Creating intimacy in short films at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 20th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 1,447
Creating intimacy in short films

In feature films, the actors have plenty of time to know each other. Not so in short films, where the actors typically rehearse one or twice before the shoot (if that). It feels awkward and fake asking them to embrace, kiss etc. when an emotional bond has not been developed.

How do you approach intimate situations?
Emre Safak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sauk Rapids, MN, USA
Posts: 1,675
Are they experienced actors? Can you take them out to dinner...or arrange for them to go out to dinner. Have them take in a movie...have them go out on a date :). Acting is like real life only better.
__________________
Web Youtube Facebook
Cole McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 02:34 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 1,447
So you encourage them to spend as much time together as possible then? Forgive my ignorance, but if they go out to dinner, should they be in character?

What about rehearsal techniques?
Emre Safak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 02:36 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Saint John, CANADA
Posts: 633
write a short with characters that are awkward. if that doesnt work get them hanging out together .. have like a pre shoot BBQ with lots of free food and drinks.. that usually brings people together.
__________________
video : xl2 / letus35xl / bogen 503
photo- canon 1dmkII - bronica etrsi
Andrew Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sauk Rapids, MN, USA
Posts: 1,675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emre Safak
So you encourage them to spend as much time together as possible then? Forgive my ignorance, but if they go out to dinner, should they be in character?
I don't know about in character, I think that may be adding stress to the situation which is that part you're trying to get them over.
__________________
Web Youtube Facebook
Cole McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 05:18 PM   #6
Hawaiian Shirt Mogul
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: northern cailfornia
Posts: 1,261
do not have them date .. they don't have to be a couple ... they are actors - if you cast your project correct they'll pull it off ... do have do 1-2 rehearsals ..if they're not giving you what you want RECAST !!..
remember the camera can hide allot ...one actor/ress maybe much stronger then the other = camera stays on them ...
Don Donatello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 06:26 PM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
There are a lot of great acting/improv exercises that actors can do to quickly warm up and develop a bond with each other. I'd approach a local acting teacher to show you a few. Explaining them in print is very difficult, one of those "you had to be there" things, but I'll try anyway.

The exercises can be as simple as throwing a mime-ball back and forth to each other, or taking turns repeating a single word over and over again while using a different emotion every time the word is said. I like to use mime-objects in the exercises because it forces the actors to engage at a deeper level and get out of their heads. That's the main thing is to get the actors out of their heads and start reacting naturally to the scene.

One of my favorites is having them mime-throw a knife back and forth at each other. Make sure to coach them to make it believable, there should be pin pricks, handles, spinning etc on that blade, it makes the exercise much more powerful. You can also throw around a mime-baby or mime-cat where the actors have to make the sounds themselves.

My other favorite, which is more complicated, is a Beastie Boys exercise where the actors thump/dance along to a repetitive beat and take turns coming up with improvised ryhmes, with of course the trademark super strong syllable on the last rhyming word. This one gets people warmed up fast, very high energy.

And then there's the one where you pass a clap back and forth ... ok anyway.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 1,447
I have read about funky rehearsal techniques like that before. I actually wanted to implement them on an earlier film, but the actors were more experienced than me and I reasoned that I would probably do more harm than good.

Do you have the actors do them before the shoot too?
Emre Safak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
Yes, I use the exercises as warm ups for rehearsals and shoots. And ask the experienced actors! they are experts at this. Most actors appreciate the warm up. Play the games yourself, with a several people, to get a feel for what it does. Specific games can be used to target problems with the actors.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2006, 08:44 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: portland oregon
Posts: 73
For projects I have cast in the past I go through a few phases in the audition process. First I select a few people that are most suited for each roll and then I begin mixing and matching different actors to find some kind of chemistry. There have been times when I had to give up on my first choice in an actor because my second choice seemed to fit in the ensemble better.

I find it is like putting a band together, just because you pack a room with brilliant musicians doesn’t mean they will be able to make music.

There in never enough time, try to make the best use of what you have.
Scott Tebeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2006, 03:45 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Uganda
Posts: 44
intimacy

Lots of closeups, try saying kiss her again several times.
Rand Blair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 69
I've only done one short film, but I was amazed at how well my actors hit it off. I took a bit of pride in this from the casting perspective--giving myself credit for picking a great group of people.

We had one rehearsal a few weeks before the shoot. We were all together for about 4 hours, had some pizza, talked, laughed.

They all got along so well because most of them were the same age, all were living in NYC or Brooklyn, and all were trying to "make it"...basically they had a lot in common. My co-leads were even in a class together in the past but they didn't really meet or interact, they just recognized each other.

If they are real actors they should have no trouble creating intimacy. It may require a few takes but they should be able to get it right. Don't forget to direct them--tell them what you are looking for, help them get to the right place for the scene.

Good luck.
Brian Andrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2006, 10:11 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 1,447
I remember with some embarrassment a little exercise I did in an audition. There was a scene between a couple, so I asked the auditioning actress to place her hand on her mate (the person she was reading against). I thought touching would help them form an emotional bond, but he was emotionally restrained by nature and she froze up, so I sank into my seat as I watched her deliver her lines with her hand feebly on his leg.

The moral is you have to adapt to the situation.
Emre Safak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2006, 04:40 PM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,135
Emre, interesting last name. Bob SAFAY
Bob Safay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2006, 12:16 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Iberia, LA
Posts: 229
All I can say is don't worry so much. I just finished working on a short where the shoot is in Louisiana, and the cast and crew are primarily from here...but the lead flew in from Canada the day before the shoot. Absolutely no rehersal time except before takes, and the two leads had very intimate scenes...far more than just kissing.

If you get professional people you can usually expect professional results.
Matt Champagne is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:15 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network