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

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Old October 17th, 2007, 09:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Perth Western Australia
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Blind eyes

I've asked this on Zoe, but thought I'd try here as well. I've and elderly actress who has to play a blind character. Budget is small and I've some hesitation about using contacts (and glasses won't work at all). It's been suggested that I use a white cane, but she is sitting inside her own home and I'm not sure how visable it will be.

There is a way of acting it, but I"m not sure about the type of direction I should be giving her. Can you help?
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 78
A few years back I performed in a stage production of "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark", in which the lead character is blind. We found a local support group for the blind, and had someone from there talk to the actress about the various challenges blind people face in finding their way around. Perhaps you could find a similar group in your area.

If not, there a re a few things you could do. Remember that a blind person is essentially "seeing with their ears", so if they hear a sound, rather than look towards it, they'll tilt their head slightly so that their ears are catching the sound better.

If they reach for, say, a cup of coffee in front of them, odds are they'll still look straight ahead, finding what they want by touch.

If this is the old lady's home, then she'll be familiar with the layout as she moves around, requiring only the occassional outstretched hand to orientate herself in the room. A long-term blind person in a familiar environment can sometimes be hard to spot as being blind.

If your actress is agreeable, maybe try a couple of excercises where you blindfold her, and see how that makes her react physically to what's supposed to happen in the film.

A lot of rambling here. Hopefully some of it is helpful.

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