There are several ways to perfect the way that your movie appears to your audience, two of which are through your actors and through your location.
Some considerations to keep in mind before the look of your movie can truly be perfected include making your actors stand out and finding the right location.
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Making Your Actors Stand Out
Not many people can perform perfectly in front of an audience, without rehearsing, and a lack of preparation often leads to a case of the jitters that will leave the actor nervous, which will be reflected in their skills. What most people fail to realize that looking like a true actor requires some skill, and carrying an entire film requires more skill than a traditional actor supplies.
The director’s job is to determine what makes the actors truly look like quality characters on camera. Directors identify the strengths of each actor, and look for ways to incorporate that into filming. Some actors prefer to memorize their lines, believing it to give a more natural performance rather than using teleprompts. If this is the case, the production crew must allow a few minutes, in between takes, for the actor to reread their lines before moving on to another scene.
The best way to make your actors truly stand out in your film is to know your actors and ensure that they are comfortable their role and what is required. By asking your actors what their strengths and weaknesses are, and working around them, you can help to perfect your filming before it even starts.
Finding the Right Location
Depending on your film, you might have the luxury of being able to select the filming location. Selecting the location uses the same considerations that you use to select your actors: through an audition. Scouting locations is the audition process for filming locations and you are going to want to scout out the perfect location for your film.
When choosing the right location for your film, it can help to think of the right place to film as an actor. You have to ask yourself if this location can suit the film, and whether it is practical to film at. A director and producer need to know that the location can be ‘controlled’ for an extended period while filming is underway. Consider the background noises, changes in weather and local interruptions that could cause you setbacks, and try to avoid them or find a way around them.
If you don’t have the ability to choose the filming location, then you need to find a background that works for you. Look for the areas of the location that offers a suitable background to your scene while providing the best light and allowing your scene to be filmed, as planned.
If you cannot seem to move your subject about within a location, then consider changing your angle of filming. You might be surprised how you can change a background just by moving the camera a few feet left or right, up or down.
Remember that to perfect the look of your film you want, your actors and your location have to work in your favor. Both should help to set the tone for your film and stand out in their own ways.
Donna is a media manager at Edictive. She has worked in the filmmaking and distribution industry over a decade now.