Baby Hope script acquired!

I am pleased to announce that I have recently acquired the rights to the short script Baby Hope, written by Bruno Gomes. Initially attached to play the young upcoming father in the movie by Mr. Gomes all the way from Portugal, I opted to produce the film as well, here in Toronto. After brief negotiations, allow me to inform you that a Producer/Writer Agreement has been signed and post-production has already began at fast pace. We are already looking to attach a director this week (small hint: I have worked with her in the past, in a short film called Stray Dogs, which premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival this year).

Baby Hope will tell the story of Noelia and Armando, two upcoming young parents who passionately embrace their new roles. Despite their endless affection for the baby, they learn that the future has a not-so-welcoming surprise in store for them. The film intends to remind its audience that despite our numerous efforts in life, our destiny is written long before we even think about it and our hands are tied when attempting to change it.

I am very excited to be part of Baby Hope and to tell this story through the eyes of young father Armando. I think it’s a great opportunity for me to mature as an actor and it’s also a little bit personal. The role of Noelia will be played by the pretty Toronto actress Maiu Seguin with him I already met. She’s definitely Noelia and I can’t wait to see her in front of the camera. This will be my very first short film that I will produce entirely on my own, and the thought alone gets me hyper!

Now it’s time to prepare the upcoming meetings! Cheers!

Alberto Tihan

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Alberto’s Newsletter coming soon!

I have to be admit one thing when it comes to acting: it takes forever. Not only to get rich and famous, but also to shoot the next film. Auditions are slow these days (blame it on the season, not my headshots) and whichever projects I’m attached to, they’re in development, which tends to be a very slow and long process. Oh, and the projects I’m in so far, distribution isn’t happening (fast) either. However, I do get the privilege to be a struggling actor, among many others, in the film industry. You can’t put a price on that.

So, with the too-much-time-on-my-hands, I figured I would focus on starting a Newsletter. That way, I’ll be able to send out a public email notifying all of you out there whenever there is actually something happening in my acting career; and considering the numerous projects lined up, it will get busy and exciting! (seriously).

So hang on just a few more days and the first Newsletter will be released. Since I can be very indecisive when it comes to design, choosing a template can be very frustrating. If you’d like to be the first to receive the Newsletter, simply leave your email in the comments below. (I also take constructive criticism very well).

Have a good one folks!

Alberto

Alberto Tihan in Canadian Immmigrant magazine

If drive you drive around in a Lexus or MBW, you probably haven’t seen this. But if you commute on a daily basis, you most likely read those free used cars or new condos magazines distributed in the yellow boxes by the bus stop. Ever read the Canadian Immigrant magazine? Me neither. But I recently did an interview for Canadian Immigrant, and by recently I mean months ago, and I thought it went well. Here’s a picture of the article:

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Unfortunately, it’s not a digital magazine and only hard-copies are available. But feel free to keep staring at the picture.

Any of you relate to this? Immigrating to a new country and working hard towards a rewarding career? What were your bigger obstacles? How does it feel to look back and see your struggles and accomplishments?

Cheers,

Alberto

If I Should Speak – It’s a WRAP on The First Scene (shot on RED Epic)

This past weekend, June 8-9-10, myself and director Adnan shot the first scene of Umm Zakiyyah’s novel “If I Should Speak”. I am extremely honoured and proud to have worked with him. Initially I was brought on board as a Casting Director, but then I ended up more involved behind the scenes and earned myself the Producer credit. Considering we’re in the independent scene of filmmaking, that’s just a credit. Ultimately, we’re all a team collaborating on a project. Credits are just credits (at this level anyway).

Although it was a small production, the end result can EASILY be compared with Hollywood productions. Shot on the Red Epic in 5k resolution on 2x anamorphic lenses, the footage looks well lit by our DP Hamid, who was sincerely amazing to work with. Thanks for all your patience bro! As for the shots themselves, director Adnan made sure the shots are very cinematic, despite the time constrain. We also had a fantastic focus puller, Thanalee Pelle, who’s not just a talented camera assistant, but also great to work with. We worked with a dolly, jib and other equipment that I don’t know the names of and manage to get some AMAZING shots with only 14 hours a day. Not to mention our talented cast: Alysa King, Jaicyea Smith and Sydney Kondruss who were all pure talent. We also had a cameo appearance by our make-up artist Rose, who gave an Oscar performance delivering the one-liner: “I better going” lollll (funniest thing ever, I hope that makes it in the final cut lol)

However, considering we shot in someone’s apartment, there is the obvious time restriction. But, I did have some challenges on set. One actress in particular cancelled on me last minute because she had too much going on and it wasn’t worth her time to come on set for only one line. What the… ??!! What professional actor does that?? Thanks to Rose, who replaced her last minute. Then there was bumps schedule. Unfortunately for me, I was in the middle. I had to make sure that the girls can leave at the desired time without overworking them and that Adnan gets all his shots, which took a while to set up. We got most of the shots. Had we had no time restrictions, we could have gotten all the shots. Regardless, I am very proud and happy of the outcome. Everyone was very understanding and the footage is beyond “good demo reel”.

But I think there’s something to keep in mind in regards to schedules. We all have personal lives outside the film biz, but it’s important to understand the dedication and sacrifice it takes to be in this field, never mind succeeding in it. If superstar Rihana shoots for 17 hours a day on a Hollywood set, I think an actor in the independent industry should be willing and able to stay 18, if not 19 or 20 hours on set. We’re all humans, and I do not want to promote overworking actors (I’m an actor myself) but I do want to point out out that it helps the production by a lot to be understanding and to expect to be behind the schedule. Per example, when I shot Searching For Angels, and I wish all of you a better experience in the future lol, the average shooting day went for 20 hours a day (for the main cast and crew). That film was made on blood, sweat and tears and it looks like a million dollar picture. Because everyone put their heart and soul into it. It takes the entire team to be dedicated for that to happen. Luckily for me, I had a very dedicated crew and an understanding and talented cast, which put their heart into it. Consequently, the footage looks incredible. (Don’t worry folks, once Spielberg gives me the OK, we’ll on a better set).

I can say I tried my best to please everyone. From schedule to food and comfort, it was a very smooth shoot. Catering was better than what I got on my last 3-4 shoots lol. Comfort wise, the actors had their own room with AC (thanks Hamid) and everyone was a pleasure to work with (aka no beef). Now let’s hope the investors like it so that we can make the full feature 🙂
Check pictures below from behind-the-scenes, with the cast and crew in action, as well as some screen-shots.

Let me know what you think of the shoot? What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to post any questions, I’d be happy to answer.

Special thanks goes to Sydney, Rose, Hamid!

If I Should Speak- Part 3 – Day before the shoot

We’re less than 24 hours away from shooting and it’s looking very promising. Despite the last minute equipment that needs to be rented and picked up, despite the set dressing that needs to be finished and the catering that needs to be prepared, we’ve come close to rolling and action!

We had some bumps along the way; we did. Our first shoot got cancelled. Then we didn’t have a location. Then we found a location but the make up artist was hard to confirm. Thank God the main the actor’s aren’t divas 🙂 Speaking of my main actors, both Jaicyea and Alysa have been extremely patient and understanding and it’s greatly appreciated. Thank you ladies.
Oh, and the post office almost lost our 15,000.00$ lenses just a week before the shoot. Adnan was gonna go to California to launch an investigation, but thankfully they found the package (shipped to the wrong address :S ). That scared the shit out of both of us. We almost, almost had to cancel the shoot again!

That’s it for now, I’m off to the rental house. I’ll post more updates from the actual shoot, starting tomorrow. And yes, I’ll post pictures too. Later folks!

Alberto Tihan

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If I Should Speak: Part 2 – Producer’s Notes

By now, I should be sipping on Piña Colodas (or just drink beer) and wait for If I Should Speak to come out of the editing room. Instead I’m going through schedule and location changes and whatnot. We were days away from shooting, passed the rehearsals and the shot-lists checks; the equipment was rented and we were ready to go. I finished work at 11:30pm and was on my way to the set, to meet Adnan. We were gonna spend the entire night if needed, to dress the set. Minutes before getting started (thank God we didn’t start unloading the car lol) Adnan received a call in regards to a family emergency. Thankfully, everyone was fine, but unfortunately, it required his full and complete attention, so we had to cancel the weekend shoot. We had to press the breaks on moths of preparations.

Well, nothin like going back to square one. This gave us an opportunity to sit down and go trough the budget and locations, and shake things up a little. Instead of a 2-days shoot, director Adnan decided he can pull it off in a 3-days shoot, with a smaller crew. This also meant we needed a new location. With summer just around the corner, the clock started ticking. We were either going to built our own set in a studio, or scout for a more convenient location and save $$$. Along comes Hamid to the rescue, who was our gaffer, then dolly gripper and now he will be assisting Adnan with some DP tasks. He offered us his apartment to shoot in; golden! This is the same apartment Searching For Angels was shot in 😉 #Cool I know 🙂

This passed weekend we had a production meeting at Hamid’s apartment, just to make sure the shots Adnan wanted were possible, and everything went smooth. Once I confirm the main actor’s availabilities, we’ll be shooting in no time. Hint: we might be shooting mid-June 😉

In the meantime, here’s some pictures from the previous rehearsals I took on my awesome iPhone 4 😛 Enjoy!

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If I Should Speak: Part 1 – Casting Director’s notes

When Adnan approached me to help him get actors for a project he was working working on, I immediately accepted. I worked with him on numerous projects (Doctor Director, Eddie) and I’m also the type of guy who doesn’t often say “no”. So before he went on describing the gig, I said “yea, sure”. I’m in the bizz, I know a few actors, so why not? The project is a proof-of-concept based on the Umm Zakiyyah novel If I Should Speak. The author herself asked Adnan to make a film out if it, but the investors requested some footage, or a trailer; to see what the film can look like before they give us the green light (and the green cash $$$).

So Adnan came up with a 7-8 pages script based on the 1st chapter and said let’s shoot it. The scene requires 2 main girls: Jennifer, a blonde caucasian in her 20’s and Tamika, an African-American, same age range; both with an athletic physique, as well as 2 smaller roles. Now there’s only so many girls who fit this description I know (personally) so that meant I got promoted from Santa’s little helper to a Casting Director 😀 Casting was fun, but a stressful pain in the butt. The cool thing about it was that I immediately called all my actor friends from Humber who (somewhat) fit the part and told them “I got a role for you, girl!” However, going through 150 emails, head-shots and resumes and boil them down to 20-30 was indeed hectic (the only pro: lots of pretty faces, I’ll tell you that much). What I really found weird was that not many people are interested in reading at auditions. Considering the state of our independent filmmaking scene and the amount of not-so-much-work going around, I am a hungry actor that’s willing to do whatever on a project, just for the sake of working in my field/industry. I think it’s a good way for an actor to get his foot in the door by helping directors/casting directors and read at auditions. Thank God for Laura (who directed me in my first short film back in my Humber days) and for Shanna, an actress I was referred to. Thank you both ladies! Above are some pictures of me, Adnan and Shanna holding auditions.

We’ve seen about 30-40
girls in total and went with Alysa King for Jennifer and Jaicyea Smith for Tamika. When we first met Jaicyea, we didn’t know what to expect, but when she started her scene, she was unbelievably perfect! She was a natural. As for Alysa, she was easy to work with, she took directions very well and their chemistry was great at callbaks. Enjoy the pictures!

Now let me flip it to you. How do you like holding auditions? Why was your first casting gig?

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