Sunday, April 1, 2012

The branding of an actress: Victoria Foyt

There were a number of purposes attached to the (Interview) series that I created. One, of course, was to market stories to A-list Hollywood producers and directors. The obvious correlation was that these same producers and directors would be watching my actor on the screen for twenty-eight minutes--the show would serve as a prime showcase for the actor's brand to the people who had the power to make a big difference in the actor's career. For that reason, I made certain that an actor was fully defined--branded--by the time we taped out first (Interview) episode together and that the brand was well presented in both the story and the performance.

Kim Rollins (Interview) features Victoria Foyt. The programs we did together brought her attention from the likes of Henry Jaglom (Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?, Last Summer in the Hamptons, Déjà Vu) , Bob Rafelson (Five Easy Pieces, Stay Hungry, the Postman Always Rings Twice) and Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump, Hollywood Homicide). Victoria went on to star or work in no less than five of Henry Jaglom's movies as an actress receiving co-writing credit in them as well. On Baby Fever, she received co-directing credit. This is what I mean when I say that every performance by an actor should create a demand for that actor in the lead role for his or her next performance.

Victoria's brand is well defined in the Kim Rollins (Interview) segment. She is unarguably a beautiful woman which is the most obvious aspect of her brand. However, Hollywood is known for its beautiful women who fail. I found that the most compelling aspects of Victoria's brand reside in the conflict between her soft vulnerability and the seeming ease with which she can, as an actress, display a character without empathy for others. I thought such a dichotomy would be interesting to viewers who would feel compelled to want more from her. The response to the show made it obvious that the audience did, indeed, want more from Victoria.

This is the essence of branding--putting the brand facets in front of the public in such a way as to create a demand for the product.

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