Why Actors Should Think Like Movie Stars

Actors are taught when the other actor in a scene is speaking, they should give their focus to the other actor and let the other actor have her or his moment. In editing, we can cut to the actor listening if we want but why would we? On camera, someone just listening isn’t interesting. A character struggling with her or his own emotional experience while another character is speaking is what creates cinematic power on camera. What the camera loves more than anything is a character caught up in his or her own emotional experience. This doesn’t mean actors shouldn’t
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How To Create A More Truthful Character On Camera

There are things we dislike about anyone in our lives we know well. It doesn’t mean we dislike the person. It means things the person does or says, such as habits the person has, preferences, beliefs, tastes, or qualities, we don’t like. When we meet someone for the first time, we often walk away thinking how nice and likable the person is. The better we know someone, the more we see a person’s flaws, and the more that person sees ours. If an actor doesn’t dislike anything about the character, one could argue the actor doesn’t know the character very well.
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The Seven Words You Never Hear In Acting Class

On camera, when actors give every line a different line intention to make a scene interesting, it makes the scene confusing because the scene has no cinematic cohesion. When actors move in the frame to appear naturalistic, they instead appear awkward. When actors are completely still, they appear natural. On camera, “acting is reacting” comes across as overacting. Everything actors create using the actor’s process the camera sees as wonderful raw material but the actor’s process wasn’t designed for the camera. It was designed for the stage which is why the seven words you never hear in acting class are
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The Secret To Being Memorable On Camera

What’s the difference between an actor and her character?  One thinks she is the character and the other wishes the actor would stop saying she is the character. The idea that “you are the character and the character is you” is insufficient on camera. Actors are taught to approach characters this way for the purpose of responding honestly and without prejudice as they play the scene which they see as great acting. However, all of their great acting is wasted on camera because it’s not happening to a recognizable human being. It’s happening to an actor. What’s the difference between
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How To Make An Interesting Choice On Camera

Here’s one of the biggest problems most actors don’t realize they have. They use a very thorough scene analysis process to make choices that reflect the way the scene is written. The problem is those are the choices the camera finds the least interesting. They mirror what the scene is already doing leaving the scene flat and one dimensional. They are the right choices but not interesting choices. In auditions, most actors will be using the same scene analysis process to make the same right choices and at the end of the day none of them will stand out. Actors
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An On Camera Technique That Gets You Out Of Your Head

Creation is a physical activity not a mental one. The body can create better and faster than the mind. The actor’s process entails a lot of analysis using their minds, and it’s a big reason actors don’t pop on camera. They’re stuck in their heads so they don’t pop on screen. Next time you’re about to start working on a piece of material and before you do any analysis, try this… Everyone and so every character is a product of their environment. Imagine the environment of the story. Imagine the lighting, mood, temperature, textures and feel. Now create a human
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How To Create An Award Winning Performance

What makes award-winning performances so memorable, so powerful, and so award winning is because the actors entertained us as serious artists. Most actors are good at the part about being serious artists. What they forget at their careers’ peril is the part about being entertainers. The difference between an artist and an entertainer is the artist does it for the art and the entertainer does it for the audience. What makes great actors great and filmmakers want to cast actors is when actors are both. As film artists, it’s all of our jobs to entertain our audiences so that we can
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What Actors & Directors Should Keep In Mind When Creating Heroic Characters On Camera

The first character ever created was a hero. The first story ever told was the story of a hero’s journey. The main reason audiences have been watching and reading stories ever since is because the hero’s story is the story we all imagine we are living. It is the story we dream. What all heroic characters have in common is a mission to save. Even independent dramas about characters struggling to relate are peopled with every day, emotionally flawed heroic characters trying to save someone or something. It is their overriding characteristic. It dictates how every moment in every scene
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Do’s & Don’ts Of Moving On Camera

Actors ask “What’s my frame” or “What’s my framing?” because they want to know how much room they have to move in the film frame. The answer to the question is “Why would you want to move?” You’re not going to move any more in the wide shot than you are in the medium shot or else the shots won’t cut together. If you have to move on camera, move back and forth and not side to side. Side to side movement makes an actor look less experienced because side to side movement is harder to edit. Back and forth
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How To Get A Laugh Everytime

Most actors aren’t funny. They would like to be funny. They would like to do comedy. They’ll play a scene as if it’s funny, and they’ll deliver their lines as if they’re funny but they don’t come across funny. They come across as actors trying hard to be funny. Try this. It’s quick, painless and, if done right, pretty much guarantees you’ll create comedy and get a laugh. Take a scene and ask yourself what are the sentiments your character’s words are expressing to the other character. Are your character’s words expressing anger toward the other character? Are your character’s
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