To Become an On-Camera Actor it Requires Acting Consistently.
Since everything you do in front of the camera is recorded or captured on film or videotape, you have to deliver the best performance best performance once, right? INCORRECT!
In the billion dollar world of film and television, it will be extremely rare that you will ever perform a scene just once. You will most likely perform the same scene over and over again, so the director can capture that same scene from different angles or allow the actors the opportunity to try different acting variations. Most likely, the same scene will be shot at least 5 to 6 different times.
What do you do if the director asks you to do it again?
The director has a creative vision. He utilizes his imagination and amazing production team to put it to life. But, it requires the amazing acting talent to breathe air into the lungs of the movie or film. So, it is crucial for an actor to adjust to the critiques of a director. If a director wants to shoot the same scene over and over, don't take it personal as if you're doing something wrong. Most likely, the director is trying to capture several different versions and variations to the same scene, so he can edit and choose the best one later. There are some amazing directors that believe a scene cannot be filmed until the moment is just right, that includes the perfect sunset, the perfect windbreeze, or the perfect mistake. Either way, as an actor Don't Take it Personal.
Consistency, Your Worst Enemy!
Since, everything you do on camera is recorded. It takes consistency from take to take. Therefore, you have to be extremely aware of each time you perform a scene on camera. This includes making sure your body movements and appearance are identical in every take. You may think that it is not a big deal to pick up the glass with your right hand in one take, and then with your left hand in the second take. But, it could definitely ruin
a production's credibility when there is constant inconsistencies between angles, takes, and scenes.
Now, in order for film and television actors to appear realistic, the actors must be trained and must understand how to act consistently each time they perform a scene, regardless how many times they need to perform it. For instance, if an actor is filming a heartbreaking-dramatic scene filled with bursts of anger and sadness, then it will take an amazing actor to portray each take with the same heartfelt emotion and acting style. Perfect, consistency and this is what will help you stand out!
To achieve this illusionary blend of reality, film and television actors must know how to act consistently each time they perform a scene, no matter how many times they need to perform it. For example, if an actor is filming a dinner scene and picks up a glass with his right hand, he needs to remember to keep picking up that same glass with his right hand and not suddenly do a retake of the same scene and pick up the glass with his left hand.
On any major production you will find a script supervisor to make sure that the actors perform, dress, and act as closely as possible with every take of a scene. That way, when the director is choosing between takes, the film or television shows gives the illusion that the entire scene was filmed in one take and at the same time.
Acting vs. Action
As an actor you are accomplishing two goals on camera, Acting and Action. Acting is HOW you portray a character. While, Action is What you do with your character's body. When shooting takes, it is appropriate to lightly change your acting, but it is imperative that your actions remain exactly the same. If not, the script supervisor will be quick to remind you of your mistakes and that will not look good on any future projects.
4 Steps to See if you can Maintain Consistency in Front of the Camera.
- Videotape Yourself
- Shoot the same scene three to five times
- Re-watch the same scenes
- Analyze what you could improve and any mistakes that you made
By accomplishing these simple four steps you will be able to determine if you have the acting consistency skills in order to make it in the film and television acting industry.
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