How Actors Can Save The Film Industry

See if this plot sounds familiar.  An evil corruption has swept over the land threatening to extinguish all that was once good in the world. The future is resting in the hands of a heroic force which has lost it’s way and which must learn to believe once again in magic if it is to rediscover its long lost power and save humanity. It’s the story actors are living right now in the film industry. The evil corruption is high concept, genre driven, franchise fueled, tent pole movies. The heroic force is actors. The power actors must rediscover is the
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What Directors Want Actors To Do With Their Headshots

If you ever find yourself prepping for an audition and you’re having a hard time grasping the character they want, the answer is in your headshot. When you’re called in for an audition, it’s because they like your headshot. The reason they like your headshot is because they saw their character in your headshot. Whatever you and your photographer captured in your headshot, the filmmakers looked at it and saw their character. What they want you to do is walk and talk and live and breathe as the headshot version of you. Your headshot is the character. In many cases,
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3 Things That Will Make Directors Love You

Directors aren’t looking to see how well an actor fits a direction to the scene or makes the direction work with the scene. Directors are looking to see how well the actor can turn the scene into what they want it to be. If actors want to be hired and re-hired by directors, they will try the director’s direction  even if it doesn’t fit the scene. Great directors of acting know that playing against the scene creates a more three dimensional performance on camera. Here are three things that make directors want to work with actors again and again while
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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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