Acting Tips and Career Advice
Every actor should own a camera, tri-pod and a basic editing program for their computer. With the advent of small portable HD video cameras the landscape of film making is changing every day. Actors need to understand how the camera works – What it sees , and how to use that to their advantage. This requires practice.
With the advent of casting directors using the internet and sites such as Actors Access the self submitted audition is becoming more and more the norm. How well do you know how to put yourself on tape? When you tape it, is your scene well lit, does it have good sound, a good background? Does your submission have a good slate? Are the shaky beginnings and endings edited out? Do you know what your “best side” is? Do you have a great eye line? A good coach can teach you all of these things and give you a first class edited video for you audition. — We do this regularly here at the studio. But sometimes there isn’t enough time to get to your coach.
What if they need the audition this afternoon? This is why actors need to understand the camera and basic editing. It is your job as a professional actor to know these things. The added benefit is, knowing these skills will make you a better on set actor. Once you start trying to film and edit your own work, you will have a better idea of what the director and editor need from you to put together a great scene. It’s not just your acting, but how you allow the camera to capture your acting inside the frame and how to bring those special moments to a scene. If you want to work in film this is one of the key acting tips.
In the 21st Century, film, television and now web series production is moving at an ever accelerating pace. The modern actor needs to be comfortable in that environment in order to remain relaxed and creative. Tension shuts us down. The more we understand the whole film making process, the better our acting becomes. Learning film acting is not just pointing a camera and critiquing the acting. Great film acting comes from understanding what the director and editor need and knowing what you need to do inside the frame to make that happen.
Actor Stephen Towblowsky often contributes articles I enjoy to BACKSTAGE. Read what he has to say about the every increasing demand on today’s on-camera actor.