Interview: Mark Gantt – How To Create Your Own Career
Tired of hearing no? There are other ways… When your career hits a speed bump, and opportunities seem non-existant, there are two paths you can take: the easy way or “The Bannen Way.” No longer are we limited by the opportunities people present to us. Current technology allows anyone to be an actor, producer, director or writer. The secret is to never settle for less that your dreams desire.
“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.” quote by Robert Fritz.
A quick check of Mark Gantt’s website or his IMDB page reveals he had a career, just not the one he had mapped out for himself. “I had my foot in the door and people were at the party saying ‘Hey come on in,’ but I was like ‘no, I gotta be an actor.’” He seemed to be gaining ground on a career path many would cherish, but even after appearing in a Sundance Short, and knowing the industry pros, his own agent still had no faith Mark would actually be getting auditions. Luckily Mark doesn’t acknowledge the word no.
Mark Gantt and Jesse Warren had an idea. Make a trailer for a television series, write it, cast it, direct it, edit it, produce it and make it happen. “We cut the 60 second trailer from the first two five minute episodes we shot. So February 2008 we shot for four days. It took us seven months to get the two episodes and trailer edited, sound designed and color corrected because we had people doing it for free or little money in their spare time so we were always on the back burner.”
“The trailer was done first, we uploaded it to our ‘pitch site’ and sent out a newsletter blast to 600 people. The first person to respond was Jesse Albert, who was a New Media/Branded Ent. Agent at ICM at the time. We met through mutual friends in 2007 and I’d been talking about the project with him the whole time. He’d met with us in November of 2007 and said it was great but expensive and not sure who would pay that much money for a project with no names, “Nothing personal, but you’re not George Clooney and he’s not Steven Soderbergh.” (I still give him shit about this.)”
It actually was the push Mark and Jesse needed to just do it and prove him wrong. Jesse Albert than sent it out to all the digital studios in town and they started to take meetings once the episodes were completed a month later.
Fast forward to 2010 and Mark and Jesse have racked up over 15 million views of the series on Crackle, DVD sales and rentals, not to mention seven nominations and four wins in the Streamy 2010 Awards. Mark and Jesse are currently working with Sony Television on how the show goes forward.
It seems that Mark Gantt may actually (as Jesse Warren states), be very similar to the character of Neal Bannen. This great quote from the conclusion of “The Bannen Way” seems to mirror Mark’s real life in many ways.
“Sometimes a man has to make up his own rules. Live by your own principles. Don’t let other people determine what you should or should not do.”
In his spare time, Mark has created a new kickass workshop that breaks this process down to simple, doable steps so that anyone can duplicate his success for your own web series. Mark Gantt will give you the tools and tips to create your own viral video series or Indie Film sensation in this 6 hour workshop and video series. I highly recommend it. Mark Gantt has proven he truly knows how to create your own success. But don’t just take my word for it, ask @Mark_Gantt yourself!