Posted: May. 4, 2010
Category: Writing Tips

Unforgettable Character Introductions
By Hal Croasmun
Let's be blunt for a second: If your lead characters don't engage a reader, your script will be turned down. So it is very important that the top three characters have great introductions.
I can't tell you how many times a lead character is introduced in a bland way -- often through "talking-heads" scenes that do little to make the character memorable.
My advice: Make those character introductions as interesting as you can by putting your character into action right away.
To do that, we'll use a simple "action/insight" format on characters from five movies.


In"Schindler's List," Oskar Schindler's introduction shows his ability to schmooze with SS officers. While that scene did a variety of  things, it also introduced Schindler through action that provided insight into his character.
ACTION: Schindler schmoozes SS officers.
INSIGHT: This man is a wheeler-dealer / war-time profiteer who has no fear of the SS.
The action is important because it provides something visual that is interesting to watch on the screen. But the insight is far more important -- we need to experience something deep about this character during our first meeting that will have us want to follow them throughout the story.
As you look at the examples below, think about your own character introductions and how you might improve them.
They introduce Amir through two sets of actions simultaneously -- being on the show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and being tortured at the police station because they believe he is cheating.
Both situations show him as a stubborn young man who will do anything to remain on this show. Later, we discover that it is not for the money. He wants to remain on the show as long as possible so the woman he loves might see him. They had been separated at a foster home.
ACTION: Refuses to give up being a contestant on TV game show while being tortured.
INSIGHT: We get the character's stubbornness, his absolute commitment to remaining on this show, which is a hook -- who would go through torture just to remain on a show when he could take the money and live a good life? That hook delivers a lot of character insight later on.


Posted: May. 1, 2010
Category: Disney Audition Information

What to expect at a Disney audition...

We hold auditions in many different locations all over the world. While each one is a bit different, there are some basic things you can expect at every Disney audition.

A place to check in

There will always be a Cast Member to help you check in and answer some basic questions about how the audition will run. This Cast Member will record your name and the time you arrived, and take your Headshot & Resume or give you an Audition Application form to fill out. Make sure to arrive early in order to give yourself time to check in and fill out the paperwork.


Keeping to the clock

We're a very time conscious bunch. We'll do our very best to keep the audition running on time, but we need your help in order to do that. It's very important that you arrive in plenty of time to complete your check-in and ready yourself for a great audition. Generally speaking, this means at least 15 minutes before your scheduled audition time.

If it's your first time to a particular audition location, please plan enough travel time to navigate an unfamiliar place.


The audition room

Walking into the main audition room can be intimidating... but stay cool and have fun with it. Remember that we're people too, and we're quite happy that you came to audition for us. Keep your confidence and come right on in!

Your audition will be run by a Disney Casting Director. As you enter the audition room we'll do our best to introduce ourselves, and give you a few instructions to help you through the audition.

The room setup will vary based on the type of audition you're attending. It may be a small rehearsal hall with just a few Casting Directors, or a large facility with several people for a group audition. Either way, be sure to listen to any instructions that are given, and do your best!


Closed auditions

All Disney auditions are closed auditions. This means that we don't allow anyone into the audition room who is not auditioning.

While we understand the important role the support of friends and family play in every performer's life, the audition is one place you must go on your own. If someone does accompany you to an audition, they will be asked to wait in the holding area of the audition venue.


Now let's talk a bit about what to have prepared for your audition »

What to prepare for your audition...

Each type of audition will have a slightly different set of requirements. We've put together a list of standard formats, but be sure to read each audition listing carefully as it will have specific information on what to prepare.


Prepare two separate vocal selections of contrasting styles. Pick the best 16 bars of each. Remember that we're not just looking for good vocalists. We need singers who can really tell a story. Do your very best to know the story behind the words you're singing and convey that in your audition.

We'll provide an accompanist for all vocal auditions. Please bring sheet music in the correct key. We don't allow any pre-recorded accompaniment (tape, CD, etc...). In addition to your prepared pieces, we may ask you to learn additional music or a movement combination.



Prepare a one minute comedic monologue. Practice your timing. Be sure not to rush the moments in your piece, and remember that you're not just reading words... think about the emotion behind what you're saying and play the part.

In addition to your prepared piece, you may be asked to read, learn additional material, or participate in improvisational exercises.



We have roles with a wide range of required ability. Be sure to read the audition listing carefully to know what is required.

Wear form fitting dance attire that allows a full range of movement. Bring ballet shoes, jazz shoes and/or character heels, and wear the appropriate footwear for each combination.

Please arrive early enough to stretch and warm up before the audition begins.



Prepare three short selections that demonstrate your technical, lyrical, and improvisational skill. Remember that we need to see your showmanship in addition to your proficiency on your instrument. Let your personality shine through! Sight reading will be required. Some applicants may be asked to perform a simple marching maneuver.

Plan on bringing your own instrument unless otherwise noted in the audition listing.


Disney Character Performer & Look Alikes

We won't ask you to have any specific content prepared for a Character Audition, but you can prepare in other ways.

Remember that most roles in this category will require you to portray one of our world-famous Disney Characters with no words at all. You'll communicate through gestures and movement. The auditions are based primarily on movement, physical coordination and attitude.


Stunt Performers

We have a very wide range of roles for stunt performers. Please read the audition listings closely to decide if an audition is right for you.

Tumblers, acrobats, gymnasts and other stunt performers must have a gymnastic background. Aerial experience is a plus. Applicants may be asked to demonstrate proficiency on rings, rope, high bar, and trampoline. Some roles require climbing, swinging, aerial work, the ability to perform at heights, in, and around water as well as near fire and special effects.


Bands, Variety & Specialty Acts

Bands, variety acts, and other specialty acts are auditioned on an invitational basis. If you're interested in submitting your promo material to be considered for an audition, please click here.


Now let's cover some more good audition tips »


Audition Tips

When you go to an audition you want to put your very best foot forward. Here are a few tips to help you along.

Be on time

Remember that your audition begins even before you arrive! Be sure to plan enough preparation and travel time for your audition. We can't stress enough how important it is to arrive on-time to your audition... and in most cases this means at least 15 minutes before your scheduled audition time. Being late, no matter the reason, can negatively affect your audition, or prevent you from being seen altogether.


Headshot & Resume

No matter what kind of role you're auditioning for, it's a good idea to have a Headshot and Resume on hand.

Good quality photos on standard letter size paper are best. Make sure the photo you use is representative of the way you look now. If you change your appearance in any way, be sure to update your headshot. As you choose a photo, remember that your headshot is the calling card you leave behind for the Disney Casting team to remember you. Make sure it's the best possible representation of who you are.

Keep your resume to one page and list your most recent experience and accomplishments. Don't worry if you have limited experience.

Affix your resume securely to the back of your headshot, or have it printed directly on the back. Also, remember that we'll need to keep the photo & resume.

Posted: Mar. 1, 2010
Category: Copyright Rights

YouTube Copyright Rights

How your copyright rights are affected by YouTube. An overview of the YouTube terms of service and how your distribution rights are affected when you post videos on YouTube.

If you watch the news at all, chances are you have seen a YouTube video as part of a news story. For those unaware, YouTube is a video sharing website owned by Google. Users can upload and share their videos. As it happens, "YouTube video" is somewhat of a misnomer, as YouTube does not create or own the videos on its site. YouTube is simply an online hosting site for a collection of user videos, recorded by thousands of people all over the world. But what happens when one such video gains national attention via TV news outlets? When such a video is on the news, there is usually a credit in the corner of the video acknowledging that the video was found on YouTube. This begs the question, however, "What about the video's creator? Doesn't he or she deserve credit?" The answer, according to YouTube, is a simple one: no.

In YouTube's terms of service, which every user must accept before uploading a video, the rules are stated very clearly. "By submitting User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website." In layman's terms, by submitting content to YouTube, you are giving Google permission to use your content however it pleases.

It is important to remember that the majority of YouTube's profits come from advertising. Therefore, the more exposure YouTube gains, the more money Google will make. To put it in perspective, it currently costs $175,000 dollars a day to advertise on the front page of YouTube. This number can be expected to rise as YouTube becomes even more popular. You can now see why it is imperative that YouTube be able to distribute a user's content without specific permission by the owner. This necessity for promotion leads us to another interesting phrase in the YouTube terms of service. "You agree not to distribute in any medium any part of the Website, including but not limited to User Submissions (defined below), without YouTube's prior written authorization." This states that no one may use any content from YouTube without Google's permission. This prevents news agencies from using a video hosted on YouTube without obtaining written permission, therefore ensuring that Google always receives credit for YouTube videos.

Interestingly enough, YouTube takes care to state in its terms of service that the user who submits the content still "retains all ownership rights to the content." Legally, there is very little difference between a license owner and a content owner. Therefore, while YouTube does not technically own the user content, it has essentially the same legal rights to the content's distribution and reproduction as the owners do. However, by allowing the content creator to retain ownership rights, YouTube can avoid liability for the content. The terms of service state, "You shall be solely responsible for your own User Submissions and the consequences of posting or publishing them". This allows YouTube to reproduce and distribute the content as it sees fit while avoiding liability.

There is a fourth section of the terms of service that, while not expressly related to distribution rights, is interesting to note. "The above licenses granted by you in User Videos terminate within a commercially reasonable time after you remove or delete your User Videos from the YouTube website... YouTube may retain, but not display distribute or perform, server copies of User Submissions that have been removed or deleted." Essentially, YouTube has the right to keep copies of uploaded videos on its servers forever, even if the user "deletes" them and cancels his account. YouTube may also continue to use the video for a "commercially reasonable' amount of time. This could potentially lead to a user video being used in promotional material for YouTube, even after the creator has deleted it.

While some of these terms may seem overbearing, or even an invasion of privacy, they are far from unusual. Veoh and Vimeo, two other popular video sharing websites, recite almost identical terms of service. While one may be inclined to view this negatively, there are some positives as well. For example, in June 2009, rioting broke out in Iran over presidential elections. Iran has a state controlled media, and did not report the riots. However, due to the proliferation of video enabled cell phones and YouTube, news agencies all over the world were able to report on this story. It would have been almost impossible to obtain permission from these users before reporting on the story, and if these terms were not in place an important event would have gone un-noticed. YouTube and sites like it are becoming more and more a part of mainstream media. Regardless of your individual opinion of them, these terms are here to stay, and you should be aware of them before posting a video or even a comment on YouTube.

Nick Andreadis is a legal intern for Mark Levy. He is an Industrial and Systems Engineer at Binghamton University

Posted: Feb. 15, 2010
Category: WIRELESS MICROPHONES - Equipment

follow link below for official rule

The FCC's move to push television broadcasters to digital television is going to have a big impact on everyone using wireless microphones. The change will be dramatic and users need to be prepared.
In the process of reallocating broadcast frequency spectrum so that digital TV can be rolled out to the American viewing public, the Federal Communications Commission is making major changes in what part of the broadcast spectrum is going to be exclusively used for digital TV.

Lots of the UHF wireless mics in use today (and some still being manufactured) make use of the frequencies that fall in the range currently used by UHF television channels 62, 63, 68 and 69 (746-806 MHz).
In a major frequency change to accommodate the needs of digital broadcasters, the FCC is going to allow the frequency ranges used by these channels to now be used for emergency services. Get ready to mix an ambulance dispatcher into your concert or worship service!

Savvy sound persons know that they can monitor local radio frequency activity using their wireless mics or a scanner to determine which frequency ranges may have disruptive activity before they decide which frequencies to use for their frequency-agile mics during a show.

This will no longer be possible, as you won't be able to monitor for the short term broadcasts that emergency transmissions normally involve. What might have been a clear frequency all day during load in and rehearsals can quickly spring to life five minutes after your show starts-it could be triggered by something as simple as fender bender around the block.
Weak batteries will make you even more vulnerable.
The big wireless mic producers are offering frequency changes on their high end models, but it will be expensive. Each transmitter (handheld mic or belt pack), as well as every receiver must be changed. It will be a tough decision as to whether it is time to upgrade a trusted (and expensive) wireless unit or replace it with a newer model in a less crowded frequency range. Even lots of small-to-medium sized production companies own a dozen or more units that will essentially become obsolete.

If you need help with new mics Philadelphia Theatrical has got you covered.
Call or email us anytime, or visit our online store at

Scott Franco
Philadelphia Theatrical

Posted: Feb. 15, 2010
Category: How to Get a Great Headshot – the Inside Story by Top New Yor

How to Get a Great Headshot – the Inside Story by  Top

New York Headshot Photographer – Joe Henson

Q. What are Actor's Headshots and how are they used?

A. Actor's headshots are images of actors which are used as an aid in casting by Casting Directors, Agents, Managers, Directors, Producers and anyone involved in auditioning talent for the various markets in the entertainment industry. From the earliest Hollywood "Pub Shots" i.e. Publicity Shots to current Electronic Submission Digital Images, headshots have been the currency that circulates through the industry representing actors in an effort to be seen for a role. An effective headshot is a mix of aesthetic value (it is pleasing to look at and makes the actor look good) and casting viability and clarity (it defines the elements of the actor's type that are important in defining the logical characters that actor can play).

Headshots are one of the most effective elements of an actor's arsenal in terms of "being seen for a role". A strong headshot can be an effective entrée into the offices of the people who hold the reigns of power in the entertainment industry. A great headshot can not tell someone how talented you are, but it can define your qualities as an actor that in turn define the types of roles you should be playing. We have all heard stories of actors whose headshots have "gotten them in the door" of a big shot agent and launched a successful career.

Headshots are used in two primary forms, the reliable 8X10 reproduction and the rapidly growing Electronic Submission. The 8X10 reproduction is exactly what it sounds like, a print of the actor's headshot reproduced on 8X10 inch paper and usually printed in large quantities. Reproduction Houses that specialize in making copies dot the landscape in most large cities that are centers for actors. Actors submit a "Master Image" either in the form of a Master Print or Master Digital File and the Reproduction House makes carefully controlled copies of that shot. These copies come in two basic forms, Photo Reproductions which use continuous tone photo paper and produce copies which are indistinguishable from the original, or Lithographs which are lower cost and lower quality reproductions of the image using a fine dot matrix process, much like the images in a newspaper. Budget and personal style determine which process an actor goes with and there is an ongoing debate concerning the best choice. Typically actors who use expensive photographers looking for high photographic quality will want to maintain the elements of that quality in their reproductions. Reproduction Houses have price points throughout the spectrum with Photo Reproduction Houses charging around $115 for 100 Photo Reproductions to Lithographic Houses charging $50 for 500 lithographs.

Electronic submissions involve emailing a low resolution JPEG to the appropriate party. It's important for every actor to learn how to resize their digital headshot file so that it will sail swiftly through cyberspace and land gently in the queue of the target's email. Currently there are no established standards for image size but most offices prefer that the image be sized under 1 Megabyte and be converted to 72 dpi. If that sounds like gibberish to you, you can learn to resize your photos fairly easily through many of the photo software programs out there. The software programs that are packaged with your digital camera will explain the process and allow you to resize your image "for the web".

Headshots are submitted to industry people who are involved in the casting process. Depending on the level of professionalism, this could mean sending them to an agent as a means of making contact or sending them as a response to an ad for a Student Film Casting in a local actor's newsletter or giving them to an uncle who knows someone who knows Steven Spielberg. They carry the hopes and dreams of many actors in getting discovered.

Q. What makes a great headshot?

A. A great headshot is the perfect balance of quality, individuality, and effectiveness. A great headshot works on two levels, first esthetically - it looks good to the eye, even upside down. It grabs the attention of the viewer and pulls him/her in. Agents receive thousands of headshots a month. Your headshot has to stand out from the group and grab that agent by the lapels and say, "Look at me!" Secondly, it has to place the actor within a context that makes it easy for the industry professional to mentally cast that actor. They should be able to picture the actor in specific types of roles. This actor would make a great Romantic Lead, that one would make a great Villain. The headshot should be specific enough to define elements of a "type" but not so specific that it limits the actor to only one note. No one headshot can represent all of the possible roles that a talented actor could play, but an effective headshot can represent qualities that logically give a perspective for casting that actor.

Q. How do I go about getting a great headshot?

A. The search begins by sifting through the maze of avenues available to get a photograph that can represent you as an actor. Yes, it's possible that your Uncle Charlie who works at the DMV could take your picture and it will be in focus and will look like you to a certain extent but in the competitive world of Acting, better headshots present the actor as a professional who takes pride in his/her presentation and understands that the first line of offense is "penetration ". A Casting Agent receives a headshot (with a resume attached to or printed on the back) and decides whether that actor is worth a look or whether that headshot goes into the circular file (we all know what that is). Take a look through the dumpster behind a Casting Agent's office and cry for the lost opportunities tossed in there.

If you decide that the best approach is find a professional photographer (obviously my choice) and not to rely on a lucky accident by a friend, then you are faced with the prospect of figuring out what your budget will be and who is the best qualified photographer you can find for that budget. Professional Headshot Photographers come at all price points from the $99 special to the $1500 Hot Shot. Is more expensive better? Can you get a great headshot for $99? The bottom line is that as in real life - quality usually costs something. It comes down to this: A professional who has pride in his/her work, makes a living doing that work, and has tons of experience is invested in the result that they create, and has a sense of the market and current styles. Lower prices depend on volume for profit and must then cut back on personal attention and care. Yes, it's theoretically possible to get a great shot for $99, but it's also theoretically possible to pay $99 seven times to come up with something that could have come the first time from a trained qualified professional who knows the value of their work and depends on positive word of mouth to stay in business.

It's a cutthroat world out there for Actors. There are a myriad of businesses specifically designed to separate an aspiring actor from their money. Modeling schools that make empty promises for hefty sums, Casting Agents who charge for meetings, Agents who receive kickbacks from unscrupulous photographers, Acting Teachers who put the moves on students or take advantage of naivety. You've definitely got to listen to your gut, but forewarned is for-armed and it's certainly a buyer beware situation. But all is not lost and actors do get their money's worth by finding the photographers who deliver great results for reasonable prices.

The first step is to put your ear to the ground. Find a network of actors who are happy with their headshots and the rate they were charged. I mention the rate they were charged because the trick is not to break the bank, but to pay a reasonable rate to get a satisfying product. What is the going rate? What is enough to spend? Logic dictates that people who do something well get compensated for it. That goes for Doctors, Lawyers and Headshot Photographers. So, if the $99 deal seems too good to be true, yes, it probably is. Most New York Headshot Photographers fall within a range from $350 to $850. Does paying $850 guarantee a great shot? No. And beware of the "flavor-of-the-month" photographer who makes a big splash but can't deliver consistent results over time. New York City is the land of hype and lemmings form a line at every cliff face along the Hudson River. Most photographers in the range from $350 to $850 would probably do a fairly competent job, but the best shots come from a collaboration between a great professional that you connect with personally and feel comfortable with, and an actor who accepts some responsibility in the process.

Q. What then is the actor's responsibility in the headshot process?

A. An actor should be clear on the markets he/she wants to work in first of all. Do you want to get TV commercials? Well, you need shots that target those markets and present your type in a strong clear way. Are you a Business Person, a Mom, a Dad, an All-American Boy/Girl Next Door, A Pop-Culture GAP/MTV Kid? That's what should be evident in your commercial shot, and you might be more than one type. You need to cover all of your types. You might have an 8X10 of your strongest type and then a postcard with a shot of you as a different type on it. How about Film or TV or Theater? That's called a Legit Shot. A Legit shot defines the qualities that an actor projects and that fall into broad categories in the acting world. Are you more on the intense, edgy side or the loose, light, comic side? Are you going to be hired as the love interest or the best friend? Are you strongest as a more specific type like a thug or a general type like a romantic lead? And within those categories, where do you fall. Are you Ross or Joey or Chandler? Are you Monica, Phoebe or Rachel? Actors need to define themselves so that others can see it. A great photographer has the perspective to help you project your type so that Casting People are goosed in the right direction for casting you. If they understand the roles you would be good for, and your shot accurately and powerfully defines those elements, you'll get called in for parts that you are right for, a big important step in getting a role.

Q. When I look at most Headshot Photographer's work, it all looks the same to me. What differentiates a great Headshot Photographer from a good one?

A. It's difficult if you don't know much about photography to differentiate levels of quality in photography. This is where in this interview I have to speak personally, based on my experience and what I do to make my work stand out. One aspect of portfolios that is fairly evident is whether the photographer has a limited formula, which is stamped out on each client. It's not too difficult over time to master the technical elements in portrait photography. With enough experimentation any photographer can hit on a combination of lighting and lens that makes a pretty picture. What separates the greats from the rest is a photographer who generates the style of the headshot from the style of the client, who has a deep bag of tricks and has mastered many forms of lighting and shooting so that the headshot tells about the actor and not what photographer took the photo. Many agents pride themselves on being able to pick out the photographer who took your headshot, and while there are just a limited amount of photographers out there, the goal should be to sell you, not the photographer and their style. It's helpful to look through magazines that profile actors. The best photographers in the world shoot the actors for those magazines and you can learn a lot about quality photography, taking in those images.

On the most basic human level a great headshot makes a connection with the viewer. The actor and the photographer work together to make that happen. You need to look through the lens and see the person behind the glass. Bring it to them; create an emotion, intensity, and a statement that is defined in your mind. I encourage my clients to feed me emotions or intent. Some have an easier time with that than others. For those that find it difficult, we play games to loosen the flow. I don't commit to shooting until something is happening. I look for the moments when I feel the connection and BAM - there is a headshot!

The sitter is creating the role and the photographer is directing the action, choosing angles, and lighting, backgrounds that enhance the overall statement of the headshot. There is powerful magic in a great headshot. It commands attention and makes the viewer want to meet that person. As human beings we are drawn to truth and beauty, and those are the elements that make an outstanding headshot. A great photographer is excited by the search for those elements in all of his/her clients.

©Joe Henson 2009, All Rights Reserved

Joe Henson Photography

236 West 27th Street
Suite 10RW
New York, NY 10001

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Posted: Jan. 26, 2010
Category: U S Federal Govt Rules, Tips or Advice

Recordkeeping for Visual Depictions of Actual and Simulated Sexually Explicit Conduct

US Department of Justice



18 U.S.C. § 2257 imposes name- and age-verification, recordkeeping, and labeling requirements on producers of visual depictions of actual human beings engaged in actual sexually explicit conduct. Likewise, 18 U.S.C. § 2257A imposes name- and age-verification, recordkeeping, and labeling requirements on producers of visual depictions of actual human beings engaged in simulated sexually explicit conduct. The statutes require producers of such material to ascertain, by examining identification documents, that performers are of legal age, as well as to record and maintain this information. With respect to depictions of actual sexually explicit conduct, failure to do so is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment of not more than five years for a first offense and not more than 10 years for subsequent offenses. With respect to depictions of simulated explicit conduct, failure to do so is a misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in prison and a fine. Matter containing such visual depictions must be labeled with a statement indicating where the records are located, and those records are subject to inspection by the government.

These statutory requirements are implemented through Part 75 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This compliance guide offers information in a question and answer format on the duties of affected entities to adhere to their legal obligations under those regulations. It is not a substitute for Part 75 itself, and all persons who are subject to the regulation should review Part 75 to ensure they comply with its requirements. In addition, Part 75 has been updated and changed twice since its initial promulgation, in 2005 and, most recently, in 2008, with an effective date of January 20, 2009. All persons subject to the regulation may want to refer to the Federal Register notices promulgating the final rules that formed the basis for the regulation for further explanatory information. See Inspection of Records Relating to Depiction of Sexually Explicit Performances, 70 Fed. Reg. 29607 (May 24, 2005), and Revised Regulations for Records Relating to Visual Depictions of Sexually Explicit Conduct; Inspection of Records Relating to Depiction of Simulated Sexually Explicit Conduct, 73 Fed. Reg. 77432 (Dec. 18, 2008).

Summary of Part 75's Requirements

Part 75 requires that, prior to producing a visual depiction of actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct, a primary producer must examine a government-issued picture identification card belonging to each performer in the visual depiction that demonstrates that the performer is 18 years old or older. The primary producer must then record the legal name, any aliases, and the date of birth of the performer, record the date of production of the depiction, and make a copy of the picture identification card. Once production is complete, a copy of the visual depiction must be maintained along with these records. All information on a performer may be redacted other than the name, date of birth, and information that identifies the type and validity of the picture identification card (e.g., drivers license or passport number). All of the primary producer's records for all its visual depictions must also be cross-referenced by name and alias of the performers. If a secondary producer produces a copy of the visual depiction, the secondary producer must obtain from the primary producer the records associated with that depiction. Finally, the visual depiction must be labeled with the location of the records.


These requirements vary slightly depending on the type of sexually explicit conduct depicted and when a visual depiction was produced. The requirements apply in full to any visual depiction of actual sexually explicit conduct produced after July 3, 1995, either by a primary producer or secondary producer, with the exception of visual depictions of lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person ("lascivious exhibition"). The requirements for depictions of lascivious exhibition apply only to depictions produced after March 18, 2009. Likewise, the requirements for visual depictions of simulated sexually explicit conduct apply only to depictions produced after March 18, 2009. In addition to these variations, some specific differences as to the form of records apply based on these dates and types of material, which are explained in detail in the regulation.

As provided by 18 U.S.C. § 2257A, the regulation also provides a "safe harbor" for depictions of lascivious exhibition and simulated sexually explicit conduct. A producer who regularly and in the regular course of business collects and maintains records that confirm and the identification and age of performers can send a letter to the Attorney General of the United States stating that is does so, for any visual depiction that (1) is intended for commercial distribution; (2) is created as a part of a commercial enterprise; and (3) either (i) is not produced, marketed or made available in circumstances such that an ordinary person would conclude that the matter is child pornography, or (ii) is subject to regulation by the Federal Communications Commission regarding the broadcast of obscene, indecent, or profane programming.

-Top -

Technical Notes

  1. The preamble of the Final Rule suggests that the certification letter to the Attorney General should include a list of works covered by the certification. The preamble states that "the letter should either: (i) Cite 18 U.S.C. 2257A(h)(1)(A) and 28 C.F.R. § 75.9 and state that the visual depictions listed in the letter are 'intended for commercial distribution,' . . . ." 73 Fed. Reg. 77,451 (emphasis added). The actual text of the regulation, however, does not require the depictions to be listed. The proposed rule did require such a listing, but that provision was eliminated in the final rule.
  2. In 28 C.F.R. § 75.9(d), the rule states that, "a single certification may cover all or some subset of all entities owned by the entity making the certification. However, the names of all sub-entities covered must be listed in such certification and must be cross-referenced to the matter for which the sub-entity served as the producer." 73 Fed. Reg. 77,472 (emphasis added). As noted above in paragraph (1) the proposed rule required a list of depictions covered by the certification (that is, the "matter" in the underlined phrase). However, the final rule eliminated that requirement. The underlined phrase was apparently carried over inadvertently from the proposed rule to the final rule even though other provisions were changed to reflect the elimination of the requirement to list the depictions covered by a certification.
  3. 28 C.F.R. § 75.1(o), in the second sentence of the definition of "simulated sexually explicit conduct," contains an extraneous second "not" that should be removed. 73 Fed. Reg. 77,469. That sentence currently reads, "It does not mean not sexually explicit conduct that is merely suggested." The second "not" is merely a typographical error.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which depictions are covered by the regulation?

A. The regulation applies to visual depictions of actual human beings engaged in actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct. However, with respect to depictions of actual sexually explicit conduct consisting of only lascivious exhibition or depictions of simulated sexually explicit conduct, the regulation applies only with respect to such depictions that are originally produced after March 18, 2009.

Q. What is "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area"?

A. The regulation does not define the term "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area," but the Department of Justice will rely on precedent from child pornography prosecutions for 18 U.S.C. § 2257 investigations and prosecutions involving such depictions. In that context, judicial precedent indicates that a depiction can constitute lascivious exhibition if, among other things:

(1) the focal point is on the subject's genitalia or pubic area;
(2) the setting of the visual depiction is sexually suggestive, i.e., in a place or pose generally associated with sexual activity;
(3) the visual depiction suggests sexual coyness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity; or
(4) the visual depiction is intended or designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer. For more detail, see 73 Fed. Reg. at 77433 and 77440-41.

Q. What is "simulated sexually explicit conduct"?

A. Simulated sexually explicit conduct is conduct engaged in by performers that is depicted in a manner that would cause a reasonable viewer to believe that the performers engaged in actual sexually explicit conduct, even if they did not in fact do so. It does not mean sexually explicit conduct that is merely suggested. See 28 C.F.R. § 75.1(o) In addition, it does not include virtual representations of such conduct, i.e., cartoons or computer-generated images that do not depict real human beings.

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Q. Who is required to maintain records?

A. Both primary and secondary producers of covered materials. A primary producer "is any person who actually films, videotapes, photographs, or creates a digitally- or computer-manipulated image, a digital image, or a picture of, or who digitizes an image of, a visual depiction of an actual human being engaged in actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct." 28 C.F.R. § 75.1(c)(1). A secondary producer "is any person who produces, assembles, manufactures, publishes, duplicates, reproduces, or reissues a book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape, or digitally- or computer-manipulated image, picture, or other matter intended for commercial distribution that contains a visual depiction of an actual human being engaged in actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct, or who inserts on a computer site or service a digital image of, or otherwise manages the sexually explicit content of a computer site or service that contains a visual depiction of, an actual human being engaged in actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct, including any person who enters into a contract, agreement, or conspiracy to do any of the foregoing." 28 C.F.R. § 75.1(c)(2).

Q. Who is not required to maintain records?

A. Individuals or entities are not covered producers if their role with respect to covered materials is limited to photo or film processing; distribution; services that do not involve the hiring, managing, or arranging of the participation of depicted performers; providing telecommunications or Internet services; transmission, storage, retrieval, hosting, formatting, or translation of a communication, without selection or alteration of the content of the communication; or dissemination of a depiction without selection or alteration of its content. See 28 C.F.R. § 75.1(c)(4).

Q. How does the rule apply to social networking sites?

A. Most social networking sites would not be covered by the rule because its definition of "produces" excludes "the transmission, storage, retrieval, hosting, formatting, or translation (or any combination thereof) of a communication, without selection or alteration of the communication." Social networking sites would not then normally need to comply with the rule's record-keeping requirements, labeling requirements, or be required to maintain information concerning their users, and the rule would therefore have no effect on the operations of the site. However, users of social networking sites who post sexually explicit activity on "adult" networking sites may well be primary or secondary producers. Therefore, users of social networking sites may be subject to the rule, depending on their conduct.

Q. How must a producer of covered material verify the age of performers?

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A. Each producer must check a picture identification card issued by a United States or State government entity for a performer who is an American citizen, whether the production occurs in the United States or abroad. The identification card must contain the performer's date of birth. A producer abroad may rely on foreign government identification cards for foreign performers, but must maintain a copy of that identification. A producer may not rely on a foreign identification card for a foreign citizen when production occurs in the United States, but must check a United States identification card in that circumstance.

Q. Can information on a performer be redacted in order to protect his or her privacy?

A. Yes. All information on a performer (such as home address and social security number) may be redacted other than the name, date of birth, and information that identifies the type and validity of the picture identification card (e.g., drivers license or passport number).

Q. Is the producer required to maintain records demonstrating that each performer is of legal age as of the date of original production?

A. The producer must record the date of original production. A performer need not be 18 as of the date of original production as long as the performer is 18 when he or she is first depicted in actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct. Producers who keep records demonstrating that performers are 18 as of the date of original production conform to the rule, as will records demonstrating that the performer was 18 on the first date that the performer was actually filmed for the production at issue.

Q. What is the date of original production for depictions made over the course of multiple dates?

A. The single and earliest of those dates.

Q. What is the date of original production for productions that consist of compilations of earlier produced material?

A. For compilations, the date of original production is the date that the depicted conduct occurred.

Q. When is the producer required to make a record documenting that the performer was of legal age?

A. At the time that the producer examines the identification document.

Q. Is a secondary producer required to check identification documents of performers?

A. A secondary producer is not required to check identification requirements. The secondary producer is required to maintain records that identify the primary producer for any depiction and that verify that the primary producer checked the legal age of performers prior to the date of original production.

Q. Must the required records be kept in hard copy?

A. No. The producer may retain the required records in electronic form.

Q. Must the producer itself retain the required records?

A. No, a third party can retain the records.

Q. What are the regulation's labeling requirements?

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A. Each page must contain a label stating where the records required to be maintained may be located. Although the producer need not provide the label on every page of the website that contains actual or simulated sexually explicit material, the regulation requires that if the full label does not appear on each such page, then a hypertext link to the required statement appear on each such page. Further, the name of the individual required to be listed on the disclosure statement may consist only of the title of the individual rather than a specified person. Finally, for a DVD which contains multiple depictions, the disclosure statement may be located in a single place covering all depictions on the DVD.

Q. How do eligible entities comply with the "safe harbor" exemption?

A. Entities seeking to claim the exemption may certify for itself and for all sub-entities that it owns or controls. Both United States and foreign entities may certify. In the case of a certification by a foreign entity, the foreign entity, which may be unlikely to collect and maintain information in accordance with United States federal and state tax and other laws, may certify that it maintains the required information in accordance with their foreign equivalents. The certification is to be signed by the chief executive officer of the entity making the certification, or in the event an entity does not have a chief executive officer, the senior manager responsible for overseeing the entity's activities. A producer of materials not covered by the certification regime as well as materials covered by the certification regime is not disqualified from using the certification regime for materials covered by the certification regime. Those entities who wish to use the certification process must file an initial certification within 180 days after publication of the 2008 final rule, that is, by June 16, 2009. This will provide sufficient time for entities to determine if they wish to certify and come into compliance with the certification requirements. Initial certifications of producers who begin production after the expiration of the 180 day period are due within 60 days of the start of production. See, 28 C.F.R. § 75.9.

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Q. How is the certification enforced?

A. Certifications that are knowingly and willingly false subject the signer to criminal prosecution for making a false statement regarding a matter within the jurisdiction of the U.S. government.

Q. What is the required format of the certification?

A. The certification must (1) outline the statutory basis for eligibility for the safe harbor; (2) state in specified language that in the regular course of business, the producer and sub-entities collect and maintain individually identifiable information concerning all performers; and, if appropriate, (3) state in specified language that the visual depictions were produced outside the United States, but that either records were kept by the foreign producer on foreign performers or that the U.S. producer took reasonable steps to confirm that foreign performers were not minors. See 28 C.F.R. § 75.9(b) and (c) for the form and specific content of the certification.

Q. What are the recordkeeping obligations for a producer who is eligible for certification once the rule takes effect?

A. The recordkeeping requirements take effect at the same time as the certification regime. Producers who are eligible for the certification will be able to make such certifications without the necessity of having to comply with the recordkeeping requirements.

Q. What steps did the Department of Justice take to minimize the burdens of this regulation on producers?

A. The Department ensured that the regulatory requirements applicable to depictions of actual sexually explicit conduct consisting of lascivious exhibition of the genitals apply starting on the date of availability of the statutorily provided safe harbor. It also permitted third-party custodians, rather than producers themselves, to hold required records, and it permitted records to be maintained digitally. In addition, it permitted the labeling requirement to be complied with through hyperlinks on Internet depictions. Finally, the Department adopted a simpler certification regime than originally proposed.
Posted: Jan. 26, 2010
Category: U S Federal Govt Rules, Tips or Advice

Parent's Guide to Children's Online Safety - U.S. Department of Justice Print-Friendly View

Nearly all American children now have access to the Internet at home, in school, or at public libraries. Internet technology affords minors access to vast amounts of valuable information and endless sources of entertainment. However, it also exposes them to certain dangers and to harmful materials. For example, minor children can easily and unintentionally come into contact with hard-core pornographic Websites, porn-SPAM (unsolicited emails) containing obscene photos and videos, and file swapping or instant messaging (P2P or IM) programs with harmful and sometimes mislabeled media content or misleading titles.  They can also encounter actual predators who use the Internet, IM, emails, chat rooms, etc., to find, identify, and lure their immature victims into harmful relationships or conduct.

As a result, some parents may understandably feel the urge to try to eliminate these risks by completely cutting off their children's access to the Internet or to certain online functions, like IM and chats.  However, a decision to completely prohibit children from using the Internet would deprive them of access to a resource for legitimate information and communication. Parents might also find it impractical to enforce such prohibitions. For instance, motivated children and teens could circumvent their parents' rules by going online in schools, libraries, Internet cafes, friends' homes, or by using mobile phones and other Internet access devices. For these reasons, it is important for parents to realize that they can strike a balance between the benefits that the Internet offers their children and the risks that it poses. Parents can achieve such a balance by communicating with their children about the dangers of the Internet and by taking other protective and educational steps like those discussed below.

Communicating with younger children and teenagers about the risks that they can encounter online is an essential step in keeping them safe while they surf. Many parents find it helpful to set down clear rules for their children to follow. Examples of rules include "no giving out your name, age or address," "no posting your picture on public sites of any kind," and "no chatting with strangers." Sometimes families find it helpful to design formal Internet usage agreements or "contracts."  See for tips on setting up those kinds of agreements. 

Making use of modern technology tools, parental controls provided free by your ISP, and educational programs by government and private sector groups is also an important part of having net-savvy and self-protecting children online.  Check out the programs, filters, and settings available from your ISP and explore the many programs and learning tools available to parents, children, and educators, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's online safety programs at and , as well as resources linked from the FBI site at and from DOJ's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section at

Posted: Jan. 22, 2010
Category: Tips to Improve your Career Skills

What Are Some Of The Goals
That You Want To Attain In 2010?


Do you want to run a more focused, smarter performing career?

Then, as a routine, schedule daily or weekly appointments for yourself to focus solely on the business-side of your career (just like you would acting classes, singing lessons or open mic performances).

Schedule a time in your PerformerTrack Calendar to research Casting Directors, create target lists of Industry professionals you want to meet and work with, and plan your next PR campaign.

Choose a day and specific block of time, then make this a recurring "Business of You" appointment. Let your PerformerTrack Calendar hold YOU accountable!


Do you want to escape the trend of putting your receipts in a big ole shoe box only to feel stressed when you have to get things together for taxes and for planning your budget?

Then consider utilizing PerformerTrack. Check out our "Expenses Area" with dropdown listings of tax-deductible expenses for performers, we’ve designed this section specifically for you!




Do you want to establish a presence on the Web?

Here’s a quick way to start. Buy your Domain Name (your First and Last here for just $7.95 a year...

...and then direct that Domain Name to a place where your Photos, Bio, Resume, Sound and Media Clips reside online. Some of these sites let you store all of your information for FREE (i.e. - a YouTube Channel)!!!

Here are a few examples of Web sites of PerformerNation readers to inspire you:



Do you want to make a commitment to assemble your first reel or update an old one?

If you are working on Independent projects, then utilize the "Copy Provided Form"
that we've drafted FREE-of-charge for you!



Do you want to schedule time in your month to attend one or two networking events?

Networking events are a great way to meet people who may be in the position to hire or refer you for work or heck, even to meet others like yourself who you can exchange information with and collaborate on projects!

Click here for a great place to begin looking for FREE or low cost events!

REMEMBER! Bring your business cards and to follow-up with your connections within a few days of meeting them!

Posted: Jan. 7, 2010
Category: FREE Voice over Book - Voice Over Entrance Exam

This is Brian
The Voice Over Entrance Exam is a FREE workbook about getting Started in
the Voice Over Industry. To get your Free Copy just go to
Peter K. O’Connell – The Voice Over Entrance Exam
and Download your Free Copy. No need to sign in or Sign up

The info covered by this book is listed at the Bottom

The Voice Over Entrance Exam
by Peter K. O’Connell

Owner of Voice Over Workshop
President of audio’connell voice over talent


Social Media
LinkedIn peteroconnell
Facebook peter o’connell

Old School
+01 716 572 1800  

How will this e--book help me?

Failure Is An Option
Reality Check (You could truly have a lousy voice)
Listen │Practice │Train
Voice Over INCORPORATED (More business than performance)
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughtsvoworkshop.

Posted: Jan. 7, 2010
Category: FREE Voice over Book-Six Insider Secrets

This is Brian
Six Insider Secrets to Making it Big in Voice-over is a Free Book
Covering the Information Listed Below
To get your FREE Copy go to:
Susan Berkley – Six Insider Secrets To Making It Big In Voice Overs

And Download your Free Copy - You do not need to Sign up or Sign in

Six Insider Secrets to Making it Big in Voice-over
by Susan Berkley

Insider Secret #1
10 Biggest Voice-over Mistakes
Struggling Waitress to Successful Voice-over Artist
Insider Secret #2
Insider Secret #3
Inside Secret #4
Three Types of Home Studios
Insider Secret #5
Insider Secret #6

Posted: Jan. 7, 2010
Category: FREE BOOK Voice Over Marketing Techniques

This is Brian

Marketing Techniques and other Helpful Info is a Free Booklet made up of Articles
written by various Voice Industry Experts Covering a Wide range (Listed Below)
of Important Voice Over Issues.

 To get your FREE download of this Valuable Booklet you have to go to

 Michelle Summers – Audition Marketing Techniques

And sign up for a Free Account - Once you signup you can download your Free e-book

And other helpful info!

Written by professionals in the voice over industry.

Tips for Voiceover Wannabees! Advice for Surviving and Thriving!

Getting Found and Cast


Finding the Natural Rhythm in Voiceover Copy




     I) To Incorporate or Not

     II) Potential Liability Issues Specific to the Voice Over Industry

          A) Celebrity Impersonating

          B) Product Endorsements

          C) Libel and Slander and Interfering with a Business Relationship

     III) Industry Contractual Issues and Considerations Relating to the Voice-Over

   IV) Intellectual Property Issues: Copyrights and Trademarks
          a) Infringement of Copyrights

          b) Protection of your work through Copyrights

           c) Trademarks and Service Marks

     V)  A Few Words On Business Insurance; Is it Really Necessary?
      VI) Tax Tips and Considerations

Posted: Jan. 7, 2010
Category: Budget / Production

When Good Productions Go Bad: The Money Squeeze

When production finances get squeezed, it’s easy to consider shooting the same show for less.  Instead of, say, three pages a day, you start planning to cram in six or seven or ten.  Of course it can be done; you can work harder, shoot smarter….

And then you start hitting the wall.


Maybe you try to get by with fewer setups.  Tell the gaffer to leave the big lights on the truck.  Send the dolly grip and second makeup and three PAs home.  You wrap your days without getting all the coverage you planned.  Avoid rehearsals.  Let the crew eat lunch from a bag.  Jackhammer be damned, tell sound to live with that last take.  No time, no time now, you’ll fix it in the mix….

That’s about when the wall starts hitting you.

The problem is, budgets are each handmade to fit one and only one specific script.  Even episodes of cookie-cutter TV shows warrant different budgets.  This show has one more location, that has a bit more pow-bang-boom than whoosh-swish-wow.

When you’re struggling to cobble together those last few dollars of a tight budget, there’s always a temptation to shave costs here and there.  Oh well, I wanted $500, but $450 is close enough.  So let’s shoot anyway….

Nice thought.  Very bad idea.

Productions start from a concept.  The director’s job is to translate that point of view to the screen.  Your budget is based on the results of that vision.  It’s based on the REALITY of the script.

Danger comes when you try to squeak by with a bit less.  When your funds are cut, you can’t expect to make the same film.  You want to, but if you try, all you’ll make is a film that’s just not made well.

What to do?

When money’s tight, it’s time to tighten your script.  Not lengthen your shooting days.  Heresy you say, knowing that your heart & soul are in your script.  That may be so, but if you want to tell your story, you’ll have to do it with fewer words.

This is where the real pros and wannabes go their separate ways.  Losing a location or two, a few actors, even a page of dialogue could put you right back on budget.  And on schedule to shoot the setups you need.  It might even tighten up your script.

Here’s the good news and the bad.  When the buck stops before the bank has closed, you have to make sure your script matches your money.  Do the necessaries or your movie will never match your dreams.