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greggy
01-17-2005, 04:14 PM
i need advice. i decided to act in one of my videos (out of necessity) and realize i cannot be natural, my eyes and face do strange things, as well as other things- i feel the camera.
can anyone give me some advice that has helped them- and i dont want to read a 400+ page book, and go to acting class.

(p/s.- i'm just trying to play myself, no character specific>)


( ps/s- hope subject 'box' did not offend you>)

J_Barnes
01-17-2005, 05:11 PM
If it is obvious that you can't act, then why do you insist on casting yourself? Its one thing to be a bad actor, it's quite another thing to keep yourself in your film and thus prove that you are also a bad director.

The "magic bullet" for acting is talent, and you seem to indicate that you're lacking in that respect.

Young-H._Lee
01-17-2005, 05:45 PM
what the hell...that was harsh j_barnes

yo greggy, dont sweat it man, acting is something that can be picked up on through practice, lots of it. just keep putting yourself in and focus. I act in all my films too and I've definetly gotten better each time I do. improv really helps a lot, just listen to yourself - pay attention to how you act, move, speak, and basically understand what it means to be natural. do this constantly...then you will start to get a hang of how to be yourself on camera.

stanislavsky's method in a nutshell is letting yourself believe in the possibility of certain circumstances happening to your character ("magic if") and generating emotion off of that...thats an acting school lesson you might want to look into more when you get tired of playing yourself

good luck

Jim Brennan
01-17-2005, 05:50 PM
I think J_Barnes is just giving his honest opinion, which I agree with. *

Greggy, you seem to think you can learn to be more relaxed, which is entirely plausible. *But why then is your presence a "necessity"? *If you have time to learn to act, don't you have time to find another actor? *I am not trying to dissuade you from appearing in your own work, (it can be both rewarding and enjoyable) I just don't understand your conundrum. * I have appeared in 2 of my own shorts. *The day of that scene came and we were short an actor, so I did it. *It was necessity. *I had no time to get anyone else. *Why are you forced to cast yourself?

Everything has a price. *You want to know how to act, but you don't want to take lessons or even read a book. *You just want a few tips. *It seems a bit odd. *

The possibility also exists that you are being too critical of your performance. *Do others agree with your determination?

J_Barnes
01-18-2005, 11:28 AM
I was just about to defend my opinion when I found that Jim had already done the work for me.

Here's why I'm harsh: The guy admits he's not good, he continues to keep himself in and he wants to be better...yet he doesn't want to learn anything or put forth any real effort (no 400+ page books or acting classes).

All that adds up in my mind to be a person in need of harsh reality.

Young H states above that acting isn't that hard and it can be picked up with practice. As a person who's worked directly in the education of actors (including stanislavskian method), I know this is not the case. For every person that can "pick up" acting, there are ten who don't have that ability. For every person that "gets better with each attempt" there are 20 that remain stagnant in their abilities.

That's just a fact, it isn't easy for most people and most people can't pick it up through repetition.

The point is that this question was posted in a directing thread, thus I assume the poster has his heart more in directing then in acting.

To him I say this: Be a director. Recast the actor that isn't pulling his weight, even if the actor is you.

If you don't have the capacity to be natural on camera, it isn't something you can teach yourself because you have no objective view of your own work. It's just not possible without an inherrent capacity for the work.

J.R. Hudson
01-18-2005, 03:09 PM
I agree with J Barnes.

If you want to act then get in some classes. Like any artform, it takes practice and studying. It's like one of us saying:

"I want to become a filmmaker. Any advice other than studying and actually going out and shooting?"

If you're committed then pursue it. If you suck; then its your decision to use yourself or not.

BTW - Honesty is something that is usally lacking and props to J Barnes for being honest!

Cheesesailor77
01-18-2005, 09:57 PM
first of all yes J barnes is pefectly in line (not to mention i didnt even think it came off as harse, oh well)

but my question is why r u acting "out of neccesity"? That doesnt make sense. It sounds like ur making little films where u dont know actors so ur in them urself. IF thats true, the fact that u CARE about ur acting ability that shows up on screen means its time to move on and find some actors, believe me, they're easy to come by. Just check out ur local drama department

greggy
01-19-2005, 05:27 AM
i didn't realize this was such an elitist forum.
we sadly, are not all aspiring to the same loftiness. i make wedding videos, and music videos for my friends, really i'm low key. i have reasons why i cant and won't use someone else, that's not for you to worry about (i feel like i'm on trial!).

so perhaps i could get some other replies that have more realistic solution for us hillbillies.

p.s. i'm serious about my work- but don't take my self seriously.

J_Barnes
01-19-2005, 06:34 AM
loftiness is what for you? Acting natural on camera?

Your problem is that you're looking for a realistic solution without understanding the problem. There aren't easy solutions to acting problems and you are only proving how ill prepared you are by insisting that someone can give you an easy fix.

Time to take an acting class...or read a 400 page book.

Sorry if you think it is elitist, doesn't change the fact that it's true.

J_Barnes
01-19-2005, 07:15 AM
PS - dont take anything in these forums as an attack...unless someone specifically says something about how you stink of course. Everyone here is offering well intentioned advice and assessments based on a lot of speculation and assumptions.

If you don't like the advice people are giving you, maybe you're asking the wrong question.

You're the only person that can dispell and solidify the assumptions raised in the discussion of your problem, so instead of bitching about the answers or tone that you percieve, join in the discussion and interact with those that have an interest in assisting you.

Still, the fact remains that there is not an easy fix to the issue you raise. Perhaps you should start to redefine your problem instead of looking for the easy answer.

Jim Brennan
01-19-2005, 07:20 AM
I don't think anyone is being elitist. *The question is difficult to answer. *You are looking for an easy solution where there probably isn't one. *You say that you "cannot be natural" *That seems to be an absolute. *Lots of people look at these posts. *I think that if anyone had any simple tips for you to relax (without the work of learning the craft of acting) they would have offered it. *I'm just thinking that such advice probably doesn't exist. *However, I'm no expert. *Perhaps you could try an acting forum. *They might be able to offer some ideas. *As a director I might have more advice specific to the situation if I was on the set and I knew you and the circumstances. *But as it stands now, I don't have anything to work with.

HorseFilms
01-19-2005, 10:19 AM
Just spend as much time as possible practicing in front of the camera. Watch the footage, see what you liked and didn't like and then work on correcting your problems. It's not going to be a short process, but eventually you'll see results.

Slimothy
01-19-2005, 02:04 PM
Greggy: If we were elitists, we'd mentioned, that not only can white man not act. White man can't spell: Subject line: "white man can no act" . ;) J/k.

Honestly though, you asked for an opinion, you got a bunch of honest ones, and you didn't like them. From what you stated, you really only have two options. Either deal with your bad acting, or find someone else.

greggy
01-19-2005, 04:03 PM
well the post 'can no act' was intentional, anyways, i found the answer (concerning controlling nervous facial features) on another website. believe it or not, it was not that difficult of a question- i'm just going to the wrong bunch of guys to get the answer. well, we can't possibly know it all. thanks for trying to take a stab at it though fellas.

Slimothy
01-19-2005, 05:32 PM
Would you mind posting it? I wouldn't mind having such knowledge just in case I run into someone who might need it! Also, you're correct, the question/problem wasn't difficult. The correct answer was to read books and take classes. But you ruled those out.

If you don't want to talk to people who will give you their honest opinions to help you get better, then I totatlly agree with you; You're definately talking to the wrong bunch of guys/gals. At any rate, if ya could post where ya found that, it would be great. Tim.

greggy
01-19-2005, 07:05 PM
sure dude. it was on a site 'free. prohosting.com/~jezz/breathing.char.html.

p.s- where i'm from, the word 'guys' includes gals (i.e. womenfolk)

J.R. Hudson
01-19-2005, 08:20 PM
I've always been a elitist snob :P ::) ;D

dakotapod
01-19-2005, 08:30 PM
I've always been a elitist snob *

Yes John you are, and for this I detest you! ;)

J.R. Hudson
01-19-2005, 09:24 PM
:D Here is how it played out:

I suck at acting; any advice?

Well, you could study the craft; hone your skills perhaps.

You elitist whores!

Slimothy
01-19-2005, 10:44 PM
hmm...went to the link. Didn't get anything. Glad you found it though. Saved you 399 pages of reading.

tuface
01-20-2005, 02:22 AM
Hmm. And I was just about to give you the simple answer, too...

J_Barnes
01-20-2005, 02:46 AM
Well, the link is busted, but me thinks he hath found internet cliff notes on relaxation techniques.

returning to my original point, he was asking the wrong question.

If he'd asked 'how can I start to relax on camera', he probably would have gotten answers anywhere from "bong hits" to "vocalization".

I'd reccomend against bong hits, unless it's the martini shot.

natob2
01-20-2005, 07:48 AM
can anyone give me some advice that has helped them- and i dont want to read a 400+ page book, and go to acting class.



So basically you're saying you don't want to study the craft or spend any significant time learning to do it right...but you still want it to be good? I am reminded of the opening line from the movie "Boiler Room". Just read this in the context of achieving excellence, not film's theme of money and greed...

"I read somewhere that Microsoft employs more millionaire secretaries than any company in the world. They took stock options over Christmas bonuses. It was a good movie. I saw a picture of a groundskeeper next to his Ferrari. Blew my mind. It's stuff like that that plants seeds. You turn on the TV and you just see more of it. The $87 million dollar lottery winner, that kid actor that just made $20 million on his last movie. Notorious BIG said it best...'either you're slinging crack or you have a wicked jump shot.' Nobody wants to work for it anymore. There's no honor in getting that after-school job at McDonalds. Honor is in a dollar kid."

Jim Brennan
01-20-2005, 08:16 AM
I don't want to be too harsh. There's nothing wrong with asking for a simple solution. It would be cool if you could figure something like this out quickly and with little effort. We all like it when that happens. It seems like he got what he was looking for elsewhere. Good for him. It's never a good thing to expect such serendipities, but they do happen.

J_Barnes
01-20-2005, 08:42 AM
Also, I think the guy was asking a question that was much more simple then what we all assumed. Being relaxed and natural on camera...say in a cutaway, is a very different thing from being relaxed and natural as a character in a scene.

There are a few simple things you can try to calm yourself down and relax on camera. There are not any simple things you can to to become a character in a scene.

The wrong questions always get wrong answers.

J.R. Hudson
01-20-2005, 04:03 PM
Now that I think of it; wasn't there a BRADY BUNCH episode wehreas Marcia was all trippin about giving a speech so they told her to pretend everyone was naked while she was up there?

It worked for Marcia. So Greggy, just pretend that camera has no clothes on and you'll be fine.

J_Barnes
01-21-2005, 05:28 AM
That is terrible advice John.

Dude, have you ever seen a DVX undressed? Talk about...arousing.

J.R. Hudson
01-21-2005, 11:40 AM
Everytime I take that Mattebox off.......... Yeah baby Yeah!

B._Summers
01-24-2005, 07:36 PM
Yo Respect the craft of Acting YO!
Ain't no run of the mill shizzz Yuh DIG ;D

ANyWAys

yah, hold the bonghits till later...

MattC
01-25-2005, 03:36 PM
What do you do when most of your actors ARE naked? ::)

J_Barnes
01-26-2005, 04:45 AM
What do you do when most of your actors ARE naked? * ::)

Sit back and wait for Ron Jeremy to arrive on set.

Young-H._Lee
02-01-2005, 04:35 PM
referring to American idol judge...Simon, the harsh britain guy, the truth hurts especially when shattering delusions...however, that doesnt mean that you stop pursuing whatever it is you pursue. my advice to greggy is still keep practicing, keep working and sooner or later you will see results. theres a lot of learning to do, and im guessing greggys a young guy...so let him explore everything...if actings really not what hes cut out for, he'll realize it sooner or later, but give him a chance to discover for himself!!

greggy- just keep hacking it man, more power to you

Jim Brennan
02-01-2005, 07:33 PM
Good advice, but I don't think he's listening anymore.

J_Barnes
02-02-2005, 06:21 AM
He was listening before??

Jim Brennan
02-02-2005, 06:43 AM
good point

sarno
02-02-2005, 09:12 AM
Sometimes in navigating this site I feel like a guy who's in a huge labyrinth all alone, but I hear laughter somewhere and then I follow it only to find my own flickering shadow. So I move on, and then hear shouts behind me. Strange.

David Jimerson
02-02-2005, 09:15 AM
Are you going to explain that, or is it meant to be perplexingly vague? :)

J_Barnes
02-02-2005, 10:12 AM
I think I get what he means:

Along with the linear documentation of conversation here, there is a certain linear flow to the timeline contained within that conversation. Sure, it's non-linear and accessable from any point in the timeline, but in the access of this information, you can potentially shift backwards and become involved real-time in a past-time event, only to arrive at the future (now present) in a rapid and disjointed fashion finding yourself actively involved in a conversation that has already taken place.

finding a shadow that is flickering for some apparent reason....perhaps one of walter's flicker boxes?

(yes, that was serious, and it was intended to be perplexingly vague.)

sarno
02-02-2005, 10:40 AM
Oh no no, I wasn't trying to be vague. I was simply expressing what it felt like to be chasing these threads over a given period of time. It's hard to tell where the "action" is at. Sorry. In truth, in the 1.5 days since I've been visiting this site I've been super-impressed. Out of work, editing a film, dvx100A by my side, I find the site's been a balm to my feelings of isolation. In fact, how about a psychology thread where some moderator can deal with the subtle and not-so-subtle emotional difficulties that spring from pursuing film?

J_Barnes
02-02-2005, 11:05 AM
Therepy for tortured artists ain't really our thing. Why don't you just ask what the clunk is?

That makes everyone happy.

J.R. Hudson
02-02-2005, 11:06 AM
I thought acting was therapy (cheaper anyway)

The_Video_Guy
02-02-2005, 01:18 PM
I think I get what he means:

Along with the linear documentation of conversation here, there is a certain linear flow to the timeline contained within that conversation. *Sure, it's non-linear and accessable from any point in the timeline, but in the access of this information, you can potentially shift backwards and become involved real-time in a past-time event, only to arrive at the future (now present) in a rapid and disjointed fashion finding yourself actively involved in a conversation that has already taken place. *


Wow... sorry to keep this thread going but I might frame this post on my wall!! Seriously! As a relatively new 40 post "newbie", I surf through the hundreds of theads during my work downtime (rendering and whatnot) and this is the most profound statment I have seen on a site ever! Sums up the experience to a tee!

You should host your own show right after Dr. Phils... You could make millions!! ;D

sarno
02-02-2005, 03:28 PM
I'll take the assist on that basket.

The_Video_Guy
02-03-2005, 07:55 AM
I'll take the assist on that basket.
Yes... your post was so deep that it required translation for it to sink in... ;D it will be framed above the translation... 3 pointers for both of you!

J_Barnes
02-03-2005, 12:36 PM
Wow... sorry to keep this thread going but I might frame this post on my wall!! Seriously! *As a relatively new 40 post "newbie", I surf through the hundreds of theads during my work downtime (rendering and whatnot) and this is the most profound statment I have seen on a site ever! *Sums up the experience to a tee!

You should host your own show right after Dr. Phils... *You could make millions!! *;D


Damn, if you think THAT is something profound, then you should really read my ramblings about bowel movements. I'll give you an excerpt:

"...and even though this paper has a trail of brown stink smeared across it, I hold it for just an extra second so I can turn about and assess the mess I've created. Measuring it's consistency, color, estimated weight and girth. Proud like a father, seeing his smelly baby for the first time... and then I try and burp it and..."

Yeah, I've got gold.

XCheck
02-03-2005, 12:43 PM
finding a shadow that is flickering for some apparent reason
Maybe a reference to the Platonic cave?

David Jimerson
02-03-2005, 01:02 PM
Maybe a reference to the Platonic cave?


My guess is no.