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Old July 20th, 2005, 05:47 AM   #1
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Rehearsals with actors

Do you guys do much in the way of rehearsals with your actors before you start shooting?

I watched the commentary on Chris Nolan's 'Following' and he said he did abot 1 year of rehearsals for it - mainly because he was shooting film and wanted to make sure things were done right first time to avoid multiple takes (to keep the film costs to a minimum).

Film costs are not an issue with DV but do you do rehearsals anyway to get better performances and avoid quite so many takes etc while on location?
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Old July 20th, 2005, 06:35 AM   #2
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I think rehearsals are absolutely requried if you want good performances. There is way too much going on the day of the shoot for you to give it your full attention, and there is way too much pressure for the actors to feel the freedom they need to explore their characters. Creating a consistent and believable character takes a journey that involves trying different things and making mistakes. I think rehearsal is the absolute best time for that.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 07:30 AM   #3
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Greg Pak has an interesting article (well he has many, but this one is relevant) on rehearsals; his way seems more efficient to me than others I've heard of by combining rehersal with evaluation of the script:

http://www.gregpak.com/filmhelp/archives/000046.html

I've yet to do anything that involves more than a handful of actors so I can't say I've tested this approach, but it's the first one we'll be trying when we shoot a feature next year.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 08:39 AM   #4
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Rehearsals at least at a 'read through' level are extremely valuable. The cast gets to meet, sit around the table, read the script outloud (while you time the scenes with a stop watch to determine if your shooting schedule is accurate). They get to ask for clarifications, and motivations, you get to take your time explaining where the script is going.

If the script calls for specific actions, you can do a blocking walkthrough. OF course, any sort of 'action sequence' involving a fight or violence must be thoroughly rehearsed and prepared in advance.

DV is cheaper than film, but time is always money. Pre-production time is MUCH MUCH cheaper than production time. Even if everyone is working 'for free' on the production, every moment on the set is COSTING YOU GOOD WILL. And that is frigging priceless. Much cheaper to feed your actors around a table in your living room, than your whole crew on location.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 09:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for those 'Greg Pak' links Jason - they're very useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
...if everyone is working 'for free' on the production, every moment on the set is COSTING YOU GOOD WILL.
That's a very good point!
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Old July 31st, 2005, 09:58 AM   #6
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Don't do line readings, esp. on set. A good actor will deliver what you want, plus add a lot to it and blow you away. A friend of mine had a tiny featured extra roll in some Michael Mann movie, and he said Mann just said the line the way he wanted it, and the actors delivered it exactly that way. Ugh!

I like to give at least half of the control of the character to the actor. Unless they're not as experienced, then maybe some line readings will help.

That's my opinion on it.

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