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Bariona
07-16-2004, 09:25 PM
We have started rehearsals of a movie, (hopefully it will get better), BUT, I came to realize that some of the actors act as if they are on stage rather than having a Film kind of acting... for instance , the voice would be too dramatic, they pay less attention their facial expressions, etc..
Any thoughts???

Scottdvx100
07-16-2004, 10:38 PM
Tell them it's like an intimate theater. The camera is very close to them and they can focus on being the characters as opposed to projecting outward. Better yet tell them to ignore the 'audience' and focus on the other actors as if this were all real. Listen and respond in character.

Mike_Donis
07-18-2004, 01:08 PM
Exactly. Be sure that they know there is a difference in the first place. They all know about projection if they're theatrically trained; because the audience has to be able to see their expressions from 100 feet away. With film, it's the exact opposite: the camera, in a close up, can appear to be less than one or two feet away from the actor! So they have to tone everything down to make sure that's taken into consideration...

Training stage actors to work on film can be a lot of work, but something to note is that a good actor is a good actor. I'd say the main reason a good actor is good is because they're willing to try new things, and aren't afraid to make fools of themselves. They also strive for perfection in their job. If that's the case, they'll love working with you to get the best job done, and it likely will be possible.

Slapdragon
07-18-2004, 01:50 PM
The back row is only eight feet away... You may need to have a class on the method also.

taubkin
07-18-2004, 09:17 PM
If you tell people to speak lower, they naturally take stuff down a notch. Just be sure with your sound tech if you have room to go lower (Wich you probably have, if they are theater acting...). Don't scream to them, calm te set down. And the last but useful resort. Go to an acton, tap him on the shoulder and say, "That was great. Now I want to try the same thing, but a little less. " They usually get it.

JonnyMac
07-19-2004, 07:02 AM
You might consider taping your rehearsals and showing the actors (privately) what's happening that doesn't work for you. Theatre actors don't get to see themselves work like film actors do, so this may help. Once an actor sees what doesn't work it's far more easy to correct. Both of my acting coaches use tape analysis and it makes a world of difference.

Slapdragon
07-19-2004, 07:17 AM
You might consider taping your rehearsals and showing the actors (privately) what's happening that doesn't work for you. *Theatre actors don't get to see themselves work like film actors do, so this may help. *Once an actor sees what doesn't work it's far more easy to correct. *Both of my acting coaches use tape analysis and it makes a world of difference.

Beatings and electroshock therapy, plus taking their bottled water also seems to work....

(JK)

J_Barnes
07-19-2004, 07:32 AM
I would suggest that what you have is not stage acting, but bad acting.

While there are differences in the technique of delivery, acting is essentially acting. Facial expressions and “dramatic voice” are not indicative of either method and suggest that your actor is playing the drama rather then experiencing a situation.

Stage actors are trained to follow certain conventions of the theater so that performances are “given” to the audience transparently, but that training shouldn’t impact upon the actual “acting” that takes place. For example, vocal projection is important in theater but the technique of projection does not impart a sense of “drama” to the voice, it merely insures that the actor enunciates and speaks loudly enough so that they are not mumbling as we often do in life. Stage voice is not, as often professed, a specific level of volume utilized to insure that the actor can reach the back of the house...while that is often utilized in traditional classical and Greek theater, it is not appropriate for the naturalistic and modern approach to the stage and thus also camera.

I would also suggest that what you are seeing in your actors is not instances of them “paying less attention to their facial expressions”, but in fact it is them paying an undue amount of attention to their facial expressions. Trained and experienced actors don’t play expressions, they play situations and context, and if they’re good enough...that experience causes their facial expressions to happen transparently and consistently. An expressive face usually indicates someone that is not connecting with the material and thus is pretending their way through the scene. It also suggests someone who has not done their relaxation properly and is exhibiting nervous energy through their face.

The greatest actors move their faces the least.

My suggestions to you: if you trust the actors you’ve selected, then continue with your rehearsals at 1/2 the energy you feel you’ll need on the day of the performance. If an actor rehearses at full emotional speed in a location different then your actual shooting set, you’ll find that they will often become emotionally blocked once they step onto the set. Rehearsing just shy of the emotional requirements allows the actor to “set” his performance when he gets comfortable with the location.

Watch the facial expressions, if you feel that they’re inappropriate for the situation and character, try to approach the actor with an emotional correction. Telling an actor things like “don’t smile there” and “you should look angry” are cursory corrections that only serve to farther remove the actor from the context of the character.

Also remember to remove yourself a bit from the actor’s performance. Often times, as writers or directors, we envision things being said in a certain way with a specific emotional context, but room must be left for the actor’s interpretations. If the actor is doing something illogical in the context of the story, then you should work with the actor to help him discover that. Telling an actor “you hate her because of what she did to your brother” is not as effective as discussing the relationship and leading the actor to that conclusion.
One of the most effective ways of dealing with an overly exhibitional actor is to direct their focus at the other actor. Actors adapt their performances to the context of the situation they’re in, so often times a clarification of the situation can do wonders to control a performance. An actor will not project loudly if he really accepts and understands that the person he’s talking to is the character three feet away from him. Remind the actor of the situation, remind him who he’s talking to and why.

Always direct the actor’s attention to the other actor, and as long as he is able to talk to that person within the context of the scene, he will always speak at an appropriate volume. But it is also important for your actor to trust the writing and allow the words to do the work. The words must be the vehicle for the communication and emotion, and if the actor trusts the words and uses them to effect the other actor, then the emotional content will follow appropriately.

Also, take comfort in the fact that it is often easier to tone down a performance then it is to intensify it. Much like how an opera singer always warms up to notes higher then they intend to sing, an actor can often perform much better if they go beyond the required level of emotional intensity and then scale it back to fit your needs.

Finally, you must gauge your actor’s responses to your direction. If you find that the actor keeps repeating the same habits and problems throughout rehearsal, they’re not going to fix them suddenly on the shoot day.

Speaking from experience, always weigh the cost of postponing and recasting versus the cost of having a finished film you’re never going to be happy with.

Mike_Donis
07-19-2004, 10:32 AM
Nice post J!

Barry_Green
07-19-2004, 05:03 PM
I would suggest that what you have is not stage acting, but bad acting.

Ha! ;D


Speaking from experience, always weigh the cost of postponing and recasting versus the cost of having a finished film you’re never going to be happy with.

Overall excellent, excellent post.

J_Barnes
07-20-2004, 04:51 AM
Thanks homies, and big ups to Stanislavsky.

Mike_Donis
07-20-2004, 09:45 AM
:D

taubkin
07-20-2004, 04:20 PM
Thanks homies, and big ups to Stanislavsky.

Besides, quoting a big difficult russian name can be very effective to impress girls... ;D

ian
07-20-2004, 05:29 PM
I'm currently directing a feature that I wrote (we're still rehearsing actually) with mainly theatre actors. I'm lucky in that I have brilliant actors right now but what is very important is casting. If you don't get the right person in the right role you're screwed. Secondly, everything J said is totally on. I will say though that stage actors certainly emote more outwardly than film actors, and I don't mean projection, I just think it's because the nature of most of the theatre roles they have to play. Then tend to be less than understated characters.

Certainly remind them that they aren't playing to anybody but more importantly (in fact most importantly) like J said direct your actors attention to the other actors in the scene. I've found it very effective to let the actors internalize thier reactions to other characters and direct them from there using their response as a starting point. They very quickly found their own characters by understanding why their character is saying something to somebody. This makes them really wait to hear what's said to them by other actors in the scene rather than waiting to say their line. By the second read-through these folks were blowing my mind, taking every note beautifully and showing that note on every go again.

Obviously this all hinges on the quality of your actors. This is my first time directing so I was of course nervous. These are all college or just out of college actors but they've been directed by much more experienced folks than me. I just lucked out. I had more people than I needed wanting to do the script. It calls for a lot from the actors but everyone got right on board and trusted the material from the start (for no pay I might add), which brings up another of J's points: the actor really has to think they have something to learn from the role if they are going to be serious about it. The script has to be there.

I know I'm reiterating J's points but because I'm in the midst of rehearsals right now i got all these things in my head that are new to me so maybe they can help by saying them different. Another big point: learn how your actors take direction and like being directed as quickly as possible so a bond of trust can be formed quickly. I have two actors that play in many scenes together that are complete opposites but compliment each other beautifuly. When i give notes to one, he takes them and asks about them, asks me everything he wants to know about the character, including things not pertinent to the scene but important for his character. He asks me what the character would do in certain situations or what happen to him ten years ago. I tell him what the emphasis of the scene is, where his character is emotionaly, what the scene means to the story, which things unsaid maybe more important then the things said. On the next run through he always nails it. In comparison, the actress who is many scenes with him takes her notes, nods, listens and says, "alright, I get that", and bang she nails it on the next run through too. Different people, it's amazing.

Another point, always direct positively. Still challenge the actors, don't let them go in a direction that's good for them but not the scene, but always in a positive manner. If they're good actors, they'll sometimes tell you where they failed before you should have to tell them. Obviously "failed" is never a word that should be actually used. Always talk in terms of the character being played, using the character's name often, and don't say things "your character wouldn't do that" you'll deflate everything. It has to be a journey for the actor as well as you. When something's not going right use it as an opportunity to really get into discussion about the character more. If you don't know the character, your actor can't either.

One last thing, rehearse as much as possible in the locations you'll be shooting. For theatre actors who are used to props and costumes and the audience just the simplicity of shooting in a real bar, or the back seat of a car, or an apartment seems to allow them to find things in the characters they relate to themselves, things they relate to everyday things. (this may not help if you're shooting a sword and sorcery costume epic, of course ;))

Anyhow, I hope everything gets better for you in your film making experience. One hate's to think your actors may be the problem but if they are then they just are and you may have to face that. Crap, I think J already said that too. :-/

Good luck

Mike_Donis
07-20-2004, 07:52 PM
We're getting some killer posts here...awesome stuff!

Barry_Green
07-20-2004, 08:32 PM
Another thing about stage actors -- they can be incredible at memorizing lines. Sometimes with real film actors, I only get a few lines at a time out of 'em, but with stage actors those guys can memorize three pages and just keep going and going...

David Jimerson
07-20-2004, 08:33 PM
That much is true. Stage actors try to be off book by the second or third read-through.

J_Barnes
07-21-2004, 05:14 AM
One important thing to understand, to quote Ian from above (or rather from the previous page):

“One hates to think your actors may be the problem, but if they are, then they just are and you may have to face that.”

To take that idea a step further, understand that if you’re on set and your actors are the problem, you have not done your job properly. As a director, the biggest responsibility you will have is to your cast and crew. If you find that your actor is sub par or difficult during castings and rehearsals, then it is your responsibility to correct or remove that actor before shooting. Keeping someone, ANYONE on a shoot when you don’t have full confidence in that person is tantamount to betraying everyone else who joins you on the shoot.

Your fellow crew and actors are there because they all harbor some sense of confidence in you (even if it’s just the confidence that you will pay them). Working with someone you don’t have confidence in does a disservice to you, your film, your cast, your crew...and ultimately the problem actor.

It may be difficult to tell someone you aren’t going to use them after you’ve already cast them, but it’s actually a disservice to that actor to allow them to fail on screen.

J_Barnes
07-21-2004, 05:54 AM
Another thing about stage actors -- they can be incredible at memorizing lines. Sometimes with real film actors, I only get a few lines at a time out of 'em, but with stage actors those guys can memorize three pages and just keep going and going...

I think that what most people see as a difference between stage actors and camera actors is actually the difference between experienced actors and inexperienced actors.

The fact is that acting schools generally don’t use film and television scripts as learning materials, most scripts are just too poorly written and disjointed to get any real extended scenes from. Instead, acting schools tend to use stage plays as the basis for scene study, including everything from classical Shakespearian and Chekhov to modern naturalistic plays. This method of learning endows the trained actor with a certain sense of discipline when it comes to the written word. A trained actor should have no problem memorizing several pages worth of dialogue from a stage play, and film scripts are FAR less dense per page then stage plays.

Also, stage actors tend to have far more working experience then camera actors simply because the working methods employed in the stage build the acting muscles through repetition rather then diversity.

An actor who’s done a short run play has already gone through a casting session and callbacks, anywhere from five days to three weeks of rehearsals, and anywhere from three to fifty-four live performances at the conclusion of the play's run.

In contrast, a camera actor who’s only had one student film or short under their belt has on average: one casting meeting, one rehearsal meeting, and one or two performance days.

Judging by numbers alone, a camera actor would have to work on a minimum of five student/short films to equal the raw acting experience of a single week-run stage play, and that’s not even considering the disparity in the level of material between the two.

I’m not suggesting that stage actors are better then camera actors, what I suggest is that the average beginning stage actor has far more experience then the average beginning camera actor. If the actor is not a ham (ie- is properly trained), then it should only take small adjustments for them to translate their craft for the camera, allowing the director to reap the rewards of the actor’s experience.

Personally, I will usually trade inspiration for experience.

An inspired but inexperienced actor can often show you fleeting moments of brilliance, but what good are those moments if they can’t be edited into a scene because of the actor’s continuity flaws?

Experienced actors not only save you time and money on the set, they save you time and money in the editing room, so you've always got to weigh that extra cost/savings during the casting process.

ian
07-21-2004, 02:22 PM
Totally true, J

The folks I'm working with now are either Salem State Theatre grads or currently in the New School in NY. Most of them have worked outside of school on many occassions in pro theatre gigs, though none of them have worked in film before. They were off book instantly, by our second read through basically. There is a reason why 99% of all great film actors started in theatre and it's the experience that's the key (that and loads of talent doesn't hurt).

Personally my preference for film performances comes from the level of understatement that can be accomplished in film that simply can't be accomplished in large stage shows, it doesn't carry. This is something these actors I'm working with now are really loving. There is no fourth wall. The most minute expressions can carry on film and the scenes without a lot of dialouge that contain long moments of silence, of characters just being together, are the scenes my actors relish most right now. Only the most intimate Naturalistic plays can come close to pulling this off.

Stage and film are inseperable arts to actors but as for directors that's a rare crossover these days. I myself have no interest in writing or directing for the stage (this is always a fun running argue-sation with all my theatre friends). Maybe someday that will change but right now the view from the camera, the timing of scenes and cuts, is just too important to the essence of my stories.

rsbush
07-22-2004, 04:10 AM
Here it is from a master. Tarkovsky On Acting: Theater vs. Film http://www.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/On_Acting.html

J_Barnes
07-22-2004, 06:52 AM
Here it is from a master. Tarkovsky On Acting: Theater vs. Film http://www.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/On_Acting.html

I think we have too many masters in this world.

In the Tibetan sense, experts on acting and directing know both everything and nothing. While they may have come to a complex understanding of the process and preparation of the actor, by nature that understanding must change slightly with each new actor that is encountered.

Acting is always an individual experience that is influenced by the material, the situation, the context, the actor, the times, and the director. I believe that any knowledge of directing hinges on a transitory understanding of the actor, and because the acting exists only though the complex construct of a human being with all the associated history and emotion, there can never be a universal understanding of the process.

The scholarly approach to acting has been always to develop a magic bullet that endows teachers and directors the ability to turn any person with desire into a vessel for a character, but that drive to conquer a nebulous art resulted in an arrogant approach of certainty.

Konstantin Stanislavsky’s teachings influenced Lee Strasberg to create his infamous method, developed largely at the Group Theater with Meisner and Adler, but when Strasberg dared to say that Stanislavsky was wrong and he was right, Meisner and Adler developed their own competing variations. All three were dubbed “masters”, all three were rigidly certain in their approach, and all three were just variations on Stanislavsky.

I think people approach the dramatic arts from a point of view that is too scientific. As a sculptor can be said to be a “master”, their mastery of sculpture extends only as far as their chisel. Singularly focused on their work, they learn all they can think to explore during their lifetime, but what results from their work isn’t a better understanding of sculpture as a whole...it’s a better understanding of each individual rock they’ve laid a hammer to.

Acting is exactly the same. While a lifetime of directing and teaching can earn you the title of “master”, the end result is that your understanding of the craft only extends as far as the individual actors you’ve taught or worked with.

The message for young directors out there is to understand that your approach must be constantly evolving to fit the situation and the person before you. You can read a million books about acting and directing, but your abilities will only be born of the marriage between your confidence and your experience with individually diverse people.


Sorry...I got off on a tangent there...

Josh_Boelter
07-22-2004, 08:15 AM
So does that mean you wouldn't consider Freddie Prinze, Jr. a "master"? ;)

ian
07-22-2004, 09:51 AM
It's true the term "master" is too often tossed about but I will say that there is something more ephemeral to understanding a craft than the just your past experience with the particulars of that craft, be they medium or situation. *The truest sense of master implies an understanding that every eventuality whether encountered or not is already past fathoming and is inherently intrinsic to your understanding. *In that way it cannot just be defined as your past experience up to that point or you would have no concept of moment and all it's possiblities. *There are very few masters alive in this world in any craft (especially the craft of living) but there are plenty of hard-line Stanislavskys out there so it's true one should always be careful saying this is the "right way" to act or direct or do anything for that matter.

That being said there are lessons to be learned from anyone elses experiences.

rsbush
07-23-2004, 05:21 AM
I think we have too many masters in this world.


You may think we have too many masters but most people interested in this topic would be far better served taking advice from some of these "so called masters" (whose work they can view and then make assesments about their proccess) than listening to the rest of us try to sort it out. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tarkovsky was not a scholar he was a director, one who did the work not only talked about it. And he is universally considered a master of his art.
And by the way master does not connotate "sole authority". There are many masters with different approaches in any artform. And this is where reading what THEY say may be valuable to you. First you read what they say, then you look at their results, then you evaluate if it was working for them and if it might work for you. Then you go out and apply what you've gleaned.

JonnyMac
07-23-2004, 05:36 AM
That much is true. *Stage actors try to be off book by the second or third read-through.
For the stage actor, the book doesn't change minutes prior to the performance. *How often does that happen in film? Answer: next to never. *It could be that many film actors tend not to memorize well because they know this. *The opinion, though, that film actors can't memorize is total bollocks in my experience.

On the other side, I've seen stage actors have real struggles with the flexibility of a film setting. *As has been stated, good acting is good acting; and when moving between mediums actors (indeed all) have to adjust.

J_Barnes
07-23-2004, 08:15 AM
You may think we have too many masters but most people interested in this topic would be far better served taking advice from some of these "so called masters" (whose work they can view and then make assesments about their proccess) than listening to the rest of us try to sort it out.

First off, I feel it necessary to state that by offering my opinions I did not intend to get into a pissing contest with anyone. As this forum is in its basic form a method of discussion, what we’re trading is essentially opinion. There is room for dissention of all sorts, and sometimes that dissention is taken personally where it was not intended to have that effect. If you review my post, I think you’ll find that what I am saying does not conflict with what you are saying, and if you feel that I was “calling you out” or anything like that, I apologize.


Tarkovsky was not a scholar he was a director, one who did the work not only talked about it. And he is universally considered a master of his art.

Again, I didn’t mean to imply Tarkovsky is a scholar, and I am well aware of who Tarkovsky is. While my post began with your statement of Tarkovsky being a master, I was intending to offer my opinion about the concept of “mastery” as it applies to teaching and approaches to acting in the dramatic arts. (both of which, I feel are intrinsically linked to the craft of directing actors)

If you’ll review my post, I never mention Tarkovsky beyond application of the term “master”, and instead my opinions related to the development of the “method” and the scholarly approach to acting, neither of which I feel applies specifically to Tarkovsky as a director, or as a source of knowledge about acting.

I was speaking of a scholarly approach as it relates to the major acting methods, movements and schools of the 20th century, given as examples of how there is no magic bullet approach to acting, actors, or directing. Thus still feel that the term “master” is still applied a bit too liberally.

Tarkovsky may indeed be universally considered a “master of his art”, but it is my assertion that his “art” concerns far more then simply directing actors. The modern film director’s hands are in music, sound, pacing, lighting, framing, editing, writing, design, costuming, AND directing actors. I don’t feel that a mastery of all those individual aspects in within the context of a film lends itself to a specific mastery of each outside of the film.

That does not discount his opinions and theories, it simply means that within the context of this discussion (theater vs. film acting), I don’t feel that his opinions carry more weight simply because he is a great film director.

Even the greatest film director has had limited exposure to the world of the dramatic arts, it is simply the nature of the industry’s demands. The most active directors would struggle to complete two full-length features in a year’s time. Each film could harbor a cast of perhaps 10 to 20 people at most that the director might have close interaction with for a duration of three to six weeks on average. That results in maybe ten to twelve weeks of directing between 10 and 40 people in a very productive year. Those numbers simply do not afford the average director a lot of varied exposure to actors.

I could even argue further that the cultural isolation of a director working in a specific country (any country) further limits their exposure to actors and the different ways they access their emotions, thus limiting their global understanding of the craft.

While a lot of directors have an innate talent for working with actors, I don’t feel like that talent alone affords them a mastery of that specific aspect of the art. A director might create 30 stunningly perfect films in his lifetime and still not gain a comfortable understanding of the acting process. I’m not saying that any director’s experience should be discounted, what I’m saying again is that the term of “master” is applied too often in an art form that is so nebulous.

Even the greatest acting teachers the world has ever produced were still altering their teachings up until the day they died. My post was intended to profess the idea that directing is a craft that is constantly learned.

A master has no more to learn.


And by the way master does not connotate "sole authority". There are many masters with different approaches in any artform. And this is where reading what THEY say may be valuable to you. First you read what they say, then you look at their results, then you evaluate if it was working for them and if it might work for you. Then you go out and apply what you've gleaned.

My post ended with a statement that you might have passed over:


The message for young directors out there is to understand that your approach must be constantly evolving to fit the situation and the person before you. You can read a million books about acting and directing, but your abilities will only be born of the marriage between your confidence and your experience with individually diverse people.

Again, I don’t believe our statements disagree here, it is just my belief that the learning does not actually begin until “you go out and apply what you’ve gleaned”.

I feel that all the reading and studying we do, scouring all the books and resources about directing and acting, that all serves only as preparation for the journey. The true understanding does not begin until the application meets with the results. Your experience will build confidence, and that confidence allows a beginning director the freedom to explore and build upon his experience.

Reading what a director says and watching their films for the results does not give any sort of accurate picture for the collaborative process that happens on set. That does not mean it is not valuable, but again, it is my assertion that those sorts of things are only the preparation that precedes the education one gains in doing.


…most people interested in this topic would be far better served taking advice from some of these "so called masters" (whose work they can view and then make assesments about their proccess) than listening to the rest of us try to sort it out.

If you feel confident that you can accurately make “assessments” about any director’s process, then you are far more insightful then I am. In watching any motion picture, I don’t tend to see the conversations between the star and the director, I don’t tend to see the long discussions about backstory and motivation, I don’t tend to see the substitutions and endowments suggested.

If I do see those things, then I know I’m seeing both bad acting and bad directing.

What I mean is that a director’s work is typically transparent on screen. Beyond any specific visual styling, the actual acting work that ends up on screen shouldn’t bear the “stamp” of a specific director, usually it transparently showcases the work of the actor. I don’t mean to suggest that I think the spirit of what you’re saying is wrong, I just mean that there’s only so much we can learn about directing actors from watching a film. When it’s done properly, all the director’s adjustments become embodied in the actor’s work, and how can a viewer accurately separate the two without being intimately involved in that process?

Finally, again I suggest that everything I’m saying here is part experience and part opinion, both of which you are fully welcome to discount.

I’m sorry if you feel harmed by “listening to the rest of us try to sort it out”.

rsbush
07-23-2004, 09:17 AM
I’m sorry if you feel harmed by “listening to the rest of us try to sort it out”. *


It's kinda hard to tell if you're really intending to get in a pissing contest or not. This statement alone makes me suspect you are. There are some here who have heard what you're saying before and may want to hear another voice on the topic. I offered a link to what I consider to be an illuminating exploration by one considered to be a master. If you feel threatened by that, that's up to you. And I can and do make assessments (assign value) of a director's process, how accurate I am is neither here nor there. Maybe I am more insightful than you, maybe not. But I for one don't need another little lecture on all the disciplines involved in filmmaking.

TedoB
07-23-2004, 10:06 AM
Maybe I am more insightful than you, maybe not. But I for one don't need another little lecture on all the disciplines involved in filmmaking.



dude, pick your fights somewhere else.

if you don't want to hear "another little lecture on all the disciplines involved iin filmmaking" then don't spend your time on a filmmaking website.

Either that, or just ignore what bothers you.

let's be grownups here guys. :)

Mike_Donis
07-23-2004, 04:12 PM
Let's all simmer before we get a sour thread over here, too...

monte
08-07-2004, 09:12 PM
Oh god, I hated doing theater stuff because it just isn't ... natural, ive always been much more into acting on camera.

For some reason I've always enjoyed it alot more than performing in front of 700+ people in a auditorium... its just nice to not have to overact (pacino)

jk jk...

Bariona
08-08-2004, 10:11 AM
and what about casting professional actors with non-professional actors. Is there a danger of put-downs, conflict, or mayhem?
Your thoughts... and experiences?

THiNSPiRiT
08-08-2004, 10:36 PM
You shouldn't really have problems with that. All professionals started off as amateurs at one point so they usually have pretty good respect for people trying to get started. That being said, if they're acting together and an amateur is bad, the professional is going to get irritated at that. If the amateur is incapable of getting takes and such it wastes everyone's time.

Otherwise you shouldn't have problems unless the people themselves don't like each other.

Mike_Donis
08-09-2004, 11:47 AM
Otherwise you shouldn't have problems unless the people themselves don't like each other.

Which of course can happen with a team filled with professionals OR amateurs...

the_director
08-30-2004, 02:36 PM
Some more thoughts:

You must love people; you must love the actors. If they feel that you do, they'll work hard for you.

There are theater actors that will never be good film actors and there are film actors that will never be good theater actors.

You must take acting lessons yourself.

Look for introverts. I find that introverted actor, and these are less comon in the US, will look a lot more natural on film, if he is not trained enough in acting, than an extrovert would. The introvert will normally play an extroverted role fine. The extroverted actor will offen be a ham.

Most extroverts are actually introverts retrained by life into extroverts. This type of actor is your better bet for a not too well trained film acor. He will look more natural in film. he palys an extrovert in his normal life and can go from introvert to extrovert and back at any time, go from underacting to overacting in film.

The first film I made was acted by me and my friend. I was in a film school. i never had any acting classes yet. My friend had AA in stage acting. He overacted everything. I came out totally natural. Everyone noticed. He of course claimed that I was more natural because I had a better director, by whom he meant himself. Actually i was the director.

it is not easy to get most stage actors to look natural on film. They are extremely likely to overact everything for film, at least on film it will look overacted.

You must totally understand acting and the role to be able to coach your talent.

Knowing filmmaking and not knowing how to direct actors will get you nowhere, or at least not into the optimum art.

Spielberg does not direct/coach actors. He trusts them. Why? because he has a serious gap there. He can however afford the best actors and they will save him.

Anothe rexample: Look at the awful performance of the young lead in the last Star Wars. It just destroys the whole film. Lucas understands cinema but when it comes to acting, he's not the greatest.

One of the problems with many American film schools is their failure to teach the director sufficiently to direct actors.

In short. Learn the method, from the best directors. That way you will learn both acting, and directing actors.

In some European countries there is another guy, a dramaturg that helps the director on the way to create a dramatically correct film. He understands the drama theory, structure, acting and so forth. In America all this is the director's responsibility.

Then you often get $100 million budget films with poor acting. The use of a dramaturg would correct all this.

Try to get help of someone who has a complete understanding of the drama theory and acting. Give him his credit. It should be a group effort. It's OK to do it the unconventional way.

the_director
08-30-2004, 02:44 PM
the best directors are the ones who can direct both film and stage. Get two degrees, one in film directing and another one in theater directing. That will make you a lot better film director.

Bergman, Copola, Menzl ... all these direct both stage and film. Their film actors excel.