In a Travis International Film Institute webinar, Mark W. Travis both demonstrates and explains his director-centered approach designed to efficiently generate organic and authentic performances from actors. The Travis Technique utilizes an interrogation process that peppers characters with a series of questions that shift from curiosity, to criticism, to support at the whim of the interrogator.
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.