Great online design

Quick plug for this website I found which maybe quite useful not just for actors but for anyone trying to advertise something, be it themselves, their showcase, their acting company, their online tutorials, their cupcake business or….well you get the idea.

There are tons of templates ranging from flyers, posters and promo literature to logos, business cards and so on. Everything you need to get started and it’s all free (requires sign up which can be done through gmail or facebook)

But it doesn’t stop there. If you can’t afford the likes of Adobe Creative Cloud, then upgrade to the Pro or Enterprise packages which will also allow you access to a range of interesting extras including a sizeable stock footage library with royalty free use of photos, graphics and video. If you’re thinking of expanding to be your own design company you can interact with other team members on delivering that project.

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Showreels Galore

I’m hoping to give the site a major update soon, but things are very bus in the biz! I can now say I have over 50 clients whose showreels I have not only done but am helping to maintain as more work starts flooding in for the clients. An up to date showreel is essential especially as advances in technology can really make a reel look old quite quickly, widescreen, full HD and more recently 4k. (Don’t bother getting a showreel in 3D however! lol)

What’s been exciting about the showreel editing is that much of the work has been from word of mouth. I am so pleased past clients have been recommending me to fellow actors. It means that the work has been aplenty of late but alas this website has become neglected.

Please be patient, I will be returning with some great tips and useful freebies that you can find online!

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Need a voicereel but starting from scratch?

Simon Poole is a voiceover artist for many years. He now offers a Voicereel service that not only will enlighten you to this wide and varied field profession but also, through one on one sessions, will find the best text/pieces suited to your voice and also includes a 90 minute recording session  in a central London sound studio where you will come away with recordings that could be used towards your first voicereel. From there you will be fully equipped to approach the various casting and voiceover agencies in this competitive yet fulfilling industry.

And yes, ActorCV designed his website too – check it out at

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Bill Homewood new website

I met Bill just over 15 years ago. Back then Adobe Flash (or it may have still been Macromedia back then) was still very much alive and the Nokia 3310 was still king of the mobiles – surfing the net on a mobile still a long way off.

Much has changed including the sad demise of Flash, which for all it’s faults, was still better than HTML5 is today in my opinion. Just not mobile/battery friendly which was enough to kill it!

After a stint on WordPress, Bill recently commissioned me to completely redesign his site, which I have using Adobe Muse. The result can be seen here – and is responsive to tablets and smart phones too. Bill loves the finished site and it has had  a popular response on social media too.

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Contact SheetI type out a lot of CV’s for other actors. This week I’m doing the webpages for an agent with 22 clients. So as you can imagine I’m more than familiar with the trends and fashions that actors are adopting. The last 2 years has without doubt seen one of the biggest transformations in that many actors are now using colour photos for their headshot instead of the traditional black and white. Digital publishing is becoming the staple for the younger generations of agents and casting directors who are sweeping away the old dusty protocols of their predecessors. Given the huge amount of television and film casting that there is now (compared to 20 years ago) and the evolution of higher definition in these medias, who can blame them. And it’s not prohibitively expensive for the actor now to bash out 200 or so colour 10 by 8s.

If you’re looking to do a new batch of headshot you can now check out the photographers own website and samples of work. As always ActorCV can help you out there. Check our list of photographers whom we rate on our links page.

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The One-Minute Showreel

Time is money, none more so for a casting director. They do not have time to sit through the full ten minutes of your showreel complete with ubiquitous indulgent montage (though there is a time and place for a montage, it is not at the start of your showreel). In this day and age where a click of a mouse is the equivalent of shouting “NEXT”, an actor needs to know how to make a good an impression quickly, succinctly and effectively.

It was a mate of mine, Chris Ryman, who mentioned that over in Hollywood where he’s recently started working, CD’s are big fans of the 1-Minute Showreel. A challenge for any editor worth their salt and I love a challenge! So here is Chris’ One-Minute showreel that ActorCV recently did for him. We also did longer versions which we may post later on.


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Get a site that works on mobiles!

Siri O Neal WesbiteWhen I first started designing websites, one of my first clients was the actress Siri O Neal. She had an impressive portfolio and it was fun designing a website with such great content in it. This was over 10 years ago and was designed using Flash. A lot has happened in that time including the demise of Flash. (Yes it can still be found on desktop computers but it won’t be around for much longer.) And most people surf online using mobile devices which of course weren’t around 10 years ago. These websites require HTML5, not Flash!
Using the new Adobe Muse I was able to redesign Siri’s site to work just as it did and have different designs for both desktop, tablet and mobile! Not only does this look good but it also means that the navigation and feel of the site are vastly improved depending on whichever device you are viewing the site on.

ActorCV can do a similar custom designed site for you for just £150! Check out the demo here

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Convert video files

So here’s your dilemma. You’ve got a video file in .avi format but you need to convert it for whatever reason to .mp4 – or vice versa. Or perhaps it’s two completely different formats but the problem remains the same. How can you do that without fuss. Or without it costing you a penny.

VLC Media Player is an open-source (i.e. free and legal) media player that is actually, in my opinion, better and more versatile than the likes of Windows Media Player or Quicktime.
It also has some great extra features one of which we will visit now. To convert files, just go to FILE then select CONVERT/STREAM

VLC Media File ConversionThe next window, shown here will allow you to select the file you wish to convert (DROP MEDIA HERE), choose the format you wish to convert to (press CUSTOMIZE in the CHOOSE PROFILE section) then select a name for the new file you wish to create (in the CHOOSE DESTINATION section). And you’re done! It really is that simple! The conversion process itself may take lots of minutes depending on how big the file you are converting from and to is, and how powerful your computer is. You can monitor the conversion progress on the timeline of the player itself.

It is free to download and can be found here – Visit the VLC Media Download page.

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Impressive emails! Simple, yet so effective!

In previous posts I’ve covered the idea of email mail outs by suggesting using websites like Mailchimp. But what if you don’t have time to design a big newsletter. After all you’ve spent a lot of time posting your updates on your website. So why not send your LATEST page (or indeed any page of your website) as an email – with exactly the same layout, active links etc…

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 16.07.34With a Mac computer it’s easy. Simple browse to the web page you want to send, go to FILE>SHARE>Email This Page.

Then when the email window opens up, look to the top right corner drop down box and make sure that “Send Content As Web Page” is selected.

Alternatively, you may already have published your latest post on your website. Why not just try selecting, copying and pasting into an email straight off the website. More often than not, it’ll just copy all the style layout as well (though not always – can but try though!)



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Automatic updates on WordPress and voice dictation via an app.

20131031-194851.jpgThe latest version of WordPress has a brilliant new function which some may say is long overdue. It allows the updates both of WordPress and plug-ins to happen automatically in the background. This means that you no longer need to manually update plug-ins and/or WordPress core.
This particular news update of ActorCV is also rather special as I’m dictating it via voice through the new iPhone 5S. Apart from the odd typo or mispronunciation on my part this is very very good and accurate. And you can always clean up any mistakes afterwards.
I’m now publishing this post through the WordPress app and so far barely typed a thing. Isn’t technology wonderful thing!

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