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The Art of Film Acting

Book Description

This guide for actors and directors develops a valid method for training performers to act from their core--whether they are cold reading, auditioning, or performing for film or television. This book teaches actors how to achieve and respond to believable and honest emotions before the camera, and it maintains that the key to a successful performance lies in how the actors relate to one another and to the circumstances. Exercises, including script examples, throughout the book give readers an easy resource for practicing the principles outlined.

The Art of Film Acting applies a classic stage acting method (Stanislavsky) to the more intimate medium of performing before a camera, teaching readers to experience an emotion rather than to indicate it.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. 1. The Exercise
    1. Transcript of two actors doing a scene in class. Jeremiah interacts with them and guides them through the scene using the Five Arts
    2. Summary
    3. Actor Practice
  10. 2. Stage versus Film Acting
    1. Preparing for a Role
    2. The Demands of Performance
    3. One Good Performance
    4. Projecting
    5. Film and Theater Close-Ups
    6. Emotions and Feelings
    7. Subtext
    8. Camera and Proscenium Arch
    9. Personality and Character
    10. Dialogue
    11. Monologues
    12. Film Experience versus Stage Experience
    13. Reacting
    14. Summary
    15. Actor Practice
  11. 3. Becoming a Great Actor
    1. The Actor’s Responsibility
    2. Casablanca
    3. Acting Is Being and Awareness
    4. The Five Arts of Film Acting
    5. The Power of Relating
    6. Acting “On the Nose”
    7. Listen to the Other Actor
    8. Acting Is a Profession
    9. Summary
    10. Actor Practice
  12. 4. Sight Reading
    1. How Sight Reading Works
    2. How to Sight Read
    3. Importance of Sight Reading
    4. Second-Guessing the Director
    5. Multiple Auditions
    6. Helpful Hints
    7. Summary
    8. Actor Practice
  13. 5. The Art of Concentration
    1. Concentration
    2. Internal Rap
    3. Interest Is the Focal Point of Concentration
    4. Feedback
    5. Emotions
    6. Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Love
    7. Differentiating between the Emotions
    8. Laughter and Sadness
    9. Focused Concentration
    10. How to Increase Your Concentration
    11. Summary
    12. Actor Practice
  14. 6. The Art of Not Knowing
    1. Everything Happens As If for the First Time
    2. Being Intimate without Taking It Personally
    3. Beginner’s Mind and Logical Mind
    4. After the Scene, Forget It
    5. Opinions and Beliefs Will Destroy You
    6. Play the Character, Not the Stereotype
    7. Judgment Is a Trap
    8. Leave Your Feelings on the Set
    9. Self-Criticism
    10. Use Your Beginner’s Mind to Not Know
    11. Summary
    12. Actor Practice
  15. 7. More on the Art of Not Knowing
    1. The First Time
    2. Bad Acting on Film Is the Triumph of Logic
    3. Don’t Be Safe
    4. The Power of Not Knowing
    5. Memorizing and Not Knowing
    6. Repeating an Emotional Experience
    7. Discover Facts by Concentrating on the Other Actor
    8. Judgments Ruin Your Acting
    9. A Genuine Experience
    10. Summary
    11. Actor Practice
  16. 8. Still More on the Art of Not Knowing
    1. The Director’s Ideas
    2. Ideas and the Actors
    3. The Director’s Vision
    4. Good Actors Make Things Happen
    5. Directors Use Blocking to Elicit Responses
    6. A Director’s Scene Preparation
    7. Importance of the Art of Not Knowing
    8. Summary
    9. Actor Practice
  17. 9. The Art of Acceptance
    1. Acceptance
    2. Play the Game
    3. Trust the Roller Coaster
    4. Having Fun
    5. Sets and Locations Are Real
    6. Summary
    7. Actor Practice
  18. 10. The Art of Giving and Receiving
    1. Giving and Receiving
    2. Giving, Receiving, and Subtext
    3. Accepting Responsibility
    4. The Relating Exercise
    5. Different Emotional Levels
    6. There Are No Officially Sanctioned Responses
    7. Summary
    8. Actor Practice
  19. 11. The Senses
    1. See through Untainted Eyes
    2. The Abilities
    3. The Maestro’s Ears
    4. The Sense of Touch
    5. Touching to Relax
    6. Touching to Stimulate Love
    7. Touching to Provoke Anger
    8. Touching to Stimulate Laughter
    9. Smell and Taste
    10. Summary
    11. Actor Practice
  20. 12. Intimacy, Empathy, and Intuition
    1. You Are What You Are: The First Ingredient of Intimacy
    2. Intimacy: The Quality of Good Actors
    3. Memory and Fear: The Enemies of Intimacy
    4. Empathy
    5. Intimacy and Empathy
    6. Scenes “Not Worthy” of an Actor
    7. Physical Actions
    8. Intuition: Your Sixth Sense
    9. The Creative Inner Child
    10. Words That Prevent Good Acting
    11. Act, Don’t Think
    12. Summary
    13. Actor Practice
  21. 13. The Audition
    1. Getting Ready to Audition
    2. Casting for Type
    3. Film and Stage Casting
    4. Auditioning
    5. Film Audition
    6. Acting in Plays
    7. Approaches to Acting
    8. Physical and Emotional Aspects of Characterization
    9. Imagination
    10. Subtext
    11. Types of Actors
    12. The Message You Send
    13. Summary
    14. Actor Practice
  22. 14. More on the Audition
    1. The Casting Director
    2. The Job
    3. Acting Is a Business
    4. Why Actors Don’t Get Cast
    5. The Differences between the Relating Exercise and the Audition
    6. The Art of Not Knowing
    7. The “Where.”
    8. Sides
    9. Fear
    10. Relaxing
    11. Benefit of the Relating Exercise in Audition
    12. Skills for the Audition
    13. Preparation for Audition
    14. The Audition
    15. Commercial Improvisation
    16. Comedic Improvisation
    17. Dramatic Improvisation
    18. Summary
    19. Actor Practice
  23. 15. The Comedy Audition
    1. Comedy and Exposition
    2. Characterization
    3. Absurd Situations
    4. Environment
    5. Comedy Patterns
    6. Auditioning for Comedy
    7. Find the Humor
    8. The Elements of Comedy
    9. Comic Actors
    10. Physical Comedy or Farce
    11. Punching and Undercutting
    12. Rhythm, Tempo, and Pacing
    13. Rehearsal
    14. Emotional Ideas
    15. Preparing for the Comedy Audition
    16. In the Audition
    17. Summary
    18. Actor Practice
  24. 16. Conclusion
    1. How It Happens
    2. Summary
  25. Afterword
    1. How to Get in Touch with Jeremiah
  26. Bibliography
  27. Videography
  28. Index