chapter  13
7 Pages

Working with Non-Professional Actors

Many young filmmakers ignore, or do not bestow enough credence upon, working with their actors to obtain an optimal performance in front of the camera. This may be due to lack of organisation or focus on the exigencies that less-seasoned actors bring to the set. Or, perhaps, too much time is being spent on preparing the lights, props, costumes, and camera positions. However, first-rate settings, composition, and lighting will have little or no weight if the acting is sub-standard, weak, or sloppy. Nothing sinks a good script faster than inadequate or amateur performers, particularly those with minimal acting craft skills and experience in front of the camera. Conversely, a solid or riveting performance can raise a soft or mediocre script to a dynamic level. So, how to remedy potential casting limitations and varying acting performance abilities? As a filmmaker, it is your duty and responsibility to draw out distinct, judicious, and discriminating performances from limitedexperienced actors. You are required to educate and impart the craft knowledge of acting to your performers in a clear, coherent, and uncomplicated manner.