Thursday 22 December 2011


Sometimes you don't need to give any feedback, the actor will get it right the second time around.

When you do too many takes, everyone loses their energy. It's good to remind your actors what their character's intentions are.

Be prepared to insist on a certain bit of dialogue when an actor wants to change it. Also be prepared to disregard the script and let the actors be free. Both ways are right, just at different times.

Be direct in what you want.

Give compliments.

Don't give too many compliments.

When you've got it, get the actors to do one 'for fun'. This is usually the best take.

Don't allow actors to worry about sound issues or lighting, It's not their job.

Often, all an actor needs is a little tiny insight about their character. It's probably something tiny and obvious that you assume they already know.

Take a short break.

Don't indulge too much in goofing around laughing. Jim Carrey is funny in outtakes, the actors in your film aren't. There's work to do.

Keep a close eye on how awake the actors are. Even the best ones dip in and out of the moment, like a footballer who disappears halfway through a game.

Care to share?


  1. I always find it strange when I hear about directors doing 50, or 100 takes. And those directors tend to give very little actual direction from one take to the next. I personally strive for 5 takes:
    1: getting the feel for the scene
    2: the scene gels
    3: look for nuances
    4: safety take
    5: safety or get creative take

    After that, I think the scene loses it's spark. I've occasionally done dozens of takes when I was shooting myself in something and after the first few takes it just becomes an exercise in losing objectivity! ;-)

  2. Ahhh, if only we could repeat the takes and direct our families for some of those perfect scenes.

    Actually, nahh, scrub that, we wouldn't want to lose those impromptu, warts n'all and priceless add-libs they occasionally toss us out, would we?

    Merry Christmas bonny lad, hope the season proves wonderful to you and yours.