The Flairbox Story
With just over three weeks to go until our full launch, we wanted to share exactly why we decided to drop everything and spend the last year building a video sharing community for actors. We also want to tell you a little bit about the actors behind Flairbox and our plans for the future to do as much as we possibly can to help actors, casting directors and agents alike.
The most obvious place to start is why? We (Elliot & Rob, the co-founders) have both been jobbing actors for more than 10 years but graduated from drama school 3 years ago. We've been lucky to work on and off throughout that time but found that there wasn't really anywhere for us to simply do some acting, record it and put it out for the world (particularly industry professionals) to see. So the idea of a video sharing platform to 'Let Talent Talk' for actors was born.
After spending a few months expanding the idea, we realised that not having anywhere to perform as and when we pleased was just one of a whole list of solvable problems that actors face:
Opportunity is very limited, particularly if you're not white, middle class and a graduate of a select few drama schools - that doesn't mean those people aren't fantastic actors, but thousands of others are too!
Actors have to apply to acting jobs with a written application and headshot, not simply a video of them doing what they do best... Acting.
We have to update our CV's every few months and headshots every two years.
We pay £hundreds to attend workshops (hoping to meet casting directors and be cast), be part of casting platforms, film showreel scenes. With no real opportunity to be seen for roles at the end of it.
We spend hours emailing casting directors who then have to deal with thousands of emails, so rarely get a chance to reply.
We very rarely hear back from auditions, so feel like we're the least important part of the process.
Finally, there isn't anywhere online that we feel like a community that can support one another.
The list could go on, but having a video sharing community where we can perform to our hearts content, support one another and use the videos of us performing in order to be found for roles by casting directors solves most of them.
All of that is great, but not necessarily easy to put in place. We still needed to build a video sharing community that allowed actors to find inspiration, communicate with one another and upload any video of them performing, as well as self tapes for specific roles when requested by a casting director. So we gathered our life's savings, found an incredible developer to build it with us and got to work!
A year later and after 12 weeks of testing on an incredible group of actors, agents and casting directors, we're only three weeks from sharing it all with the world. We couldn't be more excited to help as many actors as possible to feel creative again AND be cast for roles - especially during such a difficult time for us all. We'll be sending updates via email (make sure you're signed up to our email list, click register on our homepage here), and giving regular updates on our Instagram & Twitter.
It probably makes sense to break this down into who we are and who is already on board to use the platform. We're Elliot & Rob, we're both 26, actors that graduated 2 & 3 years ago from Drama Centre & The Poor School respectively and we've been best friends since we turned 13 (queue the awww). Enough about us and on to the important stuff, who's going to be using the platform?
We're lucky enough to have 15 industry leading Casting Directors ready to use the platform from the end of September. They include.....
Fiona Weir's office (Harry Potter franchise)
Des Hamilton's office (Jojo Rabbit, The King)
Aisha Bywaters (Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders)
Heather Basten (The Lighthouse, The End of The F*cking World)
Amy Hubbard's office (The Hobbit, Homeland)
Matt Western (Golden Years, Boys Will Be Boys)
Jeremy Zimmermann's office (Hellboy I & II, Blade II)
Andy Pryor's office (Years & Years, Stan & Olly).
..... and several more.
We're also working with agents from; United Agents, Mcfarlane Chard, Lee Morgan, Mclean Williams, Alphabet, Shack Artists, Core and Pilot Poet who are looking to showcase their talent, as well as find new actors on Flairbox.
Our full launch comes on Monday 3rd October. After that, we'll be doing everything we can to get as many top agents and casting directors as possible on to the platform. We're also adding our noticeboard (where you can see castings, tips, ideas and much more) and messaging function as soon as possible. After that, it really is up to you, we want to create a community that helps you with as many problems as possible, so we're always going to be thrilled to hear from you and excited to build as many helpful features as we possibly can.
So to conclude, despite everything that's going wrong right now, we hope you're as excited about the future as us. We can't wait to see you perform, thrive and get picked up for your next role on Flairbox! In the meantime, follow us on Twitter & Instagram for all the latest updates.
Elliot & Rob.