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Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television

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They also want to know that the director can and will communicate that intention to them in actionable notes and direction. Much is made about how a director should think about how they’ll cover different scenes while they read a script, but they also should think about how the scenes should be portrayed emotionally. However, trusting your actors instincts and being open to what they have to say will make the process and the result much better. Good communication between actor and director can mean the difference between a great film and a missed opportunity. But of course, there are always going to be times when actors require additional direction during the shoot.

My only negative was that some of the practices presented in the book don't really happen in my country but that's not the fault of the book that's mainly for an american film maker. I discovered that one of the easiest ways to find the directing sweet spot is by asking how the actor, model, or non-actor wants to be directed!It’s a director’s job to help an actor hold onto those qualities as they channel them into the performance. Actors will be wondering where the hidden camera has been this whole time because it seems she knows them so well. No matter what form a rehearsal takes, it’s best for a director to know what they want from it going in.

But for many directors, the excitement they feel about a new project tightens into anxiety when it comes to working with actors. It will give you a good understanding of how to direct actors, create imaginary circumstances, trigger their instincts, do a script analysis, and create memorable performances that make up for a great film.This book starts with how to identify the overall scope of a project from the creative perspective of the director as it relates to guiding an actor, before providing a blueprint for preparation that includes script analysis, previsualization, and procedures for rehearsal and capture. Directing Actors is filled with constructive information that would serve not only the neophyte but also the skilled professional director.

I’ve learned that the more prepared I was before stepping on a film set with a proper director’s treatment, storyboard, shot list, and scene breakdown in my back pocket, the more confident I was and the easier it was to give clear directions, allow room for creative interpretations, and pivot if something unexpected happened.

This methodology allows the director to uncover the similarities and differences between actor and director in their preparation to facilitate the development of a collaborative dialogue. Even though a performance may look effortless (and the best often do), there is usually massive amounts of planning that has been done by both the actor and director.

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