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FEATURE mybigmoviebreak A Brand New Plan The team behind My Big Movie Break wants to buck old Hollywood trends and help entertainment industry rookies learn their trades by actually making feature films eff Vanderpol is the president and founder of My Big Movie Break, and he has a crazy idea. He wants to take actors and actresses, writers and directors, cameramen and cinematographers, makeup artists and hair stylists with no experience and put them in charge of actual, honest-to- God feature films. Why on Earth would he ever do that? Because he believes that every person with raw talent and a dream deserves a chance to break into Hollywood’s exclusive club. The team behind My Big Movie Break intends to take hungry artists from every niche in the film and TV industries and pair them with veteran filmmakers and cast and crew members to make their dreams of creating motion pictures come true. A career in Hollywood may be a longshot, but according to Vanderpol, it doesn’t have to be. As long as you have talent and a dream, you can break down walls and become your own star. J Pageantry magazine: This idea that you’ve come up with and system that you’ve created to help people achieve their dreams in the movie business, it’s astounding. What is My Big Movie Break? Jeff Vanderpol: My Big Movie Break is a new way for a lot of people who are dreamers and visionaries trying to break into Hol- lywood—perhaps the most exclusive club in the entire world. It’s a way for a kid in Idaho or even England to get into the movie busi- ness, whether in front of the camera or behind it, in a way that no one has ever thought of before. PM: Why did you come up with this idea? JV: You know, it’s funny. I’m all about the underdog. My favorite movies are the ones like Rocky, It’s a Wonderful Life, Forrest Gump, Remember the Titans, and Rudy. All of these movies had one theme in common, and that is the guy who is battling the odds that are just insurmountable, who ultimately wins and carries the flag at the end of the day. Unfortunately, in the real world we live in, so many people give up on their dreams, and they’ve got great talent. I recently sat with a young director, as we discussed the dynam- ics of this model, and he said to me, “You know what, Jeff? This town is filled with people who are more talented than Bill Duke, 24 PAGEANTRY JEFF VANDERPOL and you’ll never hear from any of them.” The reason is that Holly- wood doesn’t help those aspiring actors, actresses, cinematogra- phers, and directors. In fact, the system is set up so that it’s almost impossible to make it. The odds of someone unknown becoming a feature film star are against them. Our company makes the odds incredibly better for an aspiring actor to become a leading man or woman in a motion picture. PM: Aside from actors and talents, as those are an obvious choice for people who would want to become involved with My Big Movie Break, what about the people in the industry like the makeup artists, hairdressers, grips, gaffers—the people who work behind the camera? JV: This is for anyone who has any appetite for any niche at all, even the script writers. Let’s think of it in terms of foundation. You’ve got nothing without a story. Somebody’s writing those sto- ries, and there are some great Forrest Gump stories out there that have never been told. We want those script writers, cinematogra- phers, the wannabe director who wants to direct his first film and might be the next Spielberg. Every single avenue of every niche department you can think of in a new feature film, we’re picking from the audience, assuming there’s some talent. Obviously you can’t pick somebody to direct a film if there’s no talent in the past to prove they can actually direct. But we’re going to give someone who has the appropriate talent— whether it’s makeup and artistry, stuntman, someone who’s inter- ested in holding a camera—in every single niche a real shot, based upon subjectivity. PM: You’re going to choose me as a director. Am I going to work with a director that’s already found within the industry? JV: Yes, making a feature film is a cluster every time, even if you’re working with people who know what they’re doing. It would be literally impossible to make a feature film if we took everybody