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Old October 5th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #1
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Giving directions while recording

During my last short, I was recording a scene with a rather self-conscious actor when he blurted out, "Can you stop shaking your head? It is really annoying me!" I was trying to be encouraging but it obviously backfired, so I wore a blank face thereafter. The incident got me thinking about whether to influence the acting by gesturing, or wearing a particular expression during recording to get a certain result.

How do you behave while recording is in progress? Do you even let the actors see you?
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Old October 5th, 2005, 03:55 PM   #2
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from DP POV .. the director is looking at video monitor ( film or video shoot) usually 10-30 ft away. so the actors don't see him .... the actors see more of the cameraman/AC's then director during a TAKE ...
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Old October 5th, 2005, 06:22 PM   #3
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You should be neutral.

Most "actor" directors (the one's who bring out the best performances) always stand by the camera, analyzing the actor, and where he/she can do better. Of course, they go to the monitor too occassionally to see if the shot is the way they want it

But yah, never do anything that can distract the actor. And if he/she notices you, she's not really in the moment anyways. They should be so in-character that all they see is the person or event in front of them

And givng directions while recording should only be for scenes where it's action oriented.

Just my 2 cents :)
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Old October 6th, 2005, 06:41 AM   #4
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When directing I try to stay away from the monitor and next to the camera. I do my best to watch the scene play out in the hands of the actors. I have them there because I think they are going to bring something unique, and each one has his/her own interpretation.

The exception would be after we have safeties and basic coverage I'll ask the actor if they want to try something different, and play with it a little. Because it's tape I'll let the camera roll and then may throw out ideas to them from behind the camera. The few times I've done this the actors seemed to like it. It was controlled, they knew what was going on, and they got to open up the character. Works best for reaction shots, close ups etc...

Otherwise I try and remain calm, even if I'm freaking out on the inside.
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