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Helping actors help themselves...

 
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tmbrtn



Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 969

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Helping actors help themselves... Reply with quote

Can anyone help me? I am directing a short film and the lead actor (also our sound guy) isn't giving a good performance. Not at all. I can tell by watching the footage he hasn't read the script, worked on his character, basically done anything that will help his performance at all.

He has never acted before and it shows. He is really bad. The only reason I allowed him to be in the film is because it isn't original and it can not be submitted. Basically it is for practice. However, I can not let this turn into sh*t because others have worked really hard to do their best and I won't let them down.

What tips can anyone offer that will help me teach him the art of acting?

I have tried some of the most basic things and it isn't working. I have tried other approaches that I don't recommend. EX. Telling him to base his performance off of other actors...hoping he would caputre some energy, but nothing. After all most everything his performance is boring, monotone, etc.
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ChristonaBike



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 3605
Location: Coventry, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fire him get someone else.
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tmbrtn



Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 969

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HAHAHAHA! That isn't an option because he is our sound guy and his house is the main location. All though, he sucks at sound and his house isn't that great. That may work...I have a meeting with him on Thursday. I may fire him!
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Omar33



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 1599
Location: somewhere in the U.S

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DIRECT him. If you dont like something tell him. If you don't think he is reading the script...TELL HIM TO READ THE DAMN SCRIPT! He is working on YOUR film and you have to let him know not to mess around with YOUR work. You have to make sure he understands the difference between helping a friend on a project and being hired as someone to work on a film. You don't have to be an ass about it, just let him know, seriously that he has to read the script.

Now granted, he has read the script after you told him to. He has his lines memorized but like every other person who has never acted before, it just sounds like he is READING them and not ACTING them. Let him know its okay to come out of character even if it might feel a little embarrassing to him. Because on film with editing, sound, it always looks great.

Do an exercise with him where you take him out for a second. Just talk to him. Then after you guys exchange a few sentences...tell him to Notice how much more relaxed he is in the conversation...let him know to bring that on stage. Because when 2 people are talking to each other normally they don't have any sense of hesitation or repetition in their voice. Acting is just reading lines in another characters body. Not reading them out loud in character. He won't get it right the first few times. But if he has it memorized and you practice with him...Direct him on which more emotions you would like to see out of him.

Some actors are just bad. But as a Director its your job to get the most out of them through your communication. Directing isn't just telling a story, you have to be a great people person and connect with all crew and actors and dissect your plan to them so they all understand it to the best of their knowledge. Communication is key.


Hope this helps.
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trettfilms



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 1204
Location: England,Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it really depends on the kind of person he is on how you get him to commit to the role. To be honest I think that the way he can get better at acting is practise acting. My main actor for Cold Sun was orignally a co-star in Killer Spirit and throughout that film his acting just got better and better because he was getting more into the role and he learnt to know what I wanted resulting in the lead role in Cold Sun. Now he is no Pacino but a hell of a lot better and defiantly at the top of the actors I have to choose from.

Basically what I am saying is it depends on what kind of guy he is on the way you help him get into character and it all comes with practise. I'm in early stages of directing and I say the Cold Sun actor is still in early stages of acting, he'll probably be even better in his next acting role.

This just sounds like I advertising my film................ Rolling Eyes
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tmbrtn



Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 969

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all for the advice. Not to be insulting or un-greatful, but I do know the role of the director, but I have been at the end of the road with this guy. I've told him what he needs to do and where he needs to be as far as his character, still nothing.

I think most of your are right: fire him...it depends what kind of guy he is...practice.

I have found he is a lazy f*ck who wants the glory of a film, but doesn't want to go through hell to get there. Path of least resistance I'd say he's on.

I had several rehearsals with this guy and once it gets on film I don't know, the performance is flat. I did film the rehearsals so the actors would get used to the camera.

Thanks again guys...I know what I need to do. Thanks. Really mean it.
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psyburn



Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Helping actors help themselves... Reply with quote

I've dealt with a guy like this for a long time. There are things you can do to try to enhance his performance, but the big thing would to get rid of him.

I'm assuming you understand that result oriented direction does not work 90% of the time. And that the comparisons to other actors and such were "last resorts". However again, working with a cap actor; you will try everything. Remember, no adjectives (sad, angry, mad, excited, happy), only verbs.

I don't know if you have done this, I highly recommend sitting down with him and being completely honest with him, while not necessarily criticizing him and making him feel completely useless. Open up to him and allow himself to open up with you. Than again, he may not be that kind of person.

To be honest I don't think any of this will work with him, seems like a lost cause unfortunately. It's all bout the effort. Personally I've not released films at all because of people like that.
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BiohazardXBW



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 3661

PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

do waht i do, tell em to stfu and go learn something, then tell em to come back once they know what to do.


P.S Also the reason i dont have allot of friends. 2 much honesty.
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trettfilms



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 1204
Location: England,Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BiohazardXBW wrote:
do waht i do, tell em to stfu and go learn something, then tell em to come back once they know what to do.


P.S Also the reason i dont have allot of friends. 2 much honesty.


you think... Laughing

To be honest I don't think "sitting the actors down and explaining it to them" will work. If you sit somebody down and start having some talk with them on how they aren't doing their best on an indie movie they won't take you seriously and see you as a director but somebody who speaks a lot of cheese.
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BiohazardXBW



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 3661

PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trettfilms wrote:
BiohazardXBW wrote:
do waht i do, tell em to stfu and go learn something, then tell em to come back once they know what to do.


P.S Also the reason i dont have allot of friends. 2 much honesty.


you think... Laughing

To be honest I don't think "sitting the actors down and explaining it to them" will work. If you sit somebody down and start having some talk with them on how they aren't doing their best on an indie movie they won't take you seriously and see you as a director but somebody who speaks a lot of cheese.


i dono worked for me in wrestling, i told a dude who wanted into a match to take the thumbtack power bomb like a man, he asked if i would do it. i said, i will do anything i ask you to. so i went out there and did it. i think thats my point, be brutally hones.
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reptile84



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 440

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been involved in a film before, and I agree with Donald Trump.
'Fire him'. Rolling Eyes

People have to WANT to do something or WANT to be somewhere for it to work. Else you will be disappointed again & again.
He will waste the time of other crew members, actors, whom will develop a bad attitude the more they see this. Evil or Very Mad

Your reputation is also on the line, no one will want to work with you if this 'sound guy' causes you to put out a terrible film or never complete one (as my case).
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ChristonaBike



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 3605
Location: Coventry, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

probably a bit late... been almost 6 months since this thread was started, bumping it now is kinda pointless i assume
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tmbrtn



Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 969

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kind of an update...it has been a while. I did call the actor and tell him what was wrong with the footage we had. We had planned to re-film a scene in which his character was off. I then asked him if he had started working on sound effects for the film. He had told me "No, because you are not done with the footage." I think my response was "WTF"? I then asked again, "Can't you make at least the main sound effects?", (Ex. door slamming.) He said no because he needs my footage so he can do all the sound effects at once and so the disc he gives me will sync up.

At this point I was done and said F it and I am re-editing the film and kind of changing the plot just to be done with this and move on.
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ChristonaBike



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 3605
Location: Coventry, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that sounds smart, if ya need someone to watch the rough cut for you (like a test screening, i often send people rough cuts to get their opinions before general release and i find it invaluable)

send me a PM if u want
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