Mastermind Studios breaks new ground with online talent directory
Ashley Wadhwani, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω
Mastermind Studios has created an online talent directory initially focusing on local acting talent in Kamloops.
The directory includes individual profiles with a video biography, metadata, written biography, headshot and a minute-long commercial.
Peter Cameron-Inglis, CEO of Mastermind Studios, said the video biography and commercial takes less than an hour as long as the individual is prepared. Two prices are offered to individuals interested in having a profile on the directory. The first option, which costs $100, includes filming the two videos without any editing. The second option, which costs $250, includes editing of several takes.
Currently, more than half of those in the directory are TRU students interested in acting.
TRU theatre student Andrew Cooper is optimistic about the opportunities the database can bring for him.
“If I find one job because of it, that would be great,” Cooper said.
Mastermind Studios began creating profiles in the database in December. Cooper said some theatre students were skeptical.
“There are always sharks trying to [take your money], but now that it has progressed a little bit, they see that it’s a place where you can put your information and be advertised,” Cooper said.
The directory will eventually include voice actors, writers, speakers, models and even those interested in doing work as an extra. Mastermind Studios is currently in the stage of growing the directory before focusing on promotion aimed at casting directors and businesses.
Inglis said they are not interested in becoming a model and talent agency but want to grow and promote the talent in Kamloops. The studio doesn’t use exclusivity contracts that modelling and talent agencies use to disallow their clients from finding work through means other than the agency.
“With us, they’re free to go and find work wherever they want,” Inglis said.
Inglis believes this will also benefit local businesses interested in promoting without the hefty costs of union actors. “We want our clients to have better productions and also draw in talent scouts and producers outside of Kamloops,” Inglis said.
Victoria Weller, Thompson-Nicola B.C. Film Commissioner, is uncertain if the directory will bring more film productions to Kamloops. “You can’t move the scenery, [but you can] move the actor,” Weller said.
Weller does believe, however, that the online directory has potential to raise the profile of the Kamloops film and talent community and promote actors, helping them be selected and short-listed for projects. Weller also added that it is cost-effective for an actor to present their work this way.