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Technology and Trends: The QR Invasion—Physical and Virtual Worlds Collide!
Here at BCS we have included a QR code on all of our printed materials for the last few months, and it seems to be catching on. So what is that squiggly-filled box you have been seeing more and more in magazines and on packaging? It is a QR Code (KYOO-AR-KOHD ). QR stands for Quick Response. Huh, you say? But what does it do? Okay, better answer: basically, it’s an optical hyperlink you can use your smart phone to follow. (Super-geek answer: a QR Code is a 2D matrix code capable of storing up to 4,296 alphanumeric or 7,089 numeric characters.) The bottom line: when you see something that you want information about, you no longer have to remember to look it up later on Google. You can now simply point your smart phone at the object and the desired information will be zapped to you without typing or speaking. In essence, the QR code has become the shortest distance between curiosity and information retrieval. The beauty of QR codes is that they free to create, as they are an open-source and freely licensed standard. They cost nothing additional to add to printed materials and can be scanned by free readers on all smart phones including, Apple, Android, and BlackBerry.
Where did these things come from? Glad you asked. In 1994, a Japanese company, Denso Wave Inc., created the QR to track and inventory automotive parts. Later, it was hijacked by advertisers eager to direct consumers to their digital or online offerings in the most efficient way. Realtors have taken a liking to the QR code, realizing that it’s a lot easier to point your phone at the sign in front of a property than it is to find a pen and write the number and address—or even type all the info in! Anyways, you get the idea. Major companies like Disney, Sony, Coca-Cola and many more having been rapidly expanding the use of QR codes. If you want to make your own QR code, you can go to QR code generator site like www.mobilefish.com . To get a QR reader on your phone, just go to the app store and search for QR reader. Have fun!
Hair: The Camera Doesn’t Lie!
A photo is a frozen moment of how each person appears in real life. The photographer takes into consideration the balance (or lack of) in the eyebrows, lips, nose, and chin. The width of face including the ears and neck must also be observed. An important contributing factor to the balance, shape, and appearance of a face is the cut, color, and length of the hair! In a preview consultation, we can see you in person and take a picture so we can strategize about the best hair for you. We do so by taking a picture of what you are presently doing, and hopefully taking a picture of what you would like to try without cutting or permanently coloring your hair. (There are computer programs that will place your hair in a certain color and give you a haircut on top of your picture, but there is nothing like the real thing: you sitting there in the flesh, trying this new idea out for real and taking a shot of it.) For over 35 years this has been our method, and it has helped make so many decisions and prevented bad ones from happening.
Recently we had the process of seeing this “hair story” unfold. We previewed our client Erica with her long hair and decided on a shooting date. The evening before the shoot Erica emailed us a picture of a short haircut she saw in a magazine and considered for herself. We told her to come in for her shoot the next day and we would play. After putting on makeup and studying her face again, we proceeded to pin up her very long hair and add short pieces to her hair to give her the shorter, edgier feeling. We then took some pictures. Consensus: she liked it, and we honestly liked it too, so we proceeded to email over the images to her manager & agency. They liked it too. After all gave thumbs up, we decided to stop the shoot to reschedule after Erica got her hair cut. It was a decision that came after 3 hours of makeup, preparation and consideration, but it was the right decision.
Erica came back with her new haircut and we went through the makeup process again and proceeded with the shoot. We had a great time creating, and Erica was very confident and happy with her new look. The pictures still gave us variety and her manager & agent were very pleased. Erica also donated her hair to Locks of Love, so even a gracious deed came out of the photo session! Preview consultations with Ballerini Cooley Studios—like the one Erica had before her shoot—are no charge prior to your photo session. Previews without a photo session can be purchased with Pay Pal through our studio. Always think out your look before you shoot. Feel secure because you aren’t guessing and this was the look you wanted. Get in touch: this is what we do 24/7! Don’t chance it; see it and let the camera roll. The camera doesn’t lie!
Entertainment Industry and Actor’s Marketing
Entertainment Industry and Actor’s Marketing
Tune up your Marketing toolbox
Okay, I’ll say it: Casting Directors today have lost their vision! Uh oh, before I get in trouble, let me explain myself. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when casting directors would be FedExed a package of B&W 8×10 headshots. The casting directors had to imagine what those faces—and the actors they were attached to were actually capable of. The casting director had to figure out if these people could be funny or sincere, if they were a natural beauty, if they were the athletic type, etc., etc, all based on a black and white headshot. You see where I am going. Color helped this process out for sure, but most agents just submitted 1 headshot and everything depended on that headshot, including your big chance for the audition so you could come in person and wow them with your skills.
So what is different today, you ask? Just like it has in every other part of our lives, technology has changed this process forever. What does that mean? Well let’s go back to that technology thing. All actors are familiar with Actors Access, LA Casting, and Casting Frontier. These are the sites where you pay to put up your resume, photos, and all things cool about you. It’s true that your agents have access to these accounts; however, did you know that they also have some pretty sweet proprietary software? Most agents now have in-house software that allows them to electronically search their client database by any number of different fields/characteristics. Not only can they select you; they can then choose exactly which photo they want to submit for each project. Some of the agents I have seen have 6 or more completely different photos loaded up on any given client… This is the ultimate in specificity! So you see, casting directors haven’t really lost their vision they have just gotten used to getting exactly what they want. Because of new technology they have actually sharpened their vision. As always, you have to have a range of slamming Theatrical Headshots to get you in on the meaty roles. On the commercial side of things, you really want to have a diverse as possible offering of photos. Be sure to give your agent the biggest marketing tool box they can have, so you can be in as many places as possible to book those jobs!