Nowhere else does the phrase "It's not what you know, it's who you know" ring more true than in Hollywood. In the past, landing a role in a feature film meant not only having that special something, but knowing that special someone as well.
Sony aims to change that with FaceOfTheFan.com, where every Hollywood hopeful has a fighting shot at making it in Tinseltown.
The studio's new project will allow applicants to peruse through select script pages, rehearse and then upload their auditions. Users nationwide can participate in online casting calls and contests for Sony Pictures’ properties "turning today’s fans into tomorrow’s stars," as the studio puts it. The first opportunity is the chance to star in Sony's upcoming "Underworld 4" as a "pivotal female teenager."
According to the studio's press release, "The submitted videos will then be reviewed by a panel of studio and production executives; selected participants may be contacted by casting agents for future roles. The site will also help users spread the word and expand the conversation by providing them with the tools to share the programs with their family and friends through social networking."
Dwight Caines, president of Worldwide Digital Marketing for Sony Pictures, said, "As new Face of the Fan initiatives roll out, we hope to provide a unique way to reward those people who show tremendous enthusiasm for their favorite movies or TV shows by giving them an opportunity to meet talent and filmmakers."
While that sounds great right now, time will tell if Mr. Caines still feels this way after coming across that expert LARPer out there who knows every single line uttered by Selene in the first two installments -- you know the guy I'm talking about... the un-showered gent you've no doubt crossed paths with during your last Comic-Con. The tenacious fellow who will not stop submitting audition videos until he succeeds in his quest to touch Kate Beckinsale's tight leather outfit on set.
Sony, you've been warned. This idea may sound fantastic but let's not kid ourselves about its potential to backfire.
Besides the chance to sniff Beckinsale's hair, err, I mean -- besides the chance to act alongside Ms. Beckinsale, future initiatives include a casting call for Screen Gems’ "Mortal Instruments" and a contest tied to Sony Pictures Animation’s 3-D hybrid live-action / computer animated "The Smurfs."
Whether this site will become a viable opportunity for talented would-be actors or just end up being a slick marketing ploy remains to be seen -- but if you're reading this and believe you've got what it takes to join the ongoing war between Vampires and Lycans, it couldn't hurt to fire up that webcam, head over to Face of the Fan and give them your best battle cry!
"Underworld 4" is being shot in 3-D and begins production in March, 2011, in Vancouver with a release date most likely in early 2012.