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    Acting Style For The Era
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    Rockin the Boat
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    Interesting article:

    The Great Recession




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    Wish I were banned. Drew Ott's Avatar
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    Very interesting. Wes Anderson also comes to mind when talking about repressed, traumatized acting styles.
    "You'd better cure all those personal problems that might be holding back something you want to say." -John Cassavetes


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    Cool article but its been generally understood for a while that cinema favors subdued acting.

    This is gold:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBzReBMU2s8


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    Senior Member rsbush's Avatar
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    While there are some interesting observations in the article, the author is confusing technique with style. All flavors of the American method (Strasberg, Meisner, Adler, Hagen etc.) which are based on Stanislavski's method, are techniques not styles. While it is true that certain techniques serve certain styles better than others, indeed Stanislavski developed his method to serve the plays of Anton Chekhov, and the Group Theater adopted Stanislavski's method to serve the plays of Clifford Odetts, they are not inherently stylistic.
    Last edited by rsbush; 11-29-2016 at 12:10 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rayortiz313 View Post
    Cool article but its been generally understood for a while that cinema favors subdued acting.

    This is gold:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBzReBMU2s8
    Love that presentation - Michael Caine is such a thoughtful, smart, knowlegeable person! I also found it an interesting if somewhat depressing exercise. It reflects what I've generally gathered through the years, and had confirmed to me by a couple directors in personal converstion: most aspiring actors are just not very good, and no amount of training will make them acceptably good. Talent is rare, including acting talent. Odds that a single person out of an acting class will ever give a decent performance are pretty remote. The vast majority of such classes are wasted on the students. You either pay for a pro, or you are taking a huge chance on an unknown. Most microbudget indies have no money, so they are condemned to use marginal actors - and the result is that the biggest weakness of such productions is poor acting. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. A director can work with an actor and help their performance, but if the actor has no inherent ability, it's not going to work. Of course, there are talented unknowns, but it's a matter of statistics - they're rare. Which is why producers are willing to pay silly money for stars - they're a rare commodity.

    This class by Michael Caine is on point. All the students are awful. And their perfomances don't improve much if at all, even though it is Michael Caine teaching them. I admire Michael Caine for picking random aspiring actors instead of doing a demonstration with seasoned actors - it's more real that way. It also unfortunately illustrates the reality that talent is rare.


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    Senior Member rsbush's Avatar
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    Most aspiring anything are not very good.


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    "Most aspiring actors are just not very good, and no amount of training will make them acceptably good. Talent is rare, including acting talent. Odds that a single person out of an acting class will ever give a decent performance are pretty remote. The vast majority of such classes are wasted on the students. You either pay for a pro, or you are taking a huge chance on an unknown. Most microbudget indies have no money, so they are condemned to use marginal actors - and the result is that the biggest weakness of such productions is poor acting. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

    There is so much in here that I disagree with. I've made four indie feature films and have worked with plenty of amazing actors - 95% of them non-sag btw. I've studied acting for over a decade and saw great acting over and over in classes. I'm about to do a new feature with a guy playing the co-lead who only has two semesters of acting classes under his belt but has plenty of talent. And is right for the part. Sure - i also saw plenty of acting in classes that was not inspiring. "pay for a pro." Sure there are gonna be things that someone who works a lot is going to be better at - than someone without that experience under their belt - but as warhol said once - "success is what sells." The big shot producer wants the big shot actor as much for market forces as for talent. Anyway - Plenty of amazing actors out there - but as a director do you know how to work with them and let them shine?


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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin baggott View Post
    "Most aspiring actors are just not very good, and no amount of training will make them acceptably good. Talent is rare, including acting talent. Odds that a single person out of an acting class will ever give a decent performance are pretty remote. The vast majority of such classes are wasted on the students. You either pay for a pro, or you are taking a huge chance on an unknown. Most microbudget indies have no money, so they are condemned to use marginal actors - and the result is that the biggest weakness of such productions is poor acting. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

    There is so much in here that I disagree with. I've made four indie feature films and have worked with plenty of amazing actors - 95% of them non-sag btw. I've studied acting for over a decade and saw great acting over and over in classes. I'm about to do a new feature with a guy playing the co-lead who only has two semesters of acting classes under his belt but has plenty of talent. And is right for the part. Sure - i also saw plenty of acting in classes that was not inspiring. "pay for a pro." Sure there are gonna be things that someone who works a lot is going to be better at - than someone without that experience under their belt - but as warhol said once - "success is what sells." The big shot producer wants the big shot actor as much for market forces as for talent. Anyway - Plenty of amazing actors out there - but as a director do you know how to work with them and let them shine?
    I sincerely would love to agree with you. What's not to like? Great actors everywhere you turn - fantastic for low budget directors or folks just starting out. Where can I sign up to live in your world - it's absolutely lovely! Now, maybe you've worked with "amazing" non-sag actors, and have seen "great acting in classes over and over" - I wasn't there, so I can't contradict you. It certainly can happen. There have been movies made with non-pro actors who were just amazing. I've seen such movies. I've also read about folks who won the lottery. Never met one in my own life, but maybe I'm not lucky that way. Or maybe winning the lottery is just statistically rare, your experience notwithstanding.

    I mean, why is it exactly that most tiny indie efforts feature dreadful acting - compared to professional productions using pro actors? What accounts for that, if talent is so thick on the ground that you throw a stick and hit ten "amazing actors". Or maybe I need new glasses and I should realize that all those performances I call "poor" are actually down to " "success is what sells." The big shot producer wants the big shot actor as much for market forces as for talent." I mean producers are pretty unsentimental on the whole - they pay big money for very concrete reasons - an actor who is able to carry a movie, open a movie, someone people are eager to watch. That's not something you can always control. Either you have that screen presence or you don't. Now, perhaps you see that kind of ability to open movies, carry movies and screen presence as dime a dozen, but then that would make producers pretty stupid if they obsessed over a particular few to pay huge money instead of grabbing one of those "amazing" actors who litter the floor of every acting class. Or maybe - such talent is... rare. And so - costly.

    I don't know. One could say "Plenty of amazing actors out there - but as a director do you know how to work with them and let them shine?" - but if that were so, every director out there, no matter how tiny a production would work their fingers to the bone to allow his/her actors to shine on the level of stars - I mean, who wouldn't want such amazing talent in their movies. And yet - it very, very, very rarely happens. Perhaps then it is the directors who are rare - those directors who can unleash amazing performances out of any old actor. One or the other must be rare. My money - having witnessed many such attempts - is on it being the amazing actor who is rare. For that matter this very link to Michael Caine's class is an object lesson in the failure of instruction to create a passable - let alone amazing - performance from actors who just don't happen to be amazing talents. I'm sure a talent can be developed (f.ex. in acting classes) - but it must be there to begin with, and that is rare, IMHO.

    Again, I don't know you or your films, so you may be 100% accurate in your experiences. If you are so lucky, I congratulate you. I just go by my own observations and the statistical truths I've been able to glean throughout the years. I rather think like the other poster said "most aspiring anything are not very good".


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    Senior Member rsbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCorpse View Post
    I rather think like the other poster said "most aspiring anything are not very good".
    While I find this to be true, you're characterization of acting classes shows a great ignorance. Acting classes run the gamut from beginner technique classes to advanced scene study and advanced techniques such as animalizations. And most of the latter are a mix of non SAG members and working professionals. And the working professionals are not always the most talented. Getting work, ie: selling yourself, is a specialized talent that has little to do with your given talent at an art or craft. Sandford Meisner used to say "Take two actors of equal talent. One is successful, one isn't. Why is that." It's a question he left you to sort out on your own. You also don't seem to understand how actors make progress. It rarely comes in leaps and bounds but rather in realizations from fleeting moments. And usually it takes a trained eye to see the penny drop. The beginning actors in the Michael Caine video are learning technique not giving a performance.


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    Couldn't agree with ya more rsbush.


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