Secrets of Screen Acting

By John Stamp; Patrick Tucker | Go to book overview

Chapter 13

THE SHOOT

This is it: the moment of truth. This is when the preparation and work of all contributors is finally put to the test. Unlike theater, you cannot hope to get it right tomorrow if today is not up to scratch. You have to be perfect-now.

There are many pitfalls that can prevent you from being at your best, the first being the fact of the shoot itself. There is no gradual build-up. You suddenly find yourself in the middle of bright lights, bustling people and menacing equipment, and you are expected to be tender, vulnerable, emotional, and sincere. No wonder so many inexperienced actors find the pressure so intense that they retreat into safety, into the sort of acting they have done before and which has brought them this far: theater acting.

It is so difficult to learn from your more experienced acting partners or from the experts you may encounter because you just can't see what they are up to. (Remember Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe? If he couldn't see what she was doing, what chance have you?) Look at Goldie Hawn on the opposite page. Now can you appreciate what sort of skills and talents are needed to come across as simple and sincere in the middle of all that chaos?

The shoot can bring out the worst in actors: Their voices can get louder (but where is the microphone?), their gestures more expansive (but what size shot is it?), and their movements more flowing (but what mark must they hit?). Don't forget-in the theater we rehearse, and then we perform. For the screen we rehearse (if we are lucky), and then we repeat.

-155-

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Secrets of Screen Acting
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to Second Edition ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Chapter 1 - Screen Versus Stage 3
  • Chapter 2 - Film Versus Television 19
  • Chapter 3 - The Frame 31
  • Chapter 4 - The Camera 43
  • Chapter 5 - Reactions and Business 55
  • Chapter 6 - Sound and Vocal Levels 69
  • Chapter 7 - Typecasting 83
  • Chapter 8 - Acting 99
  • Chapter 9 - Auditions 113
  • Chapter 10 - Rehearsals and Technicals 129
  • Chapter 11 - Directing Actors for the Screen 139
  • Chapter 12 - Announcers (And the Art of Being Interviewed) 149
  • Chapter 13 - The Shoot 155
  • Chapter 14 - The Editor and Editing 173
  • Epilogue 181
  • Acting Exercises 189
  • Bibliography 201
  • Biographies 205
  • Glossary 209
  • Index 237
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