Incredibly simple yet difficult to master.
1. Don’t Act! Less is more oncamera! Be it! Don’t show it! Be honest. The audience picks up when you’re uncomfortable – self focused – not in the zone. The audience experiences through you – so share with your camera.
2. Eyes have it! They are the windows to your character’s soul. Draw the audience in. Share with them. Don’t over-work your eyes or face – especially Eyebrows Twisting mouth Lips and Tongues …or Blinking and Nodding – unless a deliberate character choice. It distracts from your intent & destroys your close-ups by limiting your editors options.
3. The Horizon of your camera – is the `Audience’s POV. ‘ If your eye line looks above the horizon – you appear to be praying. If you look below – all we see is the top of your head. Make sure the audience can see 1&1/2 of your face for a strong connection. Bring eyes from left or right up to horizon to draw your audience in & share your characters inner story. Don’t look directly at camera – unless directed – when doing an introduction – as it breaks the 3rd wall.
4. Triangle of connection with your Camera. If you cant see the camera in your periphery vision – your audience cant see you? `Love your Camera and your Camera will love YOU! ‘ It’s like when your having a passionate discussion with another at a gathering – you still know where that really hot person is in the room. When Moving OnCamera – make sure your camera-person can follow your pace.
5. Size of shots it is a visual medium. Performance changes depending on shot size.
6. Continuity – every action needs to be motivated. Example: Picking up a glass, Putting down glass, touching a glass, taking a drink – reveals so much & allows shots to be edited together. Otherwise you create an impossible task for the editor.
7. Editing – You create connection by looking to where you touch a person – be it their lips, face, hand, arm, leg or ??? (It creates intimacy &/or fear oncamera) and then bring it up to other persons eye-line to create connection be it intimacy or fear. Even with an inanimate object like a gun or glass – it will creates tension and give Edit options. Andyou will lose your close-up.
8. Less is more – Don’t be repetitive unless deliberate – unless it is a deliberate character choice. Example: If drinking too many times in a scene … you can come over as an Alcoholic. If licking lips …you will appear a drug addict. If eyes dart around …you will appear dishonest. Limit blinking. Less is definitely more.
9. Genre rules – camera styles & shots change according to genre combinations.
10. Cold Reads – Practice all genres – Build your comprehension, reading & audition skills. Also get together with other Actors & Practice, Practice, Practice.
11. IMPORTANT: Learn & Dismiss. Before every take – Get out of your head – It’s like driving a car or riding a bike or flying a plane.. multi task but focus on the road – read what is happening around you – the outside world – not yourself – or you will crash & burn. Take your mind off itself and focus on a particular task – to allow your true creativity.
`What are you trying to get the other person in the scene to do?