• Directing Actors for Non-Directors: Creative Research Strategies for Fiction Films

    Author(s):
    Edwin Culp (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Group(s):
    Film Studies
    Subject(s):
    Arts-based research, Film production, Filmmaking, Acting, Fiction, Editing, Cinematography
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    film directing, directing actors
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/cxp6-qh30
    Abstract:
    Throughout film history, many famous scenes and even entire films have been devised with actors improvising on certain general parameters that ultimately depict a character, often vaguely portrayed. These turns to improvisation and narrative experimentation tend to come forward every time filmmakers propose a new rupture, frequently accompanied by technological changes that have made the filmmaking process cheaper or more immediate. From their uncomfortable pauses, mumbled dialogues and candid unawareness, fresh emotional intentions emerge in filmmaking every certain time as refreshing new waves. Digital technologies have recently furthered the issue, as they allow filmmakers to make cheaper and more immediate productions that rely heavily on the work of actors and their ability to react to unexpected circumstances. Despite being one of the most creative resources readily available to young emerging filmmakers, a didactic approach to actor-director tools as a creative research approach is rarely taken into account in Filmmaking courses and curriculums. Even more uncommon is for these courses to go beyond the training of directors to efficiently obtain a specific result from an actor. To devise an improvisational mechanism that embraces the mistake, the accident and the error in a film school environment usually focused on virtuosity is not a minor challenge. In this paper, I argue that by using acting techniques and improvisation strategies to impregnate the whole film production and learning process, directors —and also cinematographers, art directors, image and sound editors— can devise an experimentation space to explore creative aspects of fiction filmmaking. Firstly, I will go over the main points where the techniques for Directing Actors can be useful for filmmaking students (and professionals alike). Then, I will present two exercises that I have used in my own teaching experience.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 month ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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