As we previously posted here, straight from the cyber pages of New Mexico Business Weekly, a new Casting Company is now open in New Mexico.
The contrast between the article and the businesses own promotion of the event were in such stark contrast our curiosity was piqued and we decided to go to post with both versions and very little comment.
In the days following the “Grand Opening”, the opportunity to compare and contrast continues as two OHI readers were kind enough to share their very different experiences/impressions of the event.
On one hand, $5 headshots? Sure. On the other, “Will you do nudity?”, pays more if yes, NOT SO MUCH. “Do you want to become a Actor”, “Could you or someone you know fund $5K thru $500K for a TV Show or Motion Picture.”
Lest this attempt at a fair and balanced look at what is reported as a new opportunity for locals interested in film and media be presented with any bias, by someone who DID NOT even attend, I will cease any further personal comment, and present two distinct impressions from two separate OHI readers who attended the “Grand Opening – Open Call”, respectively.
Reader A1’s impression from the opening weekend event:
“A steady stream of people were coming in to have their headshots done and be put in “A-1 Casting” data base…Michael Matinez, 5x Platinum (15 weeks in a row) is a writer and producer, Wayne Kurzeja received the “Anti-piracy Award” from President Clinton, has 42 years in the “business”.
Joe Guinan is “the man”, moved here from L.A. and has many connections all over the world, [boasts an] email list of appox. 2500 names. He has Academy Award movies, worked with stars like: Tony Curtis. He has “Blue Ray” backing and his next three movies are already being backed…with games, etc…He has other financial backers, writers, film producers and distributors… He’s setting up a web site and plans to bring many of them to NM! Joe plans to try his hand at directing while Chuck Erickson takes over the casting. They have several films in the works. I think it will be a good thing!”
Reader A2’s impression from the opening weekend event:
“Right off the bat, the mood was very panicked and rushed. The office is quite small, and the “casting director” wanted things to move at a fast pace. He was busy taking the $5 headshots and bragging about his film industry experience. (See attached photo of the “casting director” in action.) There were 3 other employees working with him. There was a very young blonde girl, an older —- man, and a Native American woman. The older man was doing the “interview/intake,” and giving an overview of what was going on.
The older man said they were casting 3 movies. I had never heard of these movies, which were scrawled on an large ink board at the back of the studio. The older man was going on and on about how most of the movies they cast are low to medium movies, which go directly to DVD.
I asked if any of the movies were being filmed in NM, and they all started to panic a bit. I also was blatantly taking photos w/ my phone, and they didn’t like that at all. They kept trying divert me to something else, but I told them I was just there for my daughter. Every time I asked questions, they changed the subject.
We were told the $5 “headshots” were being taken for their website, but there are NO photos on the website currently. They also claimed to be a production company. There was also talk of classes being provided in acting, and production skills.
The sign-in/info form (see attached photo) was full of grammatical errors, and mentioned comfort level w/ nudity. The assistant didn’t know what to say when I asked him how much they paid the actors. The “casting agent” then got mad at him delaying the process because the battery on his camera was dying.
Me and another woman (who did some extra work for EG Casting) both bailed. It has all the hallmarks of a scam. I looked up information online about the “casting director.” He does have a Facebook page, and an IMDb page. I have never heard of a single movie that he claims to have cast on the IMDB page. They may be very low budget and off my radar, or they may be entirely fake.
I don’t know. It could be legit. I could be wrong. But I doubt it. [Joe Guinan] updated his website recently. Worth checking out. www.a1starcasting.com. Everything on it looks FAKE.”