rectangular shape and size possible. I should know — I just created an iPhone app for actors. 

Storytelling and watching can take place anywhere and everywhere. So actors take note: Any screen is a good screen and filmmakers must adapt their methods to stay relevant and stay in the biz. We need to create content for all of these venues, from Broadway to Blu-ray screens to iScreens.

I want actors to be at the forefront of all this and embrace the idea that good work is the object they are after, and good work will find its way to a screen or stage that best suits the work itself.

Case in point: Last year I cast the film "Rage" by the fabulously talented film auteur Sally Potter. "Rage" stars Jude Law, Judi Dench, Dianne Weist, Eddie Izzard, Steve Buscemi, John Leguizamo, Bob Balaban and many other talented actors. The film was in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, one of the most important international festivals. 

But the film didn’t sell to the traditional distributor. This film ended up getting sold to BabelGum, an internet portal, and "Rage" premiered on mobile phones. Yes, mobile phones for a film created by an amazing filmmaker and featuring Academy Award-winning actors.

Of course, everyone will now be watching how the interactive experience will unfold on the iPad. The future is here. May the best stories with the best talent unfold on multiple screens and stages, big and small.

Heidi Levitt is a casting director whose credits include "Natural Born Killers," "The Joy Luck Club" and "Lakeview Terrace." At the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, she cast Mark Ruffalo’s directing debut, "Sympathy for Delicious" and Rodrigo Garcia’s "Mother and Child." She is the developer of an iPhone App called Actor Genie.

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