Prolific MFA Actor Phillip E. Walker has authored two books and just launched the Black Undeground FilmFest 

May 7, 2017

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LVBFF 2017 LOGISTICS

 

4/27-30/17 Phillip E. Walker, Author ~ BlackFilm.blog 2017 Las Vegas Black Film Festival Video

 

4/30/17 For self taped video set in front of the soon to breakdown 2017 Actors SHOWDOWN Competition Ring, PhilE closes his LVBFF Black Film Festival Report and invites Blog subscribers to return in June for his on location 70th Festival de Cannes Report of positive Black Film activity there in the South of France.

2017 Las Vegas Black Film Festival TEAM - Jerry Hughes, Ms. China, Ms. Michelle and Slash

 

4/27-30/17 Pictured above is just four (4) of the Las Vegas Black Film Festival high level TEAM members who staffed the 2017 gathering. This blogger receiving unpictured TEAM member Ms. Anika’s enthusiastic report of her commitment to the work, explains why this staff did so well in running a world class film festival.

4th Annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival 4/27-30/177

 

4/27/17 Thursday 6:00pm Ms. Michelle and TEAM have a GREAT location. Being away from the traditional Las Vegas distractions allowed us to concentrate on the business at hand - Black Film! The modern LV styled Sun Coast Hotel & Casino placed this reporter in a spacious room with a broad view of the golf course (pictured). Desert Class!

2017 Actors SHOWDOWN Competition Advertisement ~ Las Vegas Black Film Festival

 

4/29/17 Saturday 6:00pm Preparing to compete in the LVBFF 2017 Actors SHOWDOWN, a performer has no influence upon his/her degree of talent as compared to other competitors. We have little power over how our look is perceived. Talent can’t even control the environment in which we perform. But what a participant in such an event does have control over is how well we follow the rules. Being a “from the inside” observer, this blogger perceived that a large percent of most 2017 actor’s non-perfect scores were due to our choices made which were not within the rules of the Competition.

 

Two (2) hours prior to the Event’s scheduled beginning, Ms. China led competing actors in an excellent preparation workshop. However, by that time several actors (including myself) had already prepared multiple acting choices which we (at the 11th hour) discovered to be outside of the Competition rules. During the Event itself Judges often referred to these errors when explaining their reasons for giving non-perfect scores.

 

Hopefully, this published Blog will serve as THE place where through, logistical actor preparation for the annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival Actors SHOWDOWN Competition expectations can be supported.

4/29/17 Actors SHOWDOWN Finalist ~ Las Vegas Black Film Festival Actors SHOWDOWN Competition Ring

 

First of all, one must understand that the large responsibility held by a film festival volunteer staff makes it a challenge to get questions answered prior to attending that festival. This is true especially when one is from out of town. Further, if one is new to the event, it is hard to even know what to ask. Often times, said festival’s available written information concerning any particular aspect is incomplete at best. This is understandable since disseminators of said written materials are so close to the circumstances that they can easily assume that “Oh, everybody knows that”.

 

Relating to the LVBFF 2017 Actor SHOWDOWN Competition, the TOTAL amount of information I received prior to Ms. China’s eye opening pre-Event pronouncements came in the following Film Freeway Category and Fees submission explanation. It states:
“So you think you can ACT?? REGISTER NOW for the MOST Unique and EXCITING Film Actors Competition in the WORLD... THE LVBFF Actors SHOWDOWN... It All Goes down inside a BOXING Ring in Fabulous Las Vegas! Register HERE for the 2017 LVBFF Actors Showdown Viewed by Independent and Studio Producers from all over the world, looking for the next great Film Actor Happening SATURDAY NIGHT APRIL 29, 2017 6:00 PM Don't Miss this exciting Signature Event The ACTORS SHOWDOWN! Where Actors compete in a BOXING RING for the HEAVY WEIGHT Best Actor TITLE the coveted Trophy, Bragging rights, and a guaranteed LEAD role in an UPCOMING Film! to compete YOU WILL NEED to register before the Deadline & come prepared to present (2) of your Best 3 - minute monologues (borrowed or original) ARE YOU the NEXT Champion??? 2016 WINNER (LESTER GREENE)... ARE YOU the NEXT Champion???”

 

Competitors who want to win in future SHOWDOWN Competitions might find it useful to prepare by applying a complete understanding of the specific logistics referenced in the above, in addition to being aware of what is not stated therein.

LVBFF 2017 Actors SHOWDOWN Competition Participants

 

4/29/17 Las Vegas Black Film Festival audience awaits announcement of Bryan Moore as the 2017 Actors SHOWDOWN Competition Champion

 

UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS STATED:
1. “Film Actor” above refers to the fact that the competitor is expected to perform live, in a single take, within a very tight head shot frame. This means that the slightest theatre type movement will surely cause the actor not to receive a perfect score. In preparing, one might be careful to be aware that the Competition’s “Boxing Ring” image is for the audience, not the performer. In other words, if you want to win, you can’t work the Ring. It must simply be in the actor’s background.

 

2. I suggest that one be careful with the above “Signature Event” reference. Although the SHOWDOWN is truly an important LVBFF activity, little or no competitor pre-Event communication from the Festival can cause one to think that things are a little “loose”. This writer can tell you from experience that there is little that is “loose” when one’s performance is being judged.

 

3. The word “monologue” above refers to a single actor playing a single character. Any performer giving time for the imagined other character’s dialogue to be spoken, or even speaking the other character’s dialogue, will surely not gain a perfect score. No matter how strong the performance, I contend that it is essential to stay within this Competition’s definition of “monologue”. That is, if one wants to win.

 

4. Also, in order to win, I suggest that the word “prepared” in the above explanation should not be taken lightly. For example, one 2017 LVBFF actor admitted in the Judge discussion directly following his first round performance that he wrote and rehearsed his monologue during the three (3) hours prior to the Competition. Apparently the judges perceived that this fact did not prove him to be gifted but showed him to be under prepared. For example, after presenting his second round monologue, in response the Celebrity Judge asked how long he took to prepare that one.

 

5. Although it is surely true that performing “original” monologues is well within the Competition expectations, I observed the scores of several performers being not perfect partly due to them performing spoken word. That said, this performer received his only perfect score with the presentation of a poem. However, I did not tell the Judges that it was a poem plus I did not emphases rhyming scansion. Further, the talent who came the closest to poetry slam during his SHOWDOWN performance did not win this Competition. However, he did win the 2017 LVBFF Best Actor in a Short award with his spoken word Hands Up Don’t Shoot performance. So my perception is that, in order to win the Actors SHOWDOWN, one should shy away from spoken word styled acting.

4/29/17 Guest Judges: Michael Blackman, Kayla Williams and Craig Knight @ Las Vegas Black Film Festival Actors SHOWDOWN Competition Scorer’s Table

 

UNSTATED LOGISTICS
1. One logistic not shared with this competitor prior to Ms. China’s prep session was the Judge scoring rubric. Like in “Dancing With The Stars”, scores are announced aloud directly after each Competition performance. The fact that the three (3) Guest Judges can score only a “0", “5" or “10" essentially means that one must gain near perfect scores in each round in order to win. So as I see it, setting performance quality aside, any single logistical error will most likely cause that performer not to win. Do the math.
 
2. Further, I think that high quality preparation should include an analyzation of the effect that two (2) initial, separate performing rounds has upon Judge scoring. Then the top two (2) highest scoring competitors face off in the Final round with a reprise of one of their previously performed monologues. For example, in the 2017 prep Ms. China noted that experience shows that, in the Finals, one should perform the monologue which previously gained the highest score - no matter which piece the performer feels is his/her best.

 

3. As is true in most Hollywood auditions, 2017 SHOWDOWN Competition Judges seemed to raise an actors score if, in that actor’s subsequent performance, he/she executed the “acting adjustment” stated in a prior judging. That is to say that, to win, it is important to be relaxed and be outside of your head enough to allow true listening and understanding of performance notes given by the Judges.

 

4. Despite the Competition’s intend of Judges viewing “Film Actor” performances, during the SHOWDOWN the actor is not equipped with a microphone. Additionally, one is performing in a traditional hotel ballroom, whose acoustics are not designed to carry unamplified vocal sound. This means that talent must prepare to speak with strong, traditional stage vocal projection without given up the subtleties of traditional film performance. Not so easy to do without a great deal of practice.
 
5. As well, your Actors SHOWDOWN performance is in front of a live audience. Therefore, one must mix the entertainment value therein with the need to play to the Judges. Good luck on that logistic!

 

6. Finally, this blogger suggests that SHOWDOWN performers be careful with controversy. Although most of us artists fancy ourselves as tolerant, the fact is that judges are human. So I suggest one think twice about performing a character that cusses out their mother or depicting non-PC circumstances such as slavery. Remember, if you want to win, you most likely will need to be perfect in all ten (10) of the Judges eyes.

4/29/17 Loretta Devine ~ LVBFF Actors SHOWDOWN Celebrity Judge

 

7. Oh yeah, the Actors SHOWDOWN Coach and Celebrity Judges scoring rubric is to give or take away a single point in any competitor’s score or to not take action at all. In addition, these two (2) Judges do not vote in the Finals. I’m still trying to figure out the logistical effect of this aspect of the Competition.
 

Ron Becks, Executive Producer / Writer / Actor ~ Las Vegas Black Film Festival The Principal’s Bad Day Producer/Director/Star - Actors SHOWDOWN Coach - Buffalo Solider 4/27-30/17

 

I regret that no part of the above Competition analysis gives advice on the quality of performance. Spouting statements like “The audience wants you to succeed. So there’s no need to be nervous. That’s just ego”, during LVBFF’s 2017 Actors SHOWDOWN Competition, Coach Ron Becks was perhaps the strongest of the Judges in sharing advice that encourages high quality performance. However, without following the rules, the greatest performance during the night’s Competition is not likely to cause one to become Champion. Therefore, if you want to win, I suggest that you cover ALL of the logistics well and also give fine performances.

2017 Las Vegas Black Film Festival Finalist Dual

Bryan Moore ~ 2017 Actors SHOWDOWN Champion - Las Vegas Black Film Festival Actors SHOWDOWN Competition Ring

 

From this observer’s viewpoint, the above is how Bryan Moore beat us all and won the Belt (autographed boxing gloves actually) as the 2017 Las Vegas Black Film Festival Actors SHOWDOWN Champion!

 

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Please subscribe plus come back in June for an on location view of the 70th Festival de Cannes 2017 Black Film Festival Report!

 

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