The Art and Craft of Directing Performances for the Screen
How Hard Can It Be?
It isn’t hard at all but it does require a different mindset to most of the other tasks undertaken by the film director.
No matter how visual or action driven your movie may be, the characters are the conduits through which you ultimately connect with your audience. Knowing how to recognize and encourage depth and believability in the actors’ portrayals sets a director ahead of those who function at just the technical level.
Chris’s enthusiasm and passion to pass on his knowledge. The fact that he brought two pairs of actors with different back grounds and experiences. The energy and the dynamism of the actors.
How Do Actors Work?
The truth is they are all potentially different in how they prepare and what they need from a director in both pre-production and on set. The more you work with actors the greater your ability will become to identify and address those needs.
However, one thing remains common to all. They need to know what a director’s vision and needs are. This is best achieved through clear succinct and dynamic communication. Knowing what to say, how much to say and when to shut up is vital in helping the actors connect with your ideas.
I can’t recommend this course strongly enough to anyone wanting to get the most out of actors on set. It was an enormous help to me in structuring my preparations to direct my first feature and working with talent who’d been in the business since before I was born. Chris Thomas is second to none. Best weekend in a classroom you’ll ever spend!
About the Course
The weekend class with Chris Thomas will provide you with some fundamental skills and a number of proven approaches to working with actors regardless of their style and approach.
Working live with professional actors on a number of different scenarios, using scripts and improvisation, we will look at the preparation stages including how to direct at a casting and use rehearsal time to its fullest, without killing the energy you will need for when the camera is rolling
Creating and maintaining the creative bond between the director and the cast is both vital and fragile, we will look at simple ways the director can protect this bond and keep it at the forefront of their attention.
We will then bring the camera into play and look at how to make the most of the frame to enhance performance and also how to direct actors under the pressure of production.
Before the course I didn’t FEEL like a director whilst making film, now I know I’ll have the confidence to draw the best from my cast.
Day 1 : Pre-production with Actors
- What makes a great screen performance?
- The Director/Actor Relationship
- Actors’ tools and training
- Preparing to meet actors.
- What is a Character?
- The Director in Casting
- The Script Read
- Planning Rehearsal – What to Rehearse and Why.
- Rehearsal Tools
- Directing The Character
Seeing the process of working with actors from casting, through rehearsal to filming scenes was excellent. Chris’s passion for directing was un-questionable and his enthusiasm was inspiring.
Day 2 : Staging and the Actors on Set
- Staging the Scene and Blocking the Action
- How the camera affects performance.
- Business and endowment
- Keeping performances dynamic and the actors engaged.
- Keeping the set as a creative environment.
- What to ask for in a new take.
- Maintaining Continuity – Emotional and Physical
The practical exercises really gave insight to theory and the many ways to help and communicate with actors.
Who Should Attend
Filmmakers, directors, performers seeking to understand and enhance their skills working with actors for the screen.
The class was rich and compact with clear and vital tools that I didn’t even know about. I feel it opened my mind and my confidence. I also learned that directing is so much more than just saying what you want. It’s about creating characters in action, telling a story, exploring possibilities and building a relationship with the actor, the character and my self. There were also so many more other aspects to this very diverse directing course creatively and psychologically speaking. In all and all I learned more in this course than in my time in Uni, college and other reputable film schools.
*The intellectual property rights of this course remain those of the tutor’.