Organised by The London Film School
In this intensive 5-day workshop, director Udayan Prasad (THE TUNNEL, THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF, MY SON THE FANATIC) guides participants through the fundamental techniques for working with actors. Designed for directors with some filmmaking experience, but little or no involvement in the performing arts, the course looks at how actors are trained and the methods they use in order to inhabit their characters and bring them vividly to life. What directors far too often lack is an understanding of the specific needs actors have in their efforts to help the director achieve her/his vision and a vocabulary with which to communicate effectively with their cast. This workshop aims to address that deficiency by helping participants to develop means of communications that are both concise and effective.
In order to have as clear an understanding of what actors require from their director, participants will fulfil the roles of both actor and director during the workshop, reversing roles with their fellow participants.
This exploration of the actor/director relationship will include:
- What is ‘acting’? Participants will take part in practical acting exercises.
- The actor/director relationship. Trust, Collaboration, Delegation.
- The dangers of preconceived performance. Choreographing every single aspect of an actor’s performance versus the value of stimulating the actors' imaginations in their efforts to bring their characters to life.
- The actor’s toolbox. What’s in it? And how do you ensure that the actor can use these tools effectively?
- Actor’s Methodologies. Participants examine some of the different methodologies that actors use when preparing to inhabit their characters.
- Giving notes to actors. The need for clarity and simplicity. How much information? When and how to give notes? Playable notes and the need for verbs.
- The importance of the story. Everything begins and ends with the story: the imperative of seeing the world through the eyes of the character. What are the character’s objectives and needs? What are the given facts about the character in the screenplay?
The third and fourth days of the course will be spent in rehearse/readings with professional actors in order to learn about their methodologies; how and to what detail they mine text for information that is essential in order to truthfully play any scene. This will be done with detailed analyses of scenes from existing feature films. On the final day participants will have the chance to put into practice all that they have learned in the course of the previous four days by directing professional actors in a substantial monologue. In addition, time will always be set aside for Q&A sessions during which participants will have the opportunity to ask actors about their individual working practices; what makes for a truly productive environment as well as discussions on casting sessions which mark the beginning of the actor/director working relationship.
By the end of the course participants should have acquired a richer, more informed understanding of how to communicate and collaborate with actors.