BU Film School

Monday, March 13, 2006

FT 706 Lecture: Tuesday, November 25

Rehearsing/acting tips

Acting has to work on film at arm's length.

Focus on actor, not surroundings.

Bullshit detectors. There can be NO lying. Say what you mean, mean what you say. If you believe it, then we will see it.

Very risky. (What is? Performing? Being truthful?)

Everyone has their own mojo

Focus, take a breath, be available and ready to receive. Don't open your mouth, until it feels right, until you believe it.

With interrupted lines, cut-offee has to commit to saying sentence. Intention is not to be cut off. Cut-offer should jump in sooner. Beware of overlap (sound, editing folks will kill you.

Private in public.

Instinct vs. strong dramatic choices. Sometimes instinct (first choice) can be lazy.

Katie/Nate -- just talking. Better flat than fake.

Michael Shurtleff - Audition. Animal improv -- do scene as your animal. Secret is once we've seen you on floor as a collie, you get past making a fool of yourself.

Have to be on from first line -- helps to run through lines before.

Now beginning to understand what scene's about.

CCR -- crisis, conflict, resolution.

Ad -- problem, product, resolution (drops conflict).

Gladiator -- Russell wants to go home. Dies, goes to heaven.

E.T. -- wants to go home. Dying -- conflict.

Plays -> acts -> scenes -> beats.

Beat is the smallest unit of beginning, middle, end.

Trying to catch bus -- do you run? Do you give it up early? When you abandon beat says a lot about stakes.

Beat either ends with success or failure. Next beats -- get out money or pass, find seat ...

Three possible endings to beat. #1, impulse succeeds (catch bus). #2, impulse failed (miss bus). #3, impulse distracted (hit by car, catching bus doesn't make a difference). Object either achieved, fails or made irrelevant.

Beginnings are much more important than ends.

New beat begins any time either character attempts to move scene forward in a new or different direction. Beat is an attempt by some character to "drive the bus."

Beat analysis. No regularity. Not like tennis, don't take turns.

Underline three big beats in scene. May not start with one of your lines, doesn't have to be spoken line. Beats define scene.

Also have everything you worked on for bus stop scene -- props (very important), blocking, environment, endowment.

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