(Ch. 5) Tips from Film Actors

“Acting for film is nothing more than reacting. You react to another person, your environment, or your situation. It’s that easy.” –Earl Owensby, Film producer, director, actor

Oscar winner Michael Caine offered an acting workshop for the BBC, here are ten tips from that workshop for any film actor:

1) When speaking to an actor off-camera, look into one eye and stick with it.

2) Film acting is, in a large part, reacting and listening.

3) While rehearsing something with a fellow actor, if a crew member can come up and recognizes you’re rehearsing vs. having a real conversation, then you aren’t doing it right.

4) An actor relaxes in front of the camera by concentrating, and knowing that you have no enemies on set, everyone’s on your side and doing their best to make you look your best for the movie.

5) The camera catches everything you do, so don’t be afraid to play things with subtlety.18898dhcs8fw9jpg

6) If you’re going to smoke on-screen, you must plan it absolutely perfectly, don’t mess up the continuity.

7) All actors steal certain gestures and behaviors from other actors — but the best actors make these gestures their own.  Steal from the best, and make look original.

8) You can make four pictures as an actor in the time it takes a director to make one — so if you’re an actor planning on becoming a director, consider the financial aspect.49179914-cached

9) A majority of movie acting is about relaxation.  If you’re knocking yourself out, you’re doing it wrong.

10) Theater acting is an operation with a scalpel, movie acting is an operation with a laser.

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References

BBC. (1987, August 27). Michael Caine Teaches Acting In Film. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZPLVDwEr7Y

BBC (2007, August 28) Two decades later with Michael Caine: On acting in film, arts, and entertainment

Manning II, N. T. (Director). (1993). Earl Owensby: The man, the myth [Motion picture]. USA: Christmas Twin Pictures.

Norton, G. (2018, October 17). Sir Michael Caine & Morgan Freeman Discuss Acting Techniques | The Graham Norton Show. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kauo3Hj1lt4

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