Hollywood Camera Work Directing Actors T
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0:00 - Intro2:37 - Welcome to John4:56 - Differences between "normal" actors and stars?7:53 - How does conversation with a star sound differently?10:47 - What does the first conversation with an actor sound like?12:55 - Directors direct too much?13:39 - Directing in actions15:08 - Different actor results in different performance15:49 - Directing a regular on a TV show19:30 - Making the scenes work20:46 - Making an actor not do something23:27 - Criticizing actors24:43 - Retakes for the heck of it25:28 - Every take doesn't need direction27:50 - Shaking up the scene29:39 - Directing Jack Nicholson34:17 - Marlon Brando testing his director37:06 - What if actor won't discuss character?40:38 - Gaining an actor's trust44:32 - Calming an actor's nerves47:38 - Super-confident actors50:02 - How much to direct52:51 - Taking bad direction back53:33 - Giving actors attention after a take56:02 - Being there for actors57:01 - Directors should try a bit of acting58:23 - Actors can see through a director59:12 - Gaining the trust of actors1:02:38 - How much freedom should actors have?1:12:36 - Does a director need to be certain?1:15:21 - Getting everybody invested in it1:18:48 - How much or how little to direct?1:25:51 - Imaginary directing situation: Joe Pesci1:28:15 - Giving actors obstacles instead of directing them1:35:48 - Working with strong-willed actors1:40:25 - Strong-willed actors testing the director1:46:49 - Summary of insights1:53:07 - John's new book On Directing1:56:07 - Wrap up
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A groundbreaking learning tool used by everyone from beginners to Academy Award winners, the course teaches high-end camera work through over 9 hours of 3D animated instruction on 6 DVDs.Besides working with actors, blocking is one of the most important things a Director does, and should be really good at. Yet most books, videos and many film schools barely touch the basics.
The course was created by director Per Holmes, who spent over half a decade developing an all-inclusive language of high-end feature camera work for personal use, and then realized how much others would benefit from these techniques.
The course also deals with the problem that blocking often grabs so much of our attention that we're forced to choose between doing camera work or nurturing great performances. If we choose acting, the camera work suffers. If we choose camera work, the actors are often left to direct themselves. One of the key goals of the course is to have great camera work become so automatic that we can do both at the same time.
The higher purpose of the course is to do as meaningful and expressive camera work as possible. While the course spends a lot of time getting good at technical things like complex line-issues, the deeper goal is to have a profound understanding of the how and why of everything. Ultimately, the goal is to have as clear and precise an emotional impact as possible. All the hot moves we can create (and we do create a lot) are really means to that end.
Models are not just the most patient actors, there's a very particular reason The Master Course uses them: They are completely expressionless. As we work with dynamics between the characters and blocking camera moves, all emotions must be coming from the camera work.
Working with models is incredibly educational, because the effect of every technique becomes so clear. As soon as we separate the acting performance from the camera work, we get a much deeper understanding of how the camera work infers thoughts and feelings.
Learning Directing in 3D is a unique approach that is superior to any current method. Blocking techniques become extremely clear, we can quickly superimpose visual aids such as lines and field-of-view, and visualize many cameras at once when they're designed to work together.
3D is really the ideal environment for learning camera work, and makes advanced techniques obvious. Without the need for wrestling with diagrams in a book, we immediately get to see every technique, both from the camera's perspective, and how it fits into the mechanics of the scene.
It's not uncommon for Actors to feel creatively restricted by meticulous camera work and having to hit marks to the millimeter. But the truth is that good camera work can bring a depth to the character that is simply impossible to achieve by the performance alone. A deep understanding of camera work allows an Actor to really know what is being communicated, and take control of his or her performance in a whole new way.
A script is a blueprint for a movie, and a Writer with blocking skills is able to create writing that translates seamlessly into camera work without necessarily cluttering the script with stage directions. Writing that's done with blocking in mind is very easy to Direct - or hard to Direct wrong - and ensures that more of your vision ends up on screen.
0:00 - Intro2:09 - Hello Brandon / Brendan4:23 - Explaining the exercise6:30 - Watching the scene7:25 - First thoughts11:35 - Where are the beats?14:33 - Stressed production18:52 - Subtle acting21:03 - How to dial back acting21:48 - Holding back23:16 - Stronger back stories25:00 - Why now?29:04 - Better beats33:47 - Captain's motivation34:58 - Too many words, too fast38:36 - Handling interruptions40:01 - Better listening42:51 - Word images46:58 - Legitimate obstacles51:09 - Slowing the scene down55:53 - Captain's logic1:00:36 - Marking beats1:03:27 - Getting the scene to breathe1:16:34 - Balancing camera work and acting1:22:59 - Creating silence1:28:28 - Wrapping up
"Thank you for teaching me how to direct actors. Taking your classes made me believe I could direct. Taking your classes gave me a base, a foundation, a framework to find my own style. To step out on faith. I'm forever grateful. Love and respect to you, magnificent Judith Weston."
Blocking a shot is the process by which a director determines where the actors stand, where the lights will shine, and how the camera will be positioned. Generally, a director will block a shot before bringing the actors on set to actually film.
A child actor is any actor who is under the age of 18. Macauley Culkin and Drew Barrymore were famous child actors. Because they are minors, there are special rules for working with child actors.
Hitting a mark is for actors moving to the correct position during rehearsals and while the camera rolls. Sometimes, a mark will be set with a physical piece of crossed tape on the floor to help the actor stand in the right spot.
A union is an organization that represents the best interests of a certain segment of professionals in the motion picture industry. There are unions for writers, actors, directors, and others to help those workers negotiate contracts, pursue rights, and receive recognition. Therefore, there are rules and regulations when working with unions.
Like many other directors, Tarantino works with actors extremely well, trying to pull the performance he needs from them in order to make the best movie. This is a collaborative effort that Tarantino says cannot be done if you become part of the audience and forget you're making a movie.
As far as directing actors is concerned, Tarantino has a very unique outlook. Don't spend too much time in video village. Framing is important, but you can get lost in just watching TV and becoming part of the audience, and not becoming a director.
Agree 100%. I like having a director's monitor to check frame on set (especially on tracking shots) so I don't have to be at video village. I want to be where the action is so I can talk to the actors and the camera op or DP. Video village is for the Producers, clients and anyone else who needs to check frame.
Yes. The course builds a complete understanding of camera work from the ground up, and is intended to be useful for filmmakers on as many levels as possible. Our users range from people just starting out, to Academy Award winners. However, the course requires a high level of commitment, especially for those newer to filmmaking. It's also highly recommended to stop often and practice.
Additionally, learning camera work from a book is very hard, because one is grappling with trying to visualize the diagrams and storyboards. Doing camera work in 3D is a novel approach that enables us to discuss advanced techniques quickly and easily. Storyboards also preclude the use of a lot of techniques simply because they can't be drawn, which is never a problem in 3D.
Film school provides a general education in a production environment, and the course does not aim or claim to do that. But from a pure camera work and blocking perspective, The Master Course is considerably beyond what is taught in film school. We've heard from countless users that they learned in The Master Course what they thought they would have learned in film school./Does the course teach you how to work with actors?Some sections of the course deal with the psychology of body language, which is an integral part of blocking, and determines how actors need to move or stand. But the course is primarily concerned with telling an effective visual story, and how to bring out emotions and meaning with the camera work, and does not deal with crafting acting performances as such. Check out our other course Directing Actors.
One note: Without good blocking skills, it's very (very) hard to concentrate on the actors. This often leaves us with an unfortunate choice: to work with the actors, or to do camera work. One of the major goals of the course is for great blocking to become so automatic that we don't have to sacrifice one over the other. 1e1e36bf2d