At the core of your story are your characters. At the core of your characters are their hopes, dreams, fears, sorrows, shames, etc. that drive them to action and, in turn, drive your story.
Beginning a new relationship can be both exciting and challenging. In the world of filmmaking, directors initiate many relationships, the most vital and crucial being the ones you have with actors.
Director/actor relationships are like none other in life. Their goal is to create believable characters that exist in a fictional world.
Actors are amazing. They willingly thrust themselves into the persona and life experiences of another character. We, directors, are constantly challenging them, provoking them, and hopefully inspiring them to fully embody the emotional states of these characters.
Yet, what many directors overlook, or are not aware of, is that there is an evolutionary change in every actor as they move through the key phases of filmmaking: Auditions, Rehearsal and Production.
In the world of theater, rehearsal is all we have before we perform for the public. The rehearsal process is where all the trial and error happens, where we discover what will work and what won’t. The rehearsal process is where final decisions are made, where the characters and scenes are shaped and honed, where the pacing and rhythm of the production is determined. Or as Robert Altman, says, “The rehearsal process in theater is like the editing process in film.” It is where the final product is discovered.
As far as relationships go I propose the one between actors and directors is one of the most challenging. It is extremely demanding and often misunderstood. Just think about it. A director gets a script that is full of complex characters and the director needs actors to portray those characters. No problem. There are thousands of available actors from which the director can choose. But … once the selection has been made the trouble begins. It’s like dancing a waltz and both you and your partner are trying…