Monday, September 21, 2009

3 Questions: Shedrack Anderson Is Future-Perfect

Shedrack Anderson III has shown incredible range with roles that include NBC's "The Unauthorized Story of Diff'rent Strokes" for which he played the infamous Todd Bridges, the coming-of-age college stepshow drama "Stompin" opposite Sinbad and Vanessa Bell Calloway, Lion's Gate horror "Drive Thru," the monstrous bear thriller "Grizzly Park," and his feature film directorial debut with the horror "Blood River."

With a career that covers both television and film, Anderson has appeared in the hit teen series "Just Deal" as the lovable Jermaine Green and starred as Tommy in Lifetime's "Gracie's Choice" alongside Kristen Bell, Diane Ladd and Anne Heche. He’s also recognized as Rudy in 20th Century Fox's "FAT ALBERT" as well as guest star appearances on the television series "Boston Public," "The Parkers," "The Division," and Disney's hit show "Phil of the Future."

He sat down with us to discuss PR, the future of movie-making, and what every 21st Century Indie Filmmaker needs to know:

GP: You've had great success starring on TV shows and in feature films. Now you're making your own films. What are the differences in promoting your film versus your individual self?

SA: The biggest difference is Distribution. When you are promoting yourself as an actor, you take meetings, auditions, do interviews and photo opps with the notion that you are selling a product that requires someone else to see you and hire you for the use of your skills. That company then makes a product for sale and you are paid a fee and a percentage for your likeness or the character you portray. When you make your own movies, you create a product that, through promotion and distribution, people can buy directly. It’s one less
link in the chain to connect on a business level.

GP: What has media taught you about connecting to your audience and fans?

SA: Media shows that people get bored much faster than they used to. We’re moving in a direction that’s going to revolutionize the way humans occupy their time. I think different media will be used for different things. Short cell phone movies will be 5 or 6 minutes while direct download 3D movies will saturate America. When you make a connection with an audience, it has to have a similar thread in order to create a bond with the fans so they keep downloading more. Over the years, as I’ve become an adult and my fans have aged with me, I’ve learned to stay open to all possibilities. Media and style are constantly changing from day to day. I’m working on video game platform movies where you chose the fates. I think the key is to say less and see more... then make it happen.

GP: What is a fact about publicity that you think every actor transitioning into directing or producing should know?

Publicity is an essential part of the movie making process. In order to have a successful career, whether it
be directing, acting or producing, you have to have a strategic plan in order to achieve your ultimate goal... getting the masses to respond. You can have the greatest film in your pocket or be the greatest actor, but what use is it if you are the only one who knows? Publicity helps you create a buzz, and only then can you make a potential profit.

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