The TradeVine – Entertainment Trade Article Highlights February 24th

Welcome to the TradeVine whose purpose is to encourage the entertainment industry to read their trades: Variety, Backstage, Hollywood Reporter, etc. Enjoy learning about your industry.

Each Friday, The TradeVine seeks out a few of the informative trade articles you may have missed. Please visit the trade, itself, for the entire article.

Backstage – How NOT To Pose For Headshots, by Rebecca Strassberg

Let’s try an experiment: Pull up your headshot and take a good look at it. What do you see? Because your headshot should show you an image of you looking like yourself on your best day; communicate to casting directors the roles that you can realistically play; and ultimately book you gigs. It’s your most important marketing tool.
So after you shell out some serious dough (because headshots are an important investment and ideally shouldn’t be taken by your cousin Bobby who just convinced his parents to buy him a DSL-R), got your hair and makeup done just right, and picked the right photographer, it’s time to get in front of the camera.
But how the heck do you pose? It’s OK to feel nervous. As an actor, you’re used to using your words to communicate feeling. Let’s examine some general rules for headshot posing, and some things you must avoid.
And while editorial and headshot photographer Marc Cartwright says, “I don’t really like poses because I think it kills the natural flow of someone showing their personality,” here are some headshot poses actors just should not strike.

When it comes to posing, Cartwright says don’t:
• Have your hands by your face.
• Raise your shoulders.
• Turn your face too far to either side.
• Lean forward too far, as you’ll lose the length of the neck. However, if you have an excessively long neck, this could reduce it.
• Tilt your head up too high so we see up your nose.
• Tilt your head down too low so we see white under the iris of the eye.
If you’re completely unsure how to pose, Cartwright says, “My general rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t do a certain position while having a conversation with someone, don’t do it in your headshot.” That means no handstands, guys!

The Hollywood Reporter – Academy President Assures ‘Changes Will Be Implemented’ in Email to Members, by Gregg Kilday

Following the best picture mix-up Sunday night, Cheryl Boone Isaacs has sent a note to Academy members.
In the wake of the ultra-dramatic 89th Oscars, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has sent a note to Academy members, telling them “changes will be implemented to ensure this never happens again.”
In addressing what she calls “the rather chaotic ending of the show,” Boone Isaacs notes “the failure of PwC’s accountants to follow established protocols and their delay in immediately remedying the situation.” Adding that “PwC has accepted full responsibility for the error,” she reassures members that changes will be made to make sure nothing similar happens in the future.
However, rather than focusing on what went wrong, Boone Isaacs offers praise for how those affected dealt with the unforeseen event, citing “the professionalism of the crew and stage managers, led by Rob Paine”; “the spirit and enthusiasm of all the presenters, including Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway”; and that of the filmmakers, “especially those from Moonlight and La La Land.” Writes Boone Isaacs, “The grace and humility they demonstrated onstage, with the world watching, shows the strength of the bond that connects all the artists in our community.”

Variety- Film Review: ‘Kong: Skull Island’, by Owen Gleiberman

A reboot set entirely on the great ape’s jungle island proves to be a better creature feature than either of the previous remakes.
Two years ago, “Jurassic World” came out and made a staggering $652 million at the domestic box office, even though it was a messy and unimaginative piece of thunder-lizard junk: a movie so impersonal it felt genetically engineered. It was a depressing reminder of what blockbuster movie culture can get away with if the monsters are big enough and the franchise strikes enough reptile-brained chords of recognition. On that scale, “Kong: Skull Island” would seem to have a lot going for it commercially, even if it was just another shoddy and cynical reboot of a reboot — which is what a lot of people are probably expecting it to be.
The surprise is that “Skull Island” isn’t just ten times as good as “Jurassic World”; it’s a rousing and smartly crafted primordial-beastie spectacular. The entire film takes place on Kong’s jungle island home (he doesn’t scale any skyscrapers — in New York or Dubai), and you could say that it’s more action-based and less ambitious than either of the “King Kong” remakes: the snarky, overblown, justly reviled 1976 knockoff or Peter Jackson’s good but still not good enough 2005 retread.

Yet in its jungle-stranded B-movie way, “Kong: Skull Island” may come closer in spirit to the wide-eyed amazement of the original than either of those remakes. That’s because it’s more casually willing to be its own thing. The 1933 version of “King Kong” is still definitive — the most awe-inspiring and emotionally transporting giant-monster movie ever made. Part of the problem with both remakes is that they were straining to live up to what could never be equalled. “Skull Island” is more modest, but by staying on Skull Island and updating the place, it takes you somewhere you haven’t been. The movie updates Kong, too — he’s a true savage and nobody’s sweetheart, and though he’s been brought to life by motion capture, it takes a while before his outsize “humanity” kicks in. But when it does, it feels earned, and you’re grateful to the movie for not milking it.

Please send any questions or comments to

And, remember, you heard it through The TradeVine.


The TradeVine is a weekly article on Actors Reporter, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.