Producers Eva Longoria and Charles D. King shared their frustrations at the Produced By conference today and reported that the studios told them they had been looking for various crew members but couldn’t find any. MACRO CEO King and UnbeliEVable Entertainment founder Longoria said they are creating a database of different talent to pitch to studios when faced with the question.
“We have to do the work,” Longoria said at a keynote for the Produced By conference. “Every time I produce something, I bring my crew list with me.”
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Longoria and King said they share the list with each other and with other filmmakers like Ava DuVernay. DuVernay has gone one step further and created the Array Crew database for studios to access.
Even with a resume list, Longoria said producers need to be committed to giving talent a chance. Longoria is directing the film Blazing hot for headlight pictures. She met opposition to hiring cinematographer Federico Cantini for his first feature film.
“They kept saying he’d never made a movie that size,” Longoria said. “I said, ‘I’ve never done a film this size.’ You didn’t do it until you did it. It’s like the chicken or the egg.”
King agreed with Longoria that their role as producers is to fight to nurture other diverse talents.
“A lot of times we make a jump and you have to fill in the blanks,” King said. “You just have to call all your friends and everyone, but they’re out there. There are enough people with a certain level of experience to take the leap to the next level.”
King also recommended Blazing hot Writer Linda Yvette Chavez to Longoria. King allowed Longoria to read a script Chavez wrote for him, but was unable to share that sample writing with another studio. In fact, Longoria credits producer DeVon Franklin and fellow actor Kerry Washington with recommending her to direct.
“I am me,” Longoria said. “You’d think I could come through the door. It still took a lawyer to get me in the door. These things help. You have to take that opportunity, meet people, nurture those relationships in this industry.”
Longoria said her own agents are sometimes annoyed when she advocates for other actors for roles she’s auditioning for. Longoria said she once recommended Roselyn Sanchez and Diana Maria Riva for a role she didn’t think was right for her.
“My agent would call me [and say,] ‘If you put another actress up for your audition, we won’t send you back,'” Longoria said.
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