Today, actors get a leg up in the entertainment industry as casting and production company Hollywood Casting & Film (HC&F) kicks off a brand new service: The Slate. Since HC&F itself launched in 2012, they have given actors across the U.S. access to thousands of projects across television, film, and new media. Now, The Slate is taking this endeavor to the next level by exclusively developing, casting, and producing quality short-form content with established industry professionals at the helm.
“Traditionally, Hollywood has put up barriers that prevent talented actors from accessing important stories. It’s so hard for actors to break in and we first launched HCandF ten years ago because we wanted to change that,” said Slate Co-Founder Sunny Vachher, a seasoned producer and actor himself. “Now, through teaming up with some of the best talent in the industry, we want to do even more for actors by ensuring that every single audition is for a worthwhile, meaningful project that has heart and a future.”
The Slate brings cutting-edge stories to the table with the help of writer/producer and Creative Director Leilani Downer (THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR, JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS), who carefully selects writers with credits and strong scripts. Along with fellow screenwriter/producer and Content Director Dylan Johnson, they hear pitches from the chosen writers, provide feedback to help develop the story, and then give the greenlight to write the script. The collaboration continues through several drafts of the script to ensure the best depiction of the story, particularly because these cutting-edge, character-driven stories often tell personal stories ignored by the mainstream studios.
“The Slate gives many of these writers freedom to work on a passion project, something that they haven’t found a home for quite yet,” said Downer. “That makes the engagement a lot more exciting for them, and in turn, the actors get multiple opportunities to help a special project come alive. That empowers both writers and actors at the same time.”
As The Slate launches, it’s teaming up with writers like Kristina Thomas (HBO/Bad Robot’s DEMIMONDE), Daniel King (HBOMax’s PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: ORIGINAL SIN, Netflix’s SWEET TOOTH), Patrick Metcalf (Amazon’s UNDONE), Andy Greskoviak (BLACK FRIDAY), Kristen Ruhlin (ME YOU MADNESS, WELCOME TO MERCY) and Brittany Van Horne (Paramount’s TOONING OUT THE NEWS, THE GOLDBERGS). Each of these WGA writers are using their diverse perspectives to tell strong stories that will go far beyond The Slate.
“They all bring such exciting ideas to the table, and it’s really amazing that the ideas don’t just stop here,” said Johnson. “Some of these are personal stories and others are proofs of concept, so they all have the opportunity to be taken out and pitched outside of our studio. It’s equally exciting that our actors get to play a unique role in helping that happen and also build lifelong relationships with successful industry professionals.”
This is only the tip of the iceberg for The Slate, as they aim to grow in scope and tell an even wider range of stories so that every Slate actor consistently gets access to new material. The Slate sets a new standard for actors and offers a clear road for industry access, giving them a central role in the filmmaking process.