Actor & Scene Tips

After your script is finished, you have to cast your actors. There are paid websites like Backstage that will provide you with good actors for a price, but the earlier you are in the journey, the cheaper you will be so- You will need to utilize the internet. Meet Up app is a good tool and so is Craigslist. Your talent pool will not be as good as Backstage, but they will be cheap. Through Meet Up you can get connected to many other Theater companies and ways to get yourself a talent pool for your project. Then you have to organize auditions yourself, which means making time for everyone or 2 at a time so you can judge their abilities. After you’ve got a grip on who might play what, then you need a few tables reads before you start shooting so the actors can get their chemistry up and be more familiar with saying the lines.

Let them in on enough about the character that they understand them before the whole production process begins. Buy cheap journals and write entries from your characters point of view. Make one of those flipbooks for each character with scraps from newspapers and magazines that’s would help define the role and it’s characteristics. You need them to think how the character thinks. Back story is important but more important still is getting them to understand feelings and emotions pertinent to the scenes they will be playing out. This is key, partly because you shouldn’t hit them with constant direction during the shooting. Too much direction on a newest, inexperienced actor can put them in a metaphorical box and lock them into a bad performance. It is certainly all-dependent on a person, but if the scene is forty seconds long and every 7 seconds you have a direction, he has to focus on his lines and 5 or 6 emotional directions it will be hard to make it seamlessly through the scene.

Giving them adjectives like be sad or happy can lead to actors making faces. Action verbs are giving them specific action which actors use to discover and experience emotions. You are essentially giving them a motivation behind their actions in the scene. This requires much more thought from the director beforehand, planning and being a part of each characters mentality. You will have to know these scenes in and out.

Someone once told me an actor is a walking, talking prop. They are frail, sensitive and crucial and you must keep this in mind on set. If you have a scene with 4 different angles, he or she may be stuck there going over the same lines 20 or 30 times until they’re bored. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to try your hand at acting and get an understanding of it. Understand their point of you because a good actor can make or break your entire film. It is the Directors job to get a good performance from the actors. You can be lacking in a few technical spots (Not sound, you need good sound) if the performances are riveting.

As you become more experienced as a director, you will learn to cultivate your own style and relationship with your crew members, and learn how to set the tone on each of your
 sets.

Sorkin on writing scenes-
`Every Scene should move the plot forward.
`Not every scene needs to end dramatically, but you should feel satisfied with how it does end.
`If you are struggling with what the next scene should be, try answer questions posed in the previous sceneGrab the audience as soon as you can. Try dropping the audience in the middle of a conversation- it forces them to pay attention and catch up.
`It’s also satisfying to lay out the theme to your entire movie right in the first scene.
`If you’re introducing a character in a scene for the first time, show the audience what the character wants, not who the character is. If the don’t want something, then they are cluttering up your screenplay.
`Aaron always advises showing what a character wants and that their tactics to overcome obstacles define who the character is
`When writing, Aaron only includes completely necessary description.

~C.R

More from the Film Connection Blog:

Day 1
A lil on Editing
Event Planning
Motivation in Writing
Camera Functions
Lil on Crew & Budget
Setting a Story In Motion (w/ Audio)
Genre & Conflict
Stages of Production (+Lenses)
Pura Vida in Cinema
Act 2: Escalation of Tension in Writing
Writing is Re-Writing + Composition
On The Job
Directing Directly

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