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 power to create the kind of cinematic film performances that for a long time drove audiences to movie theaters.
Here’s what happened. The traditional actor’s process started emerging around the same time as narrative filmmaking and the two were made for each other. The actor’s process allowed actors to create real performances while the studio system of Hollywood made sure actors applied cinematic thinking and techniques to their actor’s process. The combination resulted in decades of countless, brilliant film performances in movies designed for brilliant film performances. They were the kind of performances that drove audiences to movie theaters. When the studio system collapsed there was no longer anyone making sure actors applied cinematic thinking and techniques to their actor’s process. Film performances began losing their cinematic magic and power. Absent the magic and power of cinematic thinking, something else was needed to drive audiences to movie theaters at the very time advancing technology was allowing for more dazzling special effects.
To save the film industry for those who believe it is in peril, actors must again make cinematic creation their art form. The actor’s process makes a performance real but cinematic thinking is what makes it magical.