Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst ... 23456
Results 51 to 59 of 59
  1. Collapse Details
    #51
    Senior Member 10s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,237
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by Zak Forsman View Post
    yeah, i think what you're describing is simply blocking the action for the shot.

    There's a bit more to it than blocking to say the least. Mamet has some interesting ideas along with Hitchcock about this. They both look at film-making this way. I feel actors need to be trained to act in film by actually filming in class so they learn continuity and how it works. I tend to agree with Mamet about this. He has some interesting advice for actors on what role they play and how to go about it.



    Mattykins, didn't we go over this before? somewhere? anywise...

    All "thoughts about how..." are based in a theory of some kind, even if it's half thought-out or just plain stupid, it's still a theory of some sort. Theory is simply one's way of understanding and explaining some object. Your post is an example of your theory.

    Good craftsmanship is built on mastering technique. Film making is a craft and directing is a key subset of the craft. There are techniques that have proven to be useful for obtaining predictable results.

    "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's there are few." (Shunryu Suzuki)
    Last edited by 10s; 05-27-2009 at 10:23 PM.


    Reply With Quote
     

  2. Collapse Details
    #52
    Cute Member Mattykins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,293
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Spencer View Post
    Direct in a way that gets results.
    Yes, we did talk about it, because everyone dissected the definition of theory. Look past my use of theory as a word. Look past the semantics to the idea. That is what I am getting at.

    And didn't you just negate your entire argument Ted? If results aren't up to "theory" (as in Kubrick directing is the way. Or Mamet's directing is the way, or the book I read is the way. Then isn't it unfortunate even if it yields results?

    So I guess 10's I speak as theory as an "I read it, so it must be the way" akin to "The Force". Not a general idea of how to do something.

    PS.

    Moss No. What do you mean? Have I talked to him about this [Pause]
    Aaronow Yes. I mean are you actually talking about this, or are we just...
    Moss No, we're just...
    Aaronow We're just "talking" about it.
    Moss We're just speaking about it. [Pause] As an idea.
    Aaronow As an idea.
    Moss Yes.
    Aaronow We're not actually talking about it.
    Moss No.
    "I reject your reality and substitute my own"
    MKTG Film, Film Marketing 101


    Reply With Quote
     

  3. Collapse Details
    #53
    Moderator Zak Forsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    8,251
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by 10s View Post
    There's a bit more to it than blocking to say the least. Mamet has some interesting ideas along with Hitchcock about this. They both look at film-making this way. I fell actors need to be trained to act in film by actually filming in class so they learn continuity and how it works. I tend to agree with Mamet about this. He has some interesting advice for actors on what role they play and how to go about it.
    i see. well respectfully, i don't think we're going to see eye to eye on this one. i've read much of what mamet has to say on directing and I think the results in each of his films are not of the sort that I'm after... to put it politely.
    DOWN AND DANGEROUS is now on iTunes :: A smuggler bleeds like anyone else. He just gets more chances to prove it.
    THE SABI COMPANY :: FACEBOOK :: TWITTER :: IMDB :: #DADmovie


    Reply With Quote
     

  4. Collapse Details
    #54
    Senior Member 10s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,237
    Default
    There's no need to see eye to eye. It's good we agree to disagree and keep sharing ideas and insights. I learn all sorts of things from the different perspectives put forth by everyone ... even from all you guys!

    Mattykins, I hear you.

    I'm also not too keen on all of Mamet's work but his insight on the craft is well worth listening to.


    Reply With Quote
     

  5. Collapse Details
    #55
    Senior Member Ted Spencer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    3,253
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattykins View Post
    And didn't you just negate your entire argument Ted? If results aren't up to "theory" (as in Kubrick directing is the way. Or Mamet's directing is the way, or the book I read is the way. Then isn't it unfortunate even if it yields results?
    I think there's a tendency in discussions like this to reflexively dismiss points made that reference books or other non-directly experiential sources. I know I've been guilty of it myself in my music recording work when newbie clients pull out references to magazine articles that are at odds with my decades of hard-learned methodology. Humble pie is all too often consumed shortly thereafter (by me) when said inexperienced person's point turns out to be well taken, and I subsequently incorporate in into my own "expert" body of knowledge. So much for contempt for the Great Unwashed...

    But back to the subject at hand, you may recall that after espousing my pet theories on directing (born of both formal study and many years of experience in numerous different contexts), I added a big "on the other hand" section that basically said "sometimes you have to toss the whole approach in the trash and do what works, however 'heretical' to your preferences it may be".

    I've tried every darn approach in (and out of) the book many times, and the one I primarily advocated earlier in the thread is by far the most effective in my experience. And it's very similar in nature to what Judith Weston describes in "Directing Actors" (re: result-oriented = bad idea), as well as what Harold Guskin suggests as an acting coach (stay alive in the moment at [almost] all costs).

    And I didn't say "Direct in a way that gets results" lightly. I start with my default approach, and will stick with it pretty far down the road, because it usually *works*, eventually, even if not right away (and it usually does work right away). But when it doesn't, I'm perfectly willing to toss "the book" out the window if I must, and try something else until *I get results*. This can include direct instruction, dictated line readings, jokes (often at at my own expense), lunch breaks, chuck-the-script improv, massages, a case of wine....whatever. Go ahead and break all the 'rules' if you have to. Whatever it takes to make it happen...

    And of course, sometimes it just doesn't. So you regroup - maybe it's a casting error, maybe you need a rewrite, maybe you try another day, maybe you cut the scene.

    But in the end, what matters is that the finished product *works*. That's *all* that matters. In the end nobody in the audience sees how you got there. All they see is whether you did, or didn't...
    "Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout
    A pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
    And though she feels as if she's in a play
    She is anyway"

    From "Penny Lane" by Lennon/McCartney


    Reply With Quote
     

  6. Collapse Details
    #56
    Admin Luis Caffesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    11,093
    Default
    This is a fascinating conversation - and not to derail it, there was something I wanted to add.
    One topic I haven't seen come up yet is the issue of expectations - and it's something I've been trying to deal with quite a bit lately, and I feel has made a huge difference in my communication with actors.

    Anytime I'm working with a new actor we take a good chunk of time to talk about the process itself. I give them some insight as to how I like to work, what they can expect from me, etc.
    This goes back to what Michele brought up - I'm one of those who probably doesn't give actors much feedback, especially on the first couple of takes. Most of the time its because I've found that saying the wrong thing can cause more harm than good - and also I want to see what the actor is bringing to the role themselves, before I try to shape it too much. Those first couple of run throughs give me a chance to see it fresh from the actors perspective, instead of immediately trying to push them back to what my preconceived notions of the performance were.

    Problem is - I quickly realized that many actors were getting insecure, thinking the lack of feedback meant I wasn't happy, and at a loss for what to tell them - and, just like Michele mentioned, altering their performance in hopes of hitting something I was happy with.

    By talking about the process beforehand, and setting up some expectations with the actors I found that they are all much more comfortable, and willing to put themselves out there for me.

    Point is - I'm not certain if WHAT we do as directors is as important and making certain that the actors we are working with know what it MEANS when we do it.

    Silence from one director may mean something completely different than another.
    Running 15 takes with one director may mean things aren't going well... or it may simply mean the director wanted to do that many takes and everything is going according to plan.

    I guess in many ways its no different that any other working relationship (client, crew, etc).
    Setting expectations definitely helps keep everyone on the same page - and can help actors feel much more confident and secure in what their doing.

    Just my two cents.

    This is a great thread by the way.


    Reply With Quote
     

  7. Collapse Details
    #57
    Wish I were banned. Drew Ott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    4,678
    Default
    That's great advice Luis. I'm going to start doing that. I think it would solve a lot of the issues I've had.
    "You'd better cure all those personal problems that might be holding back something you want to say." -John Cassavetes


    Reply With Quote
     

  8. Collapse Details
    #58
    Senior Member dasher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    154
    Default
    This isn't exactly production, but when I'm casting leads and major supporting characters I don't have the final callback in an office or audition setting. I literally make a short film with myself operating and a wireless mic on them at a location similar to the sides I've selected. It's usually my house and backyard or a park.

    (NOTE : The short film itself is not a scene from the movie, but something that I've made up with the character in mind. Usually this is a scene that I wrote that never made the final cut of the film or a backstory to a character that we never see but is important so that actor knows the mindset I want in the first scene. Too many times have I seen directors cast an actor based on the most important scene from the film. In some cases this is important, but I've noticed that there are cases where an actor / actress has problems bringing to me what they brought into the audition and I like actors to be more fresh in the process when that scene happens).

    It's maybe 3 different shots that take about a half an hour then an extra ten minutes topped onto that to talk about my project/character/etc. I feel like they sort of get to know who I am, how I do it, etc without me having to describe myself and how I work. The great thing is that it's a moment working with a person. There are great audition actors that sort of freeze up on set. I get to know their patience, quirks, and probably most importantly their personality comparatively to the character I'm selecting.


    Reply With Quote
     

  9. Collapse Details
    #59
    Senior Member Ted Spencer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    3,253
    Default
    Auditions can be very liberating for an actor, especially if you don't tend to be fearful - chances are you won't even get the role, so what the hell - go for broke. But for some actors, once they do get the role and memorize the lines they can actually get worse, particularly where keeping it fresh and spontaneous after doing it many times in a row are concerned - which is, after all, the ballgame in the end. I think this is probably the biggest single reason why callbacks are so essential. The actor has (usually) memorized the sides by then, and gets a sort of mini-version of the on-set experience. And the director/casting crew get to see the actor in it. Often it can much more accurately reveal who's got the chops and who hasn't.
    "Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout
    A pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
    And though she feels as if she's in a play
    She is anyway"

    From "Penny Lane" by Lennon/McCartney


    Reply With Quote
     

Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst ... 23456

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •