Acting for camera could be difficult for 3D movie. Above: Shooting 3D involves the use of two separate lenses mounted on two separate cameras that record the same footage simultaneously.
The directors are the most busy living thing while on a set, being involved in multiple activities and consequently, either presume that his AD or the script supervisor must have explained the scene or a shot to a new actor or just "actor knows". The result could be embarrassing if an actor does not know the finer points of acting for camera and makes a mistake resulting in delay and retake.
Here are some critical steps to be remembered for every aspiring or even experienced actor for a great performance on camera.
Know the camera and then ignore it
- Know where the camera (or cameras) are at all times. You can give the best performance of your life, but it will be worthless if the camera can't see your face.
- Know what the camera is trying to capture. If the camera is capturing a long shot of you off in the distance, concentrating on arching your eyebrow to convey emotion will just be a waste of time since the camera won't be able to see it.
- Know where the other actors and props are located in relation to the camera. If you step too far forward or back, your body or a simple gesture, such as waving your hand, can block the camera's view of another actor.
- After this, for a great performance, just ignore it and be in the character. All the times being aware of the camera makes many actors tense. So, avoid it. For the rest of your career as a film actor, the camera will be right there. (Sometimes, really close.) But you are going to ignore it. It is not there. It does not exist. Remember, when the camera is rolling, either you alone or your scene partner exist. Everyone else disappears. The crew, the director, the producer, the camera man, everyone. They all disappear.
How do you, the actor, accomplish this?
- If you are alone in a shot and the camera is on you, either look 2” to camera’s left (your right) at lens level or, the best solution is to ask the camera operator where to look. Mostly AD or the camera operator tells you where to look.
- When in a shot with a co-actor, You hang on to your scene partner's eyes. The most important facial feature on film. (Remember, after all, the eye is the window to the soul). So when you look at your scene partner, you look them in one eye. Literally. Don't switch your focus from eye to eye. Instead, pick the eye that's closest to the camera lens ( called as “downstage eye”).
Inexperienced actors often look shifty-eyed, as they move back and forth between another actor’s two eyes and this could be terrible especially in a tight close shot. By focusing on the downstage eye (the one closer to the camera), your performance will have more stillness, which both directors and audiences prefer to the shifty-eyed look.
Stand still on the markYour standing position is always marked with a tape if you are required to listen to your partner or may be you have to walk to come to that mark and then deliver your dialogs (called as “blocking”). Once on the mark, you have to be still without swaying or moving. The best way is not to stand in normal “V” position but to stand with one foot few inches in front of the other foot or with a gap between feet but on the tape mark. This will avoid any swaying, also for those who suffer from shakiness from camera fright.
Be careful of your peculiar mannerism (Take stock of your habits)We all have them, but the ones I’m referring to in particular are the ones that might prove distracting to a director or an audience. These include: excessive blinking, flaring nostrils, over-active eyebrows, flipping hair, touching face, licking lips, sighing, crossing-arms, hands in pockets etc. Analyse them asking your friends or noticing them while practicing in front of mirror and eliminate them.
ContinuityOne of the most important tips for an actor working on camera is continuity. Continuity refers to the consistency of characteristics throughout a scene. A scene is often shot from multiple angles, which requires actors to make similar movements or repeat lines shot after shot. This means that actors need to make similar dialog delivery, gestures and movements within a scene to help an editor make smooth cuts. Having continuity skills allows actors to ensure that their best work makes the final cut. An assistant Director or a script supervisor works with actors to ensure they have the correct props and help remind them of what they have done in a previous shot.
ShotsIt is important to understand the different types of camera shots an actor faces. The three main types of shots are-
Establishing (Master): A usually long shot in film or video used at the beginning of a sequence to establish an overview of the scene that follows
Medium: From medium distance
Close-up: Which tightly frames on a person/ thing
Actors have to understand which shot is being used in the scene and have the ability to hit their mark. Hitting their mark allows directors to create the proper frame for every shot
VoiceAvoid Talking too Loud
One of the first things you need to remember when acting for the camera is to avoid talking too loud. Usually when acting for film, you have a microphone that is over your head or even clipped on. So, keep a voice that is normal and avoid getting to loud. Remember this important tip when auditioning or acting for film.
Don't Move too MuchIt's also very important that you don't move around too much when you are acting for the camera. Move too much and you'll walk out of the view of the camera. You should stick to your spot unless you are supposed to move. Usually movements in stage acting are larger than life to convey movements to a large audience. You don't have to worry about this when it comes to acting on film. Movements are very normal and not over stated. Remember, film is supposed to look natural and normal.
Avoid Over ActingMust remember, over acting is not an option when you are acting for the camera. Every single twitch of your face is going to be seen on film, especially on a bigger screen. There's no need to exaggerate facial expressions or movements of your body parts for the camera. If you do, you'll end up looking silly. Your facial expressions should just be normal. So, make sure that you don't over act and end up looking silly on camera.
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