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Actor/Director Film Lab

Lesson 16 of 16

The Three Myths of Film Acting: To Move or Not ..

Robert Milazzo

Actor/Director Film Lab

Robert Milazzo

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Lesson Info

16. The Three Myths of Film Acting: To Move or Not ..


  Class Trailer
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1 Shot Sizes Duration:16:46
3 Camera Movement Duration:14:06
4 Actor Critique: Speed Duration:19:09
5 Actor Critique: Motion Duration:10:35
6 Actor Critique: Size Duration:14:49
7 Dynamics of Rehearsal Duration:11:53
8 Dynamics of The Shoot Duration:18:51

Lesson Info

The Three Myths of Film Acting: To Move or Not ..

One more myth we want to solve, to move or not to move actually, if you don't mind, ok? So first monologue again and I want you to move in the sense of I want you to every time you need something from him. I want you to move forward and either touch him o r or just move, move towards him. Move back! I don't want you, teo to I don't want your physical placement to be too too grounded. So the myth being and I think we've seen a lot of this today in the film, acting is more still is better acting. Okay, so we want to see if we liberate her body if we create distracted frame or a very natural watchable frame. Now here's the thing this is what's fascinating about the journey of film acting it's like spinning plates. Oh, ok, use my voice can use my eyes. Okay, I got to spend a plate on my you know, so I don't want you to abandon the technique you want to use. I just want you to feel free to move in and out, and alex will find you so it just may be tilting up and down if you need to catch her...

, okay, so from the jump we want to see do we get this kind of distracted sense of limbo when she's free to move as much as she wants ok, nothing I want you to feel free to do you don't have to do is you can stand up at one point you can't exit you can always stand up and sit back down if you want so this is the frame with a lot of movement distracting organic smart cinematic bad technique you be the judge. Okay, well camera, this is movement one o one with ashley and ilia and action what would you do? No, it doesn't matter you don't know yet he doesn't know yet he's out there he's right there I just couldn't find him. I couldn't see him but he's about to make the biggest mistake of his life. And do you know what stands between that and happiness? You gatekeeper master what's appropriate decider who gets to be heard is our of the live mic at fenway park listen, I'm not crazy. I won't say anything that would constitute for earmuffs on the kids I just I just love this man we have to say it, everyone gets their chance to be courageous or two bc safe to go beyond their dreams or to dream is they've been told to dream look, no one is ever brave alone now are you gonna open that door for me? Before we get into moving she's did something really smart may shed a lot of great things there, but the reason why it and yell cut right away as I wanted to see what was going on in her mind another kind of take away for film acting never cut to take yourself and I'm not talking about if you totally screwed up I'm saying the end of a scene like it's all acting and it's all magic a lot of times actors will say you know like a break it never break it because this recording device also records silence and acting is not only the words it's time cameras record time you know time is part of the performance, so I love the fact she was great in that I was trying to see what this may not be great for for editing but it's cool to see how she's going to deal with this silence because a lot of times I'll film actors beyond what they you know like beyond the threshold like that I would love it if we weren't in the classroom now I actually would have yelled cut I would have loved to see what she would have done I would have really tested so again we're talking earlier in the course of about the collaboration becomes the reality that's a reality I may want to see ashley's character frustrated in silence so even if she's frustrated in me that I haven't yelled, cut that's another thing film makers need to be prepared to do, they need to be prepared to be the target of the emotional information and not be afraid of that, you know, because sometimes her frustration with alex or me or the camera or herself that's the record that's the document anyway, as we wrap up this myth, thoughts about movement distracting, interesting liberating too much, too little. What do you all think? Like? I mean, I like that it was unfortunate that the camera didn't have a chance to see it beforehand, but in general, I thought it adds a lot, okay? And especially her being able to stand up at the end, I thought was a nice shift in the power dynamic, and you have seen that it worked well with the model of the thoughts about movement. I like the silence in between, you know? There was tension there. Yeah, well, he opened the door won't open the door. Yeah, the time and speed I think that said, I think movement, you know, in a vocabulary of of a performance is fine. I think the myth of don't move is overrated. I mean obviously as you say, if alex and I you know we may have loosened the frame I mean alex was doing his best to kind of find it but I think you know if an actor thinks in their head if they're hard wired to believe I don't want to move a lot I think it's easier to tell when an actor is trying not to move what versus an actor moving too much I often get bothered by this kind of film acting I am not going to move no matter what happens versus on moving too much because it's easier to give a note simplify it's harder to work with an actor who you can't get out of that that mummification so when an actor comes on good acting equals not movement I don't know what I'm talking about it's easier to to say actually less actually let's do this versus come on give me something I mean it's harder toe put coal in the fire than it is to kind of turn the temperature down so I love that because also gives the actor the thing they want which is used the instinct use the body use the voice all of these mess are examples of from an acting perspective what you can use to unstick or to further explore maybe it's the voice maybe it's the body maybe it's the eyes I mean that's kind of the premise of this lesson it's not simply to buster not to bust it's to remember that these are tools they are not your enemy they can often be a key to unlock something for a filmmaker to sometimes I watch the sea and think I'm going to tell us she can get up she doesn't look like she's getting up you know so move more he's getting up too much move less these air tools in the toolbox cool before we wrap up I just want to thank you both for being incredible participants on dh prepared smart, great listeners for these lessons that we've been we've been really fortunate to have you both so thank you thank you guys thank you so much have a seat just to some closing thoughts you know, one of them one of the most fun times and not necessarily in an alcoholic context. You know, at the end of the day they're tio two kinds of call outs that accrue response to you get on walking is that we're on the abbey singer, you know anybody know what the abbey singer is? What do you know what the other thing is? The second second to last shot of every film said film day is called the obvious thing or do you know why it's called the obvious center because there was a famous eighteen b singer used to always say it was the last shot when it wasn't this man may be the student today exactly right? So there was an aide de who may be a myth maybe not it's just a great story name abby singer who always used to call the the last shot prematurely so now they called the shot before the last shot the I b singer right? They call the last shot the martini and that doesn't take too much poetry to arrive it why they call it that film craft acting craft filmmaking craft nothing exists in a vacuum you know, the gift of filmmaking and acting is also the curse that it's a moment in time. I always think of it this way from an acting perspective and filmmaking perspective if you have a hard decision to make if you have a hard statement to make if you have an opinion you're reluctant to voice remember this now goes very quickly in these moments in time soon fade was about to say like tears in rain, but you know they fade very quickly and in one of one of the advantages or one of the great skill sets or great muscles you khun develop is the muscle of letting go. I don't mean to sound like a self help guru here, but uh this are for miss is so it's not difficult because it's difficult actually it's difficult because it keeps placing us in challenging personal artistic circumstances and then we we go back and somehow we go back it's like fellini the last movie he made with marcello mastroianni they had made a five or six together he goes up to him on the set, he says can you remind me why I keep casting you again? Andi obviously meant it like we keep revisiting these ideas because it's truly a test of ourselves the best advice I can give the best take it take away can give for the acting in the film makers is the authentic self is truly the only self you know you cannot be something you're not you cannot study fellini and say, hey fellini yielded actors I like fill any movies almony, ellett actors the transitive property doesn't work that way you were going to tell us how you work, you're going to teach us how you work I'll go back to something I said with casey that I truly believe acting and filmmaking whether or not they can be taught is with with the gods of cinema but whether they can be learned or not, I'm firmly convinced they can be learned again. I don't believe in luck but your role on that journey I thank you for sharing your journey with us and I thank you for sharing your journey with us actor director film lab every film is a laboratory, a series of experiments film if we had solved it, we wouldn't continue to make films. Fortunately, we do. Thank you for watching at home. Thank you for being with us here. Actor director, film webb. Thank you, everybody.

Class Description

The relationship between the filmmaker, the actor, and the camera is an integral part of every production, but is rarely discussed. In Actor/Director Film Lab, Robert Milazzo explores cinematographic craft and collaboration and its relationship to acting and performance.

In this beginner-friendly class, both filmmakers and actors learn new ways to work together to bring their best work to life. Filmmakers develop new skills for effectively communicating and collaborating with performers. Actors learn how cameras capture performance and how to adjust their work to suit a production’s technical realities.

Actor/Director Film Lab equips those who work on both sides on the camera with insights that improve their working/artistic relationships, while strengthening the quality of their professional film work.

Special Guests:

  • David Morse, Actor 
  • Kasi Lemmons, Writer/Director/Actor 
  • Keith Gordon, Writer/Director


Philip John

I thoroughly enjoyed and became a better craftsman by watching and partaking in this workshop. Congrats Rob you're inspiring and down to earth made this experience a real pleasure. Cheers Mate Phil from Sydney Australia

Carlos Sandoval

I´ve seen a couple of lessons so far, and this is really a great class. Robert know his subject. Just by listening to him talk about Cassavetes and other fascinating filmmakers that rarely get mentioned nowdays, I get on track. The best.

Laura Latimer

Great Class - Thank you!