Monday, March 21, 2011

What is the Best way of conducting an actor's workshop ?

I really don't know. Any tips would be useful.

My current understanding:
- Have a few readings with the entire cast together.
- Tell the actors that these characters are real people. Don't use them to get ahead in their life. The characters own you.
- Give them character sketches, background. Let each of them work on the character - comeup with their own version of character sketch, mannerism, outfits (this industry is anyways filled with really dumb costume designers). This I thought was very important. I should let them tell me how the character will talk etc.
- Have workshops where the existing script friends are made to do stuff together - go for trek together so that their warmth and chemistry comes out naturally. Show movies with exemplary acting. Fuel their ambition.
- Have workshops with every scene and stake holders of the scene - where you discuss the text and subtext of dialogues, mannerism.
- Have scene wise rehearsals.

We actually need the actors for 2-3 months to conduct this kind of workshop. That is why I prefer non-established actors. Established actors don't have time. They feel they can do it better without rehearsals - spontaneity kharaab ho jayegi. Spontaneity should be seen on screen, but it is mostly used as an excuse for slacking. Unprepared actors just bring no depth to performance - spontaneous or not spontaneous.

I need to brainstorm the structure of acting workshop more. Have a better time table and have another conductor besides me. Coz I know if I have nailed the casting and the acting. I have nailed this film.

1 comment:

lallopallo said...

My experience with the actors was the best part of my film directing experience. I think working with actors and getting the best out of them is something which we directors have to keep learning all our lives.
I'm not sure if you are aware of this book, 'Directing Actors by Judith Weston'. It's a very good book and it helped me a lot. Another good one is, 'Actor Prepares'.
I would rather work with more professional actors as they bring their experience and interpretation to the role. For my next film, I have cast actors who have acted in big movies and TV series and even before the rehearsals have begun, I could see the difference. But I'm not sure how it works in India where I assume you are currently based.