March 2, 2022

What are Two Unemployed Actors up to? Episode 84

-       MAX & SAM recap on two amazing guests Christiaan Van Vuuren and Sam Hargrave and why they were inspired by them
-       MAX has an update on his passion project
-       Where will the Podcast be in late March… L.A.

-       MAX & SAM recap on two amazing guests Christiaan Van Vuuren and Sam Hargrave and why they were inspired by them

-       MAX has an update on his passion project

-       Where will the Podcast be in late March… L.A.


Max Belmonte 00:12
Welcome back to to unemployed actors. I'm Max.

Sam Folden 00:15
I'm Sam

Max Belmonte 00:16
We have a huge show today, we've literally got to catch up becase a couple of great guests on
episodes previous Actor and Director Christian Van Vuuren and Director Sam Hargrave dialling
directly into the podcast from the set of the Extraction sequel, which I know we're all looking
forward to.

Sam Folden 00:36
It's very exciting interviews.

Max Belmonte 00:38
It's been, it's been great. And we learned a lot like there's so many good insights. And I know
coming up, we've got a couple of great ones. Award winning Australian Casting Director, a little
q&a and tips to do better in auditions and Actor Darren Gilshenan which, which is really
informative. So, you know, make sure you subscribe is the moral of that story.

Sam Folden 01:02
Hell yeah. Have a listen.

Max Belmonte 01:05
So you don't miss a trick because we've been getting heaps of insights. It's fantastic. I have to
warn you today that I've just been doing... we're recording this on the first of March. And it's
the start of the month, and I've just been doing my budget. So I'm literally I can see numbers
and spreadsheets. So just hopefully I can flick the switch and go back into creative podcaster.
But it might be a... you might have to drag me there mate.

Sam Folden 01:30

Max Belmonte 01:33
But I have I've been busy doing my passion project my television series.

Sam Folden 01:41

Max Belmonte 01:42
And I actually got to the stage of finalizing the first draft of my script. Because we had a chat
with Christian Van Vuuren and obviously Christians all about, like everything we.... just
encapsulating why we keep talking about getting up off the couch and doing your own stuff,
and just getting out there and making it happen. Because like he did his web series, and then
he got picked up for a network. And now he's directing and acting still. I mean, like, that's just
perfect. I was so motivated after our chat, I literally I went straight into script stuff, because the
thing is with no process I've got like butchers paper on the wall. And I know it's gonna be eight
episodes, right. And I've got separate like a list in my little notebook of ideas and things. So
whenever ideas come to me in all sorts of strange places at strange times, but I'd note it down
and then and then. So I've got the pilot up. And I've literally it's plastered with different colors
of post it notes. And I sort of move them around as I change scenes and stuff. And then I look at
my little notes and see if there's any sort of nuggets of gold I can throw in there as well. And I
kind of had started on the script. Bear in mind, I've never written anything before, like a script,
or I'm using online software, by the way, it's it helps you to sort of like it does all the formatting
for you. Your character is Matt, and he's speaking or there's an action or whatever and just add
format that makes it so like final draft and stuff like that.

Sam Folden 03:17

Max Belmonte 03:18
I think I mean, arc studio, I think it's what's called and it stays up in the clouds. So even on my
mobile, I can edit it. Not that I really want to.

Sam Folden 03:27
That's good.

Max Belmonte 03:28
Yeah. So like, I was traveling in Sydney the other week, and I just logged on to Starbucks Wi Fi
and started doing a few bits and pieces into so like it just it's so much easier. But more
importantly people like me, you know, haven't written screenplays before so it was just kind of
like, really helpful for the formatting. Keep the flow type. So anyway, I was so pumped and
motivated I went and I did a lot of... I spent a few hours like I was going until dark, little Freds at
my heels going dinner time. What are you doing? neglecting me? So I managed to finish the
script draft one and I've got my three people. Right. So one is our lovely producer Amanda. So
I've forwarded a script off to her because I know you know she's seen several and help several
so it'd be great to get her feedback and a couple of cousins just keeping in the family Sammy,
I've got one who works at Create New South Wales but not in the department that funds film.
Its like funding galleries and that sort of funding, you know, the opera and ballet not quite my
league. So she's, she's got a copy and then my other cousin in Canberra who actually taught
creative writing at Australian National University. So he's written lots of stuff. So I'm like, I've
given him a copy. Because also it was him sending... when we were talking about writing he
sent me a book on script writing, which I sort of plowed into and then went okay, I can, I think I
can do this. Yeah, nice at the moment, but I'm kind of going, Oh, I wonder what the feedback is
going to be.

Sam Folden 04:31
Yeah, Well no feedbacks really bad feedback you'll work on it I guess either way.

Max Belmonte 05:16
And lucky in corporate life, you know, you're forever getting your plans picked apart. But more

Sam Folden 05:21
Youre used to it.

Max Belmonte 05:22
Yeah, hopefully make it a better plan you know, so yeah. But yeah, so that's happening. So
that's exciting. So yeah, thanks to good old Christian will shout out to Christian Van Vuuren for
helping me over the line there. It was great to talk to him about about his work. I remember
you said, you had a few scripts that you sort of started, maybe it maybe it, maybe it helps you
to start a few more that you've got unfinished?

Sam Folden 05:48
Yeah. I mean, I mean, I remember, when we're talking to Christian, I mentioned that I had some
scripts on my laptop, just like five unfinished ones. Such cool ideas in my head.

Max Belmonte 06:01

Sam Folden 06:02
And I remember talking to him about if whoever's listening, if they go, if you go back and listen
to the Christian interview, I tell him that I just struggled to put all my ideas on paper succinctly,
I guess, yeah, and just get it out. And he was talking about how some of the most important
things, when your story starts, when your story ends, what your character wants and needs.
And if you don't have those, and you've started, then you're probably starting a bit too early.
And that's definitely kind of, I get excited when I'm writing something and want to jump straight
into it and jot down every idea I have. So I don't forget it. But then I ended up, I get excited and
put it in script form and then start writing scenes. And I'm like, clearly not ready yet. jumping
the gun finished ones on my laptop.

Max Belmonte 06:50
Yes, yeah. I kind of keep like a separate book for all my ideas and bits and pieces, like I've got
one column is like story ideas. Like if they're big and juicy enough, another column has just
little funny little moments that that sort of complement the world and that it's in. Sometimes
the little moments get promoted to a storyline and vice versa. But I sort of vomit everything
down there. And then it makes it to a post it note and then it maybe makes it onto one of the
episodes and gets moved around a bit.

Sam Folden 07:20

Max Belmonte 07:20
So because because I think to go straight to script, and it's like that's it's huge. You're forever
cutting and pasting.

Sam Folden 07:29
Yeah, good idea. And I I really liked all the stuff that we spoke about with Christian like it all
spoke spoke to me really nicely. I've just the all the writing stuff got me so interested. Um,
there was a quote that he said there was like, a paraphrase, but it was a quote by
Michelangelo. And it was, I looked it up, and this is the exact quote...

Max Belmonte 07:53
Yeah go on...

Sam Folden 07:54
"The sculpture is already complete within the marble block before I start my work. It is already
there. I just have to chisel away that superfluous material." And I like that. Yeah. And then
Christian was was quoting, like, paraphrase what he said, and that really like was like, Oh, yes,
that's awesome. Because he spoke about knowing the format that you're writing in, a TV, film,
whatever it is, you know, kind of because they've been tried and tested and do all these
different ways. But also like, find what your characters afraid of? And the worst things in the
world to them. And how do you put put them put them into those situations? Pretty much how
do you put them through that? And that's kind of like that. That thing is like the stories are
there. You just got to once you get all you know, all the stories, the characters stories there,
you just got to find it.

Max Belmonte 08:52

Sam Folden 08:52
I thought that was that was awesome.

Max Belmonte 08:53
Yeah, no, it's it's great. Because sometimes, you know, you can spend so long in the detail, but
if you take step back, and like he was saying, you know, where's what's the journey? Where's
your characters? Where are they going? So I think I know, for me, now that I'm really at the tail
end. I like, you know, finalizing episode scripts.

Sam Folden 09:18

Max Belmonte 09:19
Even to the point where it's a television series. It's a comedy, but even deeper in terms of what
sort of format it's like a single camera. Because writing for multi camera like a studio audience,
like a Seinfeld, for example, versus a single camera, like a Modern Family. Like there's just so
much more like, say it's a 30 minute episode. If it's a network, that's probably roughly like 22
minutes that you're writing roughly a minute a page, and bits of directions are sort of set up.
But if it's multi camera format, I've learnt that you know, they scripts can go up to 60 pages for
the same amount of time, because they've got to give you all to stage directions and
everything because you've got your limited sets, and there's just so much more to it's a it's a
huge, it's a different beast. But yeah, I think where I've landed, it's definitely single camera
format. I think there's just so much in the outdoors in the world that that can be explored. I
can't wait for it to go further so that I can actually tell everyone about it. But yeah, absolutely.
Yeah, yeah. So , no, I think Christians done well for us, because it's really, it's really helped us
with our insights and actually putting pen to paper and, and moving forward with our own work.
So that's great.

Sam Folden 10:38
Yeah. And it was super, super cool. Talking to him here. Yeah, awesome insights and awesome
kind of ideas. And can we get started, I guess.

Max Belmonte 10:46
And how cool was it to be able to talk to Director Sam Hargrave like,

Sam Folden 10:50
oh, yeah, it was.. it's still surreal.

Max Belmonte 10:53
I know. I'm still pinching myself. I reckon we're set. We could walk onto an action film set now.
We'll be sorted.

Sam Folden 10:58
Yeah, I don't think we spoke to him. I'm still in denial.

Max Belmonte 11:03
I know it was. So we were very lucky to get a bit of his time.

Sam Folden 11:06
He was Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. Definitely. It was because he was in the middle of shooting,
Extraction 2.

Max Belmonte 11:12
Extraction two indeed, yeah, yeah. And I think it was really cool to get while we're on Extraction
to get insights into how we sort of approach those action sequences, like, the first time I heard
that term, action designer, you know, it's so cool. Because we were talking about the character
and how you got to take this scene, you've got to take into account the given circumstances
where the character was where the character is going, as you would normally approach a
scene. But from a system perspective, you've got to factor all that in and be able to do the
stunts safely and know when how much you can push the actor and how much you know, when
you've got to step in for stunt and just an all the different cameras like it, just it my mind just
gets a headache when I start to think like you've got all that. But even then, you know, like the
shot list would be extreme and to capture all that action.

Sam Folden 11:14
Yeah, he was saying he goes in there like any actor or cinematographer would to prepare, in
the sense that any other role on the film set would as a stunt an action designer.

Max Belmonte 12:18
It's so it was so cool, I think, you know, to be able to encapsulate all of what we just spoke
about and do like a 'oner' y, like he was saying his 'oner' in Extraction, that 12 minute

Sam Folden 12:32
Yeah, yeah,

Max Belmonte 12:34
Just incredible. So, props to Sam Hargrave, props to us for getting him.

Sam Folden 12:41
Yeah. Hundred percent. I love how he was saying that he did... He'd rather put himself in that
situation than anyone else, because he was strapped at the front of the car. In those scenes is
he was he was such a nice guy as well.

Max Belmonte 12:53

Sam Folden 12:54
Even when he's like, Oh, it's not because... It's not because I don't have faith in the
cinematographer. That's not why it's because it's such a dangerous situation.

Max Belmonte 13:02
It is yeah.

Sam Folden 13:04
He was awesome. And yeah, it looks very different to if you look up a picture of him on the
internet. It's not what it looks like. He has a beard and long hair now. You will not recognize

Max Belmonte 13:15
That's, right. Sporting a huge beard in Extraction. Before he got shot. He had a little cameo was
one of the mercs one of the mercenaries. Mind you, that was one of my questions back in the
day when he was filming. You know, you're on that hood of the camera car strapped in, you got
this huge beard,

Sam Folden 13:39

Max Belmonte 13:40
it's like a massive sail. It's like a windbreaker.
Sam Folden 13:43
How did he even see what he was doing?

Max Belmonte 13:45
Imagine the whole oner comes to a screeching halt. And he's like, look, we'll have to do it
again. My beard was in the frame.

Sam Folden 13:52
Yeah, yeah. You just pretend its a bush at the bottom of the frame that's constantly moving.

Max Belmonte 13:57
And how good was it how he's like, he looks out over the city and goes 'oh there's just so much
cool stuff here. You know, you can jump from that building to that building and crashing
through that window' he just looks at the city in a completely different way to how we would.

Sam Folden 14:10
Yeah. So talking about preparing for that as well having a look at it and there's a cool moment
where he was saying that, like, this was perfect for this scene, but we didn't have I think it was
like a roof or something

Max Belmonte 14:29

Sam Folden 14:30
On the spot that needed to be.

Max Belmonte 14:31

Sam Folden 14:31
So we added it in. It's like, Oh, I wish I could do that. That'd be so cool. You know, you're kind of
you're pretty much designing your own world in the real world. It's awesome.

Max Belmonte 14:39
It's great. It's great. Yeah, I love how the Russo brothers just said here's this action script go
play you know, like...

Sam Folden 14:48

Max Belmonte 14:48

Like 'car chase'. That's it, you know, and then... just... you can.... it's all in his mind, and then
with the restrictions around budget too, because you can't... you don't have months and
months to plan and all this other stuff, which is why it evolved into that that amazing 10 minute

Sam Folden 15:04
And he was saying that he added even more fights than was originally in the script as well.

Max Belmonte 15:09
I mean, get a stunt man to direct an action movie, you know?

Sam Folden 15:13
It's gonna be an ACTION movie.

Max Belmonte 15:16
That's so cool. I remember one of the first movies that... because I was into cars, you know, as
a kid, was Cannonball Run, great comedy, Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLouise, and it was all about
cars, of course, but Hal Needham was a stunt man. When he went to direct that in face he used
to stunt for Burt. And, of course, you get a stuntman who loves cars himself and has done
Cannonball Run, and there's plenty of stories on where they got inspiration from for the
ambulance, everything actually really happened. And so you get a guy who's good at stunts
and driving to do a whole comedy around car chases. Like it's just it's, you're gonna get a lot of
that and it's, it was great fun was great fun. So I remember as a kid being spoiled by that, that
and yeah, we were talking about Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was more me because
of my mom's influence, but he was really inspired by Jackie Chan because, yeah, those fight
sequences like Jackie Chan with his stunt team can just do a whole sequence for like five
minutes, which is a long time. Because they just they know that they've they've choreographed
at the moves so well, over the years, they know exactly what they're doing. They can trust
each other to get really close and, and all that you can do that versus having to cut away every
other punch or something, you know.

Sam Folden 16:48

Max Belmonte 16:49
It makes it so dynamic.

Sam Folden 16:51
And in this, you know, this day and age. You can have such long fight scenes that aren't
actually one shot because of the way that we can edit these days, which means you can have
them even longer. Which is awesome. Like you could do you know, you can show a film that
looks like it's been shot in one take similar to I guess The Revenant.

Max Belmonte 17:15

Sam Folden 17:16
Which obviously is.... can't be the case because the camera battery runs out every 10 seconds.
You know, if you've ever been on a film set, you know how often the battery runs out how much
power those cameras eat. So yeah, it's very cool. I love the you know that the world we live in
now for film and film and TV. It's awesome.

Max Belmonte 17:31
Very exciting. Yeah. I mean, yeah, totally. Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. absolute, absolute
martial arts action movie inspiration.

Sam Folden 17:44

Max Belmonte 17:44
No, it was great to get those insights from Sam and I think yeah, you're right. He was very
generous with his time and, and with insights, it's definitely gonna be a favorite episode of
ours. So coming out of those, it's, like, totally motivated to push my own work and really just do
more of it. I was worried that, you know, you find out how they were motivated originally and
what inspired them to do what they do. This is Christian and Sam. And it's like, well, maybe it's
gonna be intimidating. And it's gonna feel unachievable for me, you know, all these different
goals. But, but no, totally motivated. That's great.

Sam Folden 18:19
Yeah. They were once the same as us.

Max Belmonte 18:22
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Exactly. That's right. Well, I've got good news too! Podcast Evolutions is
happening in LA in a few weeks, a big podcasting conference. I've decided to attend very big
news. In person now that we're actually we're allowed to travel 'touch wood' in case something
else happens.

Sam Folden 18:43
Oh you're actually going?!

Max Belmonte 18:45
Yeah, I'm actually going to LA. Yeah, no, no, no, I'm, I'm booked. I said to the travel agent,
we're allowed to travel now? Do I have to quarantine for months at either end or something?
Because I know we're all good now. So I mean, hopefully, because who knows? Right? The
world is an amazing place at the moment. But ya know, so podcast evolution three day
conference, couple of thousand attendees from all over the place to talk everything podcasting.
So hopefully i'll come back with some insights and a few late nights and some time in LA, it's
been absolutely raining out the summer in Australia. So looking forward to some sunshine, but

Sam Folden 19:25
Yeah, a lot of rain and a lot of rain to come.

Max Belmonte 19:27
Yeah, Podcasting Evolutions awesome. I have, I did have a bit of a... I did find myself with a bit
of a COVID quandary because I had COVID The Omicron flavor in January, first week at New
Year's Eve, right. I started to get more severe symptoms throughout New Year's Eve. '

Sam Folden 19:52
You said Omicron Flavour?

Max Belmonte 19:53
Yeah, I mean, you know, there's different types and it's easy for me to remember

Sam Folden 19:59
it's hard to choose

Max Belmonte 20:00
So there's Maxi driving around New Year's day looking for a place to get tested to be a good
little citizen. And of course, they're all swamped. And there's only like one and it was at the
hospital and they queued up since 5am. I'm like, This is no good. So I just went home and
thought, I've got it, stay home, hydrate, and because it's better than I'm not gonna get up at
5am On a normal day, let alone when I feel crook. So, you know, coughing all over everyone. So
I thought, but of course, the thing is, I haven't got a test have I? To officially say I had it.
Therefore, bits of it might still be in my... not my DNA, you know, whatever it is... System. Yes.
Because apparently you can for a couple of months or so. So if you go get tested, it could say
you still got it? Because you got the antibodies? No longer infectious after that. But you Yeah,
what? No, but, but it can show up in some of the PCR testing because of the antibodies or
something. I mean, please, for heaven's sake, get your medical advice from a GP and from a
doctor not from me because I can barely remember. I am at the airport in a couple of weeks
time going to Podcast Evolutions, and hopefully because I gotta get... you gotta get tested right
before that's gonna come back obviously negative so I should be fine says, Famous last words

Sam Folden 20:40
System Yeah famous last words.

Max Belmonte 21:30
So yeah, it's been huge and Podcast Evolutions coming up. We've got an interview with an
award winning Australian Casting Director, with lots of tips and tricks on on how to get into the
room. Can't wait for that, for Anousha, which is next week. And then we've got a couple weeks
later, we've got Darren Gilshenan an Australian comedy Actor, and I've seen him on stage so
often and did his 'i did his'... I completed his comedy masterclass, which we've talked about in
previous episodes. And just like, seriously, I was with him for like, the two days of the
masterclass and you come away with your head just swimming with so much information, even
though a lot of it is you getting up there and doing and interacting with everyone and stuff.
He's just got so much knowledge in there. It's just insane. And you still have questions, so we'll
do our best to extract as much information from him. Other than that, no auditions at all. Like
so far since...

Sam Folden 22:40
Nup, Me neither.

Max Belmonte 22:41
The last three weeks. I haven't had any sort of like, it's a bit quiet. I keep reading about all this
work that's coming our way. All these productions that are greenlit across the country. New
soundstages being built in parts of Australia. It's like wow, but where's my piece of the pie?

Sam Folden 22:58

Max Belmonte 23:00
My agent actually reached out to me, normally I'm giving her updates. It's like how are you
doing? You know, how are you tracking? Just checking in blah, blah. And I let her know,
everything's happening with podcast and bla bla and my passion project and that. And I'm just
thinking, you know, no, no, I think it's come back. No, no auditions, nothing. Yes. Okay. I mean,
I stopped doing all the corporate stuff. And that's okay. I can still push the button if I want to do
more of that. But keep writing. But um...

Sam Folden 23:31
Well you've got your Ferrari now. You don't need that.

Max Belmonte 23:33
It's a bit hard to pull up to a corporate job half day thing when you've got Yeah, no, I did. I did
put my rates up a few times for voiceover too last year because it was getting heaps of work.
Every time there's a lockdown in Australia, the the voiceover work increases. And because
you've got so many businesses, trying to educate and communicate with their employees
working from home, so there's so many things to do. Voice over wise, so many opportunities.
So I put the price up a few times there. And then I just like to pull up in just go no more because
I really wanted to spend more time auditioning because the work was still coming in, which
made me question what my rates were before. Anyway, no. Yes. So exciting stuff coming up,
more interviews, make sure you subscribe. Hopefully, the next time we get to talk I've had a
few auditions, but fingers crossed. And definitely will be getting feedback on my script. So I'm
nervous but

Sam Folden 24:42
Oh, yeah. Pass it on.

Max Belmonte 24:44
You can join me on that journey.

Sam Folden 24:45
Yes, yes.

Max Belmonte 24:47
You've been listening to Two Unemployed Actors. I'm Max.

Sam Folden 24:51
I'm Sam.

Max Belmonte 24:52
And you'll hear us next week. Bye!