The Directing Actors lecture was the lecture that I have so far found to be the most useful, not only because I was chosen to be the Director in my group project.
Directing actors has always interested me, and it was great to get some practical tips about how it all works.
Darcy Yuille, the guest lecturer and film director, first talked about the mindset the actor needs to be in, outlining Overall Objective and Scene Objective.
The OVERALL OBJECTIVE of the actor is about what the character wants in the story, for example, they want to find a girlfriend.
The SCENE OBJECTIVE of the actor is about what the character wants in that particular scene, for example, they want to start speaking to a girl.
(In our group film, there is really only one scene, which would cause one to think that the overall objective and the scene objective will be the same. HOWEVER, if you check out the script, you will notice that the objective of Vince is, at first, to deny that he has done anything wrong, and then later on switches to him wanting to finally admit everything and free himself, therefore his OBJECTIVE changes and the way he ACTS changes.)
In order to help your actor through these objectives you give them very simple actions. Giving the actor a simple VERB to follow is the most coherent way to communicate with them, and is a whole lot better than acting out the scene for them. For example, you might say that their action should be “to convince” or “to flirt”.
A character’s action changes throughout a scene, and the moment that they change is known as the beat. According to Darcy, this is the moment that you want to have the camera on the actor. If you didn’t show this change, then it may be hard for the audience to understand how the actor changed their action so suddenly, and wouldn’t seem very realistic at all.
Finally, Darcy talked about giving your actors a set of circumstances; the who, what, when, where and how of their character and their character’s situation. Also give them an explanation of their character’s personality and HOW THEY WOULD CARRY OUT THE ACTION GIVEN TO THEM via a system created by movement theorist Rudolf von Laban. Laban said that characters were heavy or light, hard or soft, direct or indirect, fast or slow and many other descriptors.