This project took the most planning out of any project thus far in the course. We had to have a script, handle actors as well as find time to do all of filming and editing. Working with actors, while an added challenge, was refreshing at the same time. I’ve never worked with any acting majors before (only using friends in previous projects) and it was nice to see their input on the project and be able to direct them.
I served as the director on this project so I was able to get to know the actors styles and how they took direction over the course of shooting the project. It was interesting and rewarding to give them a note on the way they read their line or their body language and see it reflected in the next take of the shot. I also enjoyed being able to discuss the characters thoughts with actors – which were then displayed in each of their performances.
In terms of the shooting schedule with the actors, we lucked out because they were able to be free during times that the crew was free as well. We ran into a few small scheduling issues when an actor was only available for 15 minutes at a time, but we were able to quickly film the shots that we needed and allow the actor to return to her other business.
The biggest thing that I learned from doing a narrative shoot and working with actors was that a lot more (or at least different from documentary) planning needs to go in before you are able to shoot. Having an idea of the plot, the characters, and the settings before you set up a camera is very important. While my group did a good job of coordinating the pre-production, there were certainly moments when I realized we could have prepared for a certain shot or location better than we did.