Saturday 18th January 2014
This week we spent some time reducing the size of the space that we were working in, to get used to making our performances non-theatrical. We encouraged the students to confine their acting, so that it was exclusively for the benefit of the other person in their scene and no one else.
The reason for this being that we are trying to teach our students about playing the scene, only between the actors in it and trusting that the camera will pick up the subtleties of their performances. We also spent some time, playing games, which required you to keep eye contact, with an opponent. When eye contact was broken, or if your opponent 'blinked', you were the winner.
In term one, we spent a lot of time talking about awareness. Actors need to be constantly aware of so many things- yet we have to give the impression that everything is happening in the here and now. In film, more so than television, the role of the eyes in a scene is crucial. Where you look and when can affect the story, so completely and yet, when young and learning, we are unaware of how much we move them.
In the scenes that were presented during the session, we talked about "Hanging on to the other actor's eyes", in order to keep the scene alive. This one simple technique transformed the performances of the students.
Since we have returned after the Christmas break, there has been a noticeable leap forward in the students' performances. As we get closer to finalising our shooting schedule, for the showreels, the camera has become just another tool that we use on a regular basis. The awareness is there, regarding the camera technique that the students have been taught, but the tension has disappeared. It's not a big deal anymore- and that is an important milestone to reach. Now it's about keeping the scenes alive and allowing the camera to capture the performances.
This is our company Blog, re-capping previous weeks sessions.