FILM directing : "Acting" pages = Total Acting
Mamet: “The story can only be interesting because we find the progress of the protagonist interesting. It is the objective of the protagonist that keeps us in our seats.” (p. 12)
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Fundamentals : BioMethod
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KEY TERMS: Glossary
Method for Directors?
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA
Camera must to do the acting! Is it an interactive axis?
Go to SHOWS directory and select monologues (3 Sisters, for example) and see how you can break it into shots. Examine each shot against the dramatic essence -- visual composition is always follow the drama (conflict and action).
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SummaryUse both -- Method and Biomechanics! Directing actors and directing camera! Since all pages in this directory about "biomechanics" of camera direction, I made a couple of new pages to assist the film directing student with a few tip on directing actors: Film Acting and Acting for the Camera. Again, the best advise -- take THR331 Stage Directing before you enrolled in THR470!
QuestionsFilm Acting for Dummies
Stanislavsky in His Own Words * Method Basics
Method Quotes Russian ACTING FOR DIRECTORS: Too often, filmmakers who have mastered the visual aspect of filmmaking are clueless when it comes to understanding the needs of the actor. Having never been on the other side of the camera, they have little idea of how to help actors give the natural and specific performances that are necessary to tell the story and engage the audience. We believe this training is critical for film directors. Our one-year program includes an intensive course in the first semester that explores the craft of film acting. Students learn how to build a character and a performance based on the information given in a film script. This will be of incalculable value to them as they write and direct their films in the one-year program and beyond. (NYC Film Academy)
Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television Directing film or television is a high-stakes oppucatiopn - the white water rafting of entertainment jobs. It captures your full attention at every moment, calling on you to commit every resource and stretch yourself to the limit. But for many directors, the excitement they feel about a new project tightens into anxiety when it comes to working with actors. Directing Actors is a method for establishing creative, collaborative relationships with actors, getting the most out of rehearsals, troubleshooting poor performances, and giving directions that are briefer and easier to follow.
The following issues are discussed: * what constitutes a good performance * what actors want from a director * what directors do wrong * script analysis and preparation * how actors work * the director/actor relationshipDirecting Actors is the first book of its kind. Judith investigates in detail the sometimes painful, often frustrating, but potentially exhilarating relationship between actor and director. It provides simple, practical tools that directors and actors can use immediately - and takes the reader on a journey through the complexities of the creative process itself.
Although one chapter is entitled 'Result Direction and Quick Fixes', the tools and suggestions of the book are now superficial band-aids or facile jargon; they are radical excursions into the perhaps most misunderstood artistic collaboration - that of director with actor.
Judith Weston brings to this book twenty years of professional acting and nine years of teaching Acting for Directors. Her students include academy Awards and Emmy winning directors, writers and producers of studio and independent feature films, television episodics and MOWs.
* The first book to directly address directors about working with actors
* Offers practical techniques in managing the director/actor relationship
[ also, see reference page ]
Method Acting rules in acting for the camera. CU on the big screen asks for extreme (psychological) realism. But film directors, in addition to Stanislavsky System of the psychological realism, should study Biomechanics for Actors. Why?
Because actor is a king on stage, not on the screen. In fact, Eisen thought that film directors do not need trained actors at all (see his books on "Models and Types"). He was right, most of our major movie starts are not actors, but models. A pig could be a movie star. Why?
Because the camera does the action!
Why should film directors know Biomechanics? Because Meyerhold developed the theory of cycles in actor's movement. Know the steps of the movement in front of the camera, director knows how to break into shots!
What does film director need to know about actors (not so much about acting)? First, you have to behave as a painter or a photographer. Study your model! The face, the walk -- everything is your visual material! Use your camera, get photos, a lot of them, use your video-camera, try different lighting. Think about actor as you think about the location. And the voice, check all levels, cry, whisper, laughter. And talk with them, too. It's auditioning. Read my "Cast" page before casting.
There are plenty of good actors around, the trick is to know how to play "instruments"... yes, yes, in filmmaking actors do not act by themselves. You are the one, who will play them with another instrument -- the camera. The basic formula for stage acting:
actor = director + mediumIn filmmaking we have to break the second part in two again:
medium = actor + cameraIf you lucky, sometimes you can both (theatre and sceen) talent in one actor. But of course, go for the screen, even he or she is not trained.
Second, they have to understand their characters -- in their own way, not yours. You can explain how you see it, but it does nothing, they have to find their own sense of the role (often they can't articulate it, but it's fine as long as they can deliver).
Rehearse with your actors... and rehearse the camera (storyboard) before you bring the two together!
Method Acting for Directors (new) *
Literaly. Look at the picture in the right table (Klimt) -- where is the conflict? Where is the tention? Focal point? (Consider this painting as a frozen frame). Counting it as "present," from where the action came and where does it go? How do you understand the "smile"? What does naked breast add to the "story"? [ write your own questions. ]
[ in class exerc. "3 Sisters" ]
ANDREY. Good evening, my good man. What is it? [louder]. I say, you have come late. It's past eight o'clock... Dear old man, how strangely life changes and deceives you! Today I was so bored and had nothing to do, so I picked up this book -- old university lectures -- and I laughed... Good heavens! I'm the secretary of the District Council of which mister Protopopov is the chairman. I am the secretary, and the most I can hope for is to become a member of the Board! Me, a member of the local District Council, while I dream every night I'm professor at the University of Moscow -- a distinguished man, of whom all world is proud!
[to the mirror] If you did hear well, perhaps I shouldn't talk to you. I must talk to somebody, and, my wife, she doesn't understand me. My sisters I'm somehow afraid of -- I'm afraid they will laugh at me... Look, I don't drink, I'm not like restaurants, but how I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! You sit in a huge room at a restaurant; you know no one and no one knows you, and at the same time you don't feel a stranger... But here you know everyone and everyone knows you, and yet you are a stranger -- a stranger... A stranger, and lonely... Well, I have to write about BM as acting for the camera: I teach Acting Two and Film Directing (Spring 2004). First, episodic nature acting in film. If we trust Brecht or film theory, each shot is "incomplete" (finish only within the previous and following shots and the context of the whole film). The BM cycle (aim, action, release, stop) in dealing with the camera is broken in several shots: "aim" is to be followed by the shot of the target, next -- "action" to intercut with the object/subject again... and so on. In fact, we have not the four-cycle, but eight!
Yes, the camera! The director, the aggressive spectator!
Camera is the final proof that between two actors is always the leader -- spectator!
I know, it's not taught that acting for the camera is actually acting with the camera (partner). Nevertheless, consider this dramatic "dance" with the angel (camera); consider that you are been seen through the eyes of your acting partner (camera). At the most dramatic moments camera come close (closeup); it's the angel's POV (I say "angels" because I use the term "the language of angels" in my POV nonfiction metaphysics manuscript). If you understand the logic and rules of Biomechanics, you know where to position the camera. * In class: LS, MS, CU -- focus. "Acting parts": face only, hands, combination -- Beckett's minimalism.
Since I have no time to write about acting in film, I redirect you to my other pages and sites on acting... Sorry. In short, Meyerhold was asking from actors what only the camera can do. Eisenstein (his pupil) didn't want "actors" -- he call them "naturshiki" (this subject is for film theory - docu-nature of film). BM is the ACTING of the CAMERA!
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Read: Michael Chekhov (1891-1955) was the nephew of the playwright Anton Chekhov, and considered by Stanislavsky to be his most brilliant student. For the last hundred years, in America and Europe, most approaches to acting stem from the pioneering work of Konstantin Stanislavsky. But with time Stanislavsky and his disciples moved far beyond their original ideas: They developed a theater that was bolder, more expressive and imaginative, using psycho-physical techniques that liberated and excited actors.
The psycho-physical approach is most fully exemplified and realized in the work of Michael Chekhov. Chekhov developed an approach to acting that affords the actor access to resources within himself – feelings, will impulses, character choices – that are based not merely in personal experience as they are in "Method" training, but on the actor's imagination and physical life.
Chekhov settled in the USA in 1939, and moved to Hollywood in the 1940s. Prominent actors who studied with him there were: Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Clint Eastwood, Leslie Caron, Anthony Quinn, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Palance, Lloyd Bridges, and Yul Brynner (who wrote the preface to Chekhov's To the Actor.). Chekhov died in 1955, before his work became widely known, but it has recently been rediscovered: the last fifteen years have witnessed a growing enthusiasm for Chekhov’s extraordinary artistic legacy, as theaters and theater institutions actively search for broader and more creative approaches to the art of the actor.
How to shoot this monologue (3 Sisters)?
MASHA. I want to confess my sins, dear sisters. My soul is yearning. I'm going to confess to you and never again to anyone... I'll tell you this minute [softly]. It's my secret, but you must know everything.... I can't be silent... [a pause]. I'm in love, I'm in love... I love that man.... You have just seen him... Well, I may as well say it. I love Vershinin. [*] But what am I to do? [Clutches her head.] At first I thought him strange... then I was sorry for him... then I came to love him... to love him with his voice, his words, his misfortunes, his two little girls... [*] Oh, sister, you are silly. I love him -- so that's my fate. It means that that's my lot... And he loves me... It's all terrifying. Yes? Is it wrong? [Takes IRINA by the hand and draws her to herself] Oh, my darling... How are we going to live our lives, what will become of us?.. When you read a novel it all seems trite and obvious, but when you're in love yourself you see that no one knows anything and we all have to settle things for ourselves... My darlings, my sisters... I've confessed it to you, now I'll hold my tongue... I'll be like Gogol's madman... silence... silence...* in class: tarantino pulp fiction [scenes to read]
next time: mini-chekhov in class!
[ comedy in thr theory ]
Bear (3 + characters) by Chekhov's Farces
Proposal (3 characters)
Monologues pages in acting I, II, III
[ texts ]
lecture on dramatic units and beats of action in script section?
How to rehearse for the camera -- read method and other film acting pages!
Godot.06 in Film Directing class?
"A country road. A tree. Evening.
Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting. He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again.
[ how many shots? ]
ESTRAGON: (giving up again). Nothing to be done.
VLADIMIR: (advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart). I'm beginning to come round to that opinion . All my life I've tried to put it from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven't yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle . (He broods, musing on the struggle. Turning to Estragon.) So there you are again.
ESTRAGON: Am I?
VLADIMIR: I'm glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever.
ESTRAGON: Me too.
VLADIMIR: Together again at last! We'll have to celebrate this. But how? (He reflects.) Get up till I embrace you.
ESTRAGON: (irritably). Not now, not now.
[ the relations must be established by now ]
2007 An online course supplement * Film-North * Anatoly Antohin. * eCitations *
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