In My Humble Opinion, there is no relationship more important when making a film than the relationship you have with your actors. Many directors are somewhat uncomfortable with actors. To me, this is a shame. Because most actors are like puppies… all we want is to be loved and accepted and be told we are doing a good job. Here are a couple of ideas and suggestions for you on how to work with novice actors.
- Keep It Simple – Actors will do almost anything to give you what you want. But many actors think that high emotion is the key to good acting. However, this is film, and high emotion comes off as fake. Just make sure that they keep it very simple and real. Have them just say their lines as they would in a confessional. Keep it small and quiet.
- Create a Safe Set – The job of an actor is to open up their inner, most vulnerable selves and then bring that out and put it up on the screen. And then do it for 5-10-20 takes. So actors need to feel safe and somewhat looked after. If they trust you as the director, then they will give you gold in terms of their performance.
- Rehearsals on the Set – Here’s a little tip that I love to use. Without the actors knowing it, have the D.P. film the rehearsals. The actors don’t know they are being taped, and most times they will give a more relaxed take. Don’t count on this though…sometimes it doesn’t work. But try it…you might be surprised.
— John Montana is an actor living with his wife in L.A. and has begun to make short films. His most recent film, “Hungry” has been accepted into 24 film festivals all over the world. Check out his short film – HUNGRY at No Title Production Films.