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Film and Television Acting, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Film and Television Acting offers solid techniques for creating a natural, believable performance for film and television. The reader will discover techniques for listening and reacting, blocking and business, character, focus, the closeup, and comedy as they pertain to acting in front of a camera. The book analyzes the differences between theatre, film, and television acting, providing the theatre trained actor with specific approaches for making the transition to on-camera work.

This second edition is thoroughly revised and updated. The book contains numerous scenes and exercises, including sample scenes from Cheers and Seinfeld, which provide the reader with ways to practice the specific techniques outlined by the author. Included are interviews with well-know actors and directors: Don Murray, Norman Jewison, and Emmy award winner, Glenn Jordan, to name a few. These interviews illustrate how the professionals apply their training and technique to filmed performances. There is also a chapter-length interview with John Lithgow, in which the actor provides a first-hand account of the differences of acting for the theatre and for the camera.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Foreword
  9. 1 The Evolving Play versus the Frozen Film
  10. 2 Listening and Reacting
    1. The Reaction Shot
    2. Listening
      1. Exercise 1: Listening
      2. Exercise 2: Videotaped Reactions
      3. Exercise 3: The Phone Call
      4. Exercise 4: Phone Call 2
  11. 3 Blocking and Business
    1. Definition
    2. Technical Blocking
    3. Artistic Blocking Technique
    4. Situation
      1. Exercise 5: Blocking and Marks
      2. Exercise 6: Business
  12. 4 Preparation
    1. Stage to Film
    2. You Are You
      1. Exercise 7: Who Am I?
    3. Out of Order
      1. Exercise 8: Stage versus Film Performance
  13. 5 Character
    1. The Building Blocks
    2. Intellect and Instinct
      1. Exercise 9: Character
      2. Exercise 10: Character Extended
    3. Don’t Wait for Magic
      1. Exercise 11 : Your Day
    4. We Are Known by the Things We Do
    5. The Dilemma
    6. Tics and Tricks
      1. Exercise 12: One’s Mind Is Elsewhere
      2. Exercise 13: Choices
  14. 6 Focus
    1. The Environment
    2. The Love Scene
      1. Exercise 14: The Love Scene
      2. Exercise 15: Focus
      3. Exercise 16: The Reading
    3. Imitation
  15. 7 Comedy
    1. The Big Difference
    2. You Need a Sense of Humor to Do Comedy
    3. Don’t Act Funny
      1. Exercise 17: Woman’s Monologue
      2. Exercise 18: Man’s Monologue
      3. Exercise 19: Some Like It Hot
      4. Exercise 20: Sunday
  16. 8 Situation Comedy
    1. History
    2. A Unique Arena
    3. Your Bit Part on “Cheers”
    4. Sitcom Scene—Seinfeld
  17. 9 The Close-up
    1. Realization
      1. Exercise 21: Realization 1
      2. Exercise 22: Realization 2
    2. Change of Direction
      1. Exercise 23: Change of Direction
  18. 10 John Lithgow on Acting
    1. Film
    2. Situation Comedy
  19. 11 The Workplace
    1. The Set
    2. The Location
    3. Lights, Camera, Action
    4. Sound
    5. ADR: Looping
    6. Outside Elements
    7. Directors’ Peeves
  20. 12 Scenes
    1. Scene 1: The Language Barrier
    2. Scene 2: College Boys
    3. Scene 3: Two Women
    4. Scene 4: Man or Woman
    5. The Comedy Sketch: Casa Blanco
    6. Scene 5: Flirtation
    7. Exercise 24: Sacrifice
    8. Exercise 25: Discovery
  21. 13 The Business
    1. Agents
    2. Auditions and Casting
    3. Unemployment and Rejection
  22. 14 This Is a Wrap!
  23. Index