Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Random Moment with Tom Hatton

Tom Hatton interviews Julianne Moore for the Red Carpet Premiere of Game Change

In June, I met up with Tom Hatton before his gig at LIC Bar with the band Gandhi in our first Random Moment. We focused primarily on his music and inspirations during that conversation. However, Tom Hatton is also an actor, TV host and New Media pioneer who has worked with major media brands and outlets Sony, Sky TV and Warner Bros. Read on to find out more about this multifaceted talent.

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What is your definition of "New Media"?

New media refers to on-demand access to content any time, anywhere, on any digital device. For example web, broadcast, mobile and console devices.

How do you prepare for an audition?

It depends what it is for. If I am playing a character like I did by hosting the Harry Potter YouTube Channel, I primarily make sure I know my lines really well. If I am playing myself such as with hosting for Sky TV or for Sony's In the Qube, then I focus more on grounding myself in the material to be covered. For example, although not an audition, when I interviewed Julianne Moore I did a lot of research on her role in the movie. Then it's all about connecting person to person.

Tom Hatton hosts the Harry Potter YouTube Channel

Any hesitation voicing a parody of Prince Harry in Grand Theft Auto IV? To many in the public he's thought of as the "real" Royal; down-to-earth, more likely to make "real" mistakes -- is that what drew you to his character?

It wasn't until after I recorded the voice for the British Prince in GTA IV that I realized he was subtly being pitched as a Prince Harry type character. I like the adventures that Harry embarks upon - he seems to be a guy of action and not afraid to make a mistake. What better way to be?

Briefly describe your experience traveling with the US Army during war time. What's the most striking thing you learned?

I learned how little 'action' most fighter pilots see. I was based in Wales at RAF Valley and I believe they were previously able to have way more airtime than they do now. It seemed time in the air is limited to a few flights a week due to cuts in spending. There are a lot of simulators at the base. Flying in the simulators was really cool.

Scene from the Hawk Jet Training Movie

Art imitates life quite often. Is that the case in "Neil's Documentary"? What role has new media played in the development, production and continuation of the project?

We wanted to comically illuminate the transition of an actor from school to the real world using 3 to 4 minute episodes easily accessible to all on the web. Without a huge network backing, we had to find a way to reach our target audience through alternative methods. This is where New Media, in this case the web, really comes into its own - high quality art can be created and shared on a large, global scale without the barriers to entry on traditional media such as television. We have been able to use social media to help shape our content as our fans interact as an online community. This has been far more revealing that the standard 'viewing figures' provide. We can really refine our quality.

If you could host another show similar to "In The Qube", what would be your main focus -- youth (next big thing), travel (adventures) or food (eats and drinks)?

I like any platform that brings people together. Sport is one of these. For example soccer is the global language. I would have a news report show educating people on the weird and wonderful sports that exist around the world. Maybe with a musical exploration at the same time.


What is the Nomi Network campaign and how/why did you get involved?

The Nomi Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking. The organization began with a focus on exploited women in Cambodia. I became involved through a photographer friend and I also wanted to find out more. The target is to generate 100,000 jobs by 2025 for women who have been victims of human trafficking. The Nomi Network trains women to make cool products such as designer bags which are then sold in the US. The income is passed back to the Cambodian workers.

NOMI Network Campaign

Share any upcoming projects. Any mobile apps in development?

I'm currently consulting for a variety of brands including IBM and Showtime. New Media is a relatively new field and I provide the bridge to show what's possible. Apps are all the rage right now! I am working on one to overcome the New York winter!

An app to overcome the NY Winter? How? 

It's a work in progress! 

What advice would you give to young actors on navigating new media?

Most of the work available at the moment is non-union and with any emerging industry, there is potential for cutting corners. I recommend doing everything that you can whilst maintaining a position for fair rate of pay. An advantage of working in an emerging industry is that there are opportunities to develop your own projects and help shape your own direction. Check out Neil's Doc for my exploration into web series comedy.

What would be the premise of the quintessential sports biopic in which you have a starring role?

An underdog story, a triumph over the self, a victory that affects culture. Something like Muhammad Ali in When We Were Kings -- "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."

Now give your Oscar acceptance speech.

My trophy cabinet at home is now as beginning to look as big as the trophy cabinet of my heart.

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