Choose Your Own Blog

Thursday, December 3, 2009

June 24th, 2005

This gets dicey. I don't want to offend anybody I've worked with, so if you're an actor I've worked with just assume you're one of the good ones.

And wow, now that I re-read this I see that this was actually the beginning of "Bounty"--didn't realize I was thinking about the idea this far back...

Pro Actors Vs. Amateur

Ok, since this is just for me, I'll feel free to feel free.

This is a problem I've encountered, having written and directed two low-budget films, and it's really the biggest problem I face doing them.

You know what the difference between a good actor and a bad actor is?


Confidence in themselves. Confidence that they know the character so well that the lines they're reciting don't sound like recitals--they're not lines, they are simpy what that character would say at that moment in time when given that set of circumstances.

Confidence that they ARE this character, so they don't have to picture how they should react to a certain line--they simply REACT as the character.

You can see the hesitation and uncertainty in amateur actors. Many of them appear to be waiting for their turn to say their line. Then they say the line but they don't sell it. It doesn't sound natural. It makes the screenwriter look like an could that guy have written that line? (not to be confused with the opposite phenomena that has become known as The Lucas Factor--where the dialogue is so bad that IT makes good actors look bad--see any Episode for examples)

And it's hard to find good actors in this area. Between the two movies I've received over 2500 headshots and auditioned almost 500. Out of that bunch I have probably only seen twenty who are decent, maybe ten I think are good, but not many I think are EXCELLENT.

Rick Ganz was excellent in the part of Aric Blue, but he's not great at the "weak" emotions, like love, happy, friendly. He's great at pissed, evil, ominous.

Which is one of the reasons I'm not moving ahead with the film I was going to try to put together this summer. The entire movie will fall apart if the audience doesn't TRULY believe that they are watching a documentary, and for that you need VERY good actors. They need to inhabit those characters so tightly that they become the characters.

In a regular film the audience knows that these are all actors but they let themselves get invested in the characters anyway. In a documentary the audience won't give you that. The Blair Witch Project wouldn't have succeeded all that well if it hadn't fooled so many people into believing it was a real thing.

So I'm going to have to wait until I can get some EXCELLENT actors. Meantime I'm almost halfway done the first draft of FOC2. I'm gonna go out and look at some locations next week--can't exactly write the finale of the script without knowing what locations I have access to.

Fun fun fun.

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