Face Off is a new showcase for emerging actors to display their talent

Emerging actors are being given the chance to have their show reels or self-tests screened in a cinema in front of an expert panel and an audience next week.

Dubbed Face Off, the initiative is the brainchild of Glenn Fraser, creative director at production house Transmedia Entertainment.

The inaugural event will be held at 6 pm on Thursday April 26 at the 300-seat Chauvel Cinema in Paddington.

Fraser expects to screen 10 or 12 clips, ranging from show reels to short film snippets, self-tests and workshop tapes filmed in class.

After the screening, a panel including actor Kate Fitzpatrick, DOP Tom Gleeson, producer Sally Browning and casting director Greg Apps will offer advice and guidance. Each actor is being charged $35 per minute of footage.

Fraser tells IF, “In this era of self-tests on iPhones, very few emerging actors get the chance to see themselves on the big screen. With the super high resolution 4K acquisition demanded by Netflix, more and more detail is being eaten up by the cameras.

“The panel will dissect their favourites and tell us what works and what doesn’t work on the big screen. It will be done in a warm, supporting environment that ensures everyone gets something special out of the evening.”

Participants are encouraged to invite casting agents, producers and friends to help fill the cinema.  Afterwards they can mingle with fellow budding storytellers in the bar.

The deadline for entries is Monday morning. If the evening is successful, he aims to make Face Off a semi-regular event.

Meanwhile Transmedia Entertainment is developing a new model for making low-budget features. Fraser, a writer-director for 30 years, came up with the concept after shooting The Veiled, a half-hour drama which followed a professional fashion photographer who meets a young woman caught up in the world of human sex trafficking and decides she can no longer be a bystander.

He sourced the cast and crew via social media and made the film, which starred Janet Shay, Zoe Carides and Nicholas Papademetriou, for $6,500. Beamafilm acquired the distribution rights.

Now he plans to write and direct Shade, a horror film, for $30,000, with all participants profit-sharing, starting in September. He figures a licencing deal with Stan, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video will make this a viable venture.