Nicki Katz, Casting Director.
The art of storytelling is composed of talented, passionate and hardworking show business aficionados. As artists we live out our days admiring the directors, writers and actors who bring our favourite narratives to life. We are all visionaries and the truly gifted understand the importance of collaboration when bringing a creative vision to life.
At the forefront of this collaboration are casting directors; their job is to work with directors, producers and writers to ensure only the best actors are discovered and hired. It goes without saying that a great casting director not only is a champion team player but also holds a remarkable eye for talent.
With a career in the entertainment industry spanning 10 years, Nicki Katz has cast over 75 Award-Winning commercials, feature films, TV series, and short films, which have screened at festivals around the world. Nicki has had feature films premiere at Sundance film festival, including Sophie and The Rising Sun, and has cast box office hits including Annabelle: Creation. Her indie thriller Excess Flesh premiered at SXSW and was distributed through Midnight Releasing. Nicki has also worked on several Emmy Award-Winning television series, including Transparent, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Training Day. Her national commercial work recently includes McDonalds, Dominos, Hot Wheels, and Toyota campaigns.read more
“I believe very strongly in the quality of an ensemble spirit”
-Damien Ryan, Managing Artistic Director, Sport for Jove.
For many actors home is where the theatre is. Whilst the big bright shimmering lights of Hollywood lure many of us into the world of motion pictures, there is something comforting about the authenticity and artistic freedom of the stage that permits actors of all different merit to tread the boards throughout their careers.
Sport for Jove (SPJ) is one of Australia’s leading independent theatre companies. As a producer I have always admired their hard work and cultural contribution to the independent art scene and, as an actor I have always been in awe of their immense talent and vision.
Managing Artistic Director of SPJ is the multi award winning director Damien Ryan, with a career that spans over 20 years in the industry as an actor and a director; Damien has been the driving force in cementing SPJ.
In the midst of another successful outdoor summer season, Damien shares with us a detailed and insightful look into Sydney’s most compelling independent theatre company. read more
“Basically, the actor’s job is to be the ultimate detective, collect all the pieces of the puzzle and put it together to create a fully formed, nuanced, believable character.” – Jess Loudon
Generosity of spirit is crucial in this industry. Whilst it is important to keep things close to our heart it is equally important to share our passion and combine knowledge and talent amongst our community. In short, what you give, you get back.
Jess Loudon is an abundance of generosity. From the moment she walks into a room you instantly feel the weight of the world fall off your shoulders into oblivion. The first time I met Jess was when I was auditioning her for a role, with a big smile, and a voice showered in enthusiasm she introduced herself and I knew, before she even began her audition monologue, that she simply oozed talent.
“At the end of the day we are all pursuing this industry because it’s fun and makes us happy.” – Alexandra Keddie
“Alexandra Keddie captures the bewilderment of visiting ingenue, Jackie Coryton”
– Herald Sun
I have to admit that I have a secret girl crush on Alexandra Keddie. It all began around the time of the US 2016 election campaign. Whilst the entire free world was fixated on the Clinton|Trump theatrics I furtively imagined a world where the greatest actress to ever exist pulled a rabbit out of a hat (or in this particular case three Oscars) to become the first female President of the United States of America. A world where talent, imagination and fierce brilliance inspired humanity, a world where Meryl Streep reigned, “That’s all.”read more
As I write this it is Monday October 2nd and I spent the past week nursing possibly the WORST head cold borderline flu I have ever had (it is a good thing I am not dramatic right?) Today, I awake to the news that 59 people are dead and more than 500 people injured because of a senseless gun crime in Vegas. I sob, I yell, I blame, I argue, I talk to my best friend in France and we sob some more. My flu complaints are beyond trivial now with my heart and all hearts weeping for the victims, their loved ones, and all humanity as we are reminded yet again of the fragility of life.read more
The cast of Life of the Party at the Brisbane Premiere: Damian Sommerlad, Georgia Chara, Director Michael Budd, Holly Brisley and Greg Eccleston
Friendships and carefree fun are just some of the things we associate with youth. Long Summer nights, partying till dawn and road trips into the unknown all play a part in the prelude of our lives. When we are young, time seems to move rapidly yet it is as though a day never passes. Then the inevitable sound of routine and responsibility sealed with a two drink minimum rears its distinctive head. There is no turning back and sadly, no amount of Aspirin can save us.
Actors are born hustlers with their determination reflected in every waking moment. Thankfully, contemporary society has opened up revolutionary avenues for the ambitious actor to reach career objectives at the very fingertips of the aspiring talent.
Technology is a blessing and when utilised correctly can propel ones career to infinite heights. As actors we put much of our faith in online communities like Casting Networks International (CNI) to deliver their own performance as the go-to site for information about the industry including castings, blogs and seminars. At the press of a button actors and agents can submit interactive profiles complete with resumes, media and photos suitable for each respective job. Blogs and free seminars provide members with essential knowledge and networking opportunities.
The world is evolving. Machines are supplementing humanity, “ILY” is now an acronym for “I love you,” and life’s superficies defy authenticity. However, despite reality TV shows and matchmaking sites there will always be an indisputable characteristic no amount of branding can define.
Imagination is timeless. From enchanting fairytales to the midst of a Mancini overture, the fragility of life is poignantly reflected in storytelling. The artist who continues to take creative risks fuels our vision and is crucial in shaping the landscape of society.
“No matter what anybody tells you, thoughts and ideas can change the world”
– Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society
The world today is a precarious place with humanity at the immediacy of the media. The endless variety of news platforms submerges us in every glorified facet of existence; ignorance is no longer bliss when the ability to access information is expedited straight to our fingertips. With every click of a Facebook post and Twitter mention we are catapulted into the global perils of society.
Remember the film Clueless? Cher Horowitz depicted a modern day version of Jane Austin’s Emma in the coming of age comedy about a teenage girl and her friends growing up in the lap of luxury in Beverly Hills. Together the teenagers tackled high school, freeways, siblings, fashion and relationships in a much simpler world. Clearly, not everyone is as fortunate as the 16 year old Cher to grow up in a mansion with columns that “date all the way back to 1972” yet, the cult classic undeniably reflected the purity of a time when anxiety and terror were at an all-time low, with the latter barely even a flicker in our sheltered lives. Aside from Clueless being a favourite movie of my youth with its epic one-liners becoming a fixture in my adolescent (sometimes even adult) vocabulary, it also represented a happier time, a time when people seemed to be nicer – and not just sporadically either. One may say the film marked the end of the age of innocence when we had a “way normal life,” our only direction was “to the mall” and before the world became a “full on Monet” aka “just a big old mess.”
Tim Burke is set to make the biggest independent film of all time, Planet X: Gold of the Gods.
If Hollywood loves anything more than a box office success, it’s the emerging filmmakers who deliver the large-scale extravaganzas. In fact, a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter looked at the strategy of using highly creative first-time directors to helm their big budget blockbusters.
The studios’ faith in the rising helmer continues to be evident with the recent success of Gareth Edward’s Godzilla and Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, both breaking the box office with record figures, the latter taking in a monstrous $1.5 billion USD—pun intended.
In June 2016, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios hired Jon Watts to take over their beloved Spider-Man franchise on the strength of his minimalist thriller Cop Car, which was shot on the modest budget of $800,000 USD.