Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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#$&% YEAH!!!

While a rehearsal with our two leads had been scheduled for Sunday evening, Dan needed to clean his apartment some additional preparation time, so we held them tonight instead. This is the first time that they were reading together, the first time doing entire scenes as well. We went through their scenes together several times; the first run-through was a bit reserved, but as they got more comfortable with each other and the dialogue, and the characters began to emerge from the lines.

There are different schools of thought on this process within the filmmaking world. Some directors prefer to avoid rehearsals, aiming for a sense of 'immediacy' in the performance before the camera. I guess I can understand that point of view, but I take my role as director of actors more from the theatrical tradition.

I like rehearsals. I like the ability to sit down and develop a performance without the time constraints that would exist if during shooting. I am not averse to doing as many takes as is necessary to get a shot but I have found that - just as with any other aspect of making a film - the more preparation one does, the more flexibility one has one the day of shooting, and the more satisfied everybody is with the results. There is no need to mold a performance while shooting; it takes up everybody's time and just puts more pressure on the actor, who is already under a lot of stress from whatever it is that I'm asking them to do in the scene.

I'm not interested in micromanaging an actor. I may be directing the film, but the role is his/her job. By the time we shoot, I want them to be more familiar with the character than I am, either as director or as the writer. If they are immersed in the character within a shot, that immediacy will follow as the character experiences the moment. My job is not to tell them how to say each line but to get them to a place where the line comes out like it is supposed to, both in terms of who that character is and where they are in the story.

I've heard of some film directors who feel that it is insulting to ask an actor to rehearse. I'm not sure why; I suppose you might come across the occasional George C. Scott or Marlon Brando, but I've always found that actors are more than happy to rehearse. Many who have a stage background are perfectly comfortable doing so, and those who are more film/video oriented seem to enjoy 'stretching their legs a bit' for a role.

Tonight was fantastic. Darren and Kelly were very receptive to where I wanted each scene to go, and over the course of the night their interaction became more and more naturalistic. Seeing them bring more of themselves to the parts confirmed that the film is on the right track. More importantly, it really seems like everybody had a whole lot of fun. And that's what this is all about.

I am only concerned that because we went through the scenes multiple times, I wonder if the crazy lady that lives upstairs from Dan thought he was having some sort of domestic problem.

Well, I'm off to bed. I have to wake up early tomorrow to attend a Union rally in front of the C.O. tomorrow. It's like a high school pep rally but with a bunch of burly blue collar guys. And no cheerleaders.

(I should talk to the local about amending that should we go on strike)
Tags: filmmaking, the early mixes, work
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