The Director’s Chair Issue #141 – April 5, 2013 (The Actor/Director Dance)
THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
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April 5, 2013 Scene 14 – Take 4
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Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
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1. 13th Publication Year Anniversary Special!
3. Bonuses for Subscribing to The Director’s Chair
4. FEATURE ARTICLE: The Actor/Director Dance
5. Film Directing Coach Services
6. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
7. Filmmaking Links of Interest
8. Product Promotion and Film Workshops
9. Subscribe and Unsubscribe Information
10. Copyright Information
1. 13th Publication Year Anniversary Special!
In every issue of “The Director’s Chair”, I mention that from
time to time I will inform you of film workshops, filmmaking
products or Online courses that I feel would be beneficial to an
Independent Filmmaker like yourself.
Well.. I have an opportunity for you now. 🙂
It was 13 years ago (on April 10, 2000) that the very
first issue of The Director’s Chair was published.
(See first issue here: http://actioncutprint.com/ezine-1)
To celebrate this event, I am offering my newly updated 2013
version of “Art and Craft of the Director Online Course” at a
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This 258 page multi-media pdf eBook is packed full of insider
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your way to becoming a successful Film and TV director – tips
that I’ve learned from my 40 years of “in-the-trenches” film and
TV production experience as a Producer, Director and 1st AD.
When you order this online course you will get:
1. A 258 page downloadable PDF eBook
2. 26 audio files (MP3) you can download to your computer
3. Over 120 links to videos you can watch online
4. Over 920 links to useful reference websites
5. 10 Extra bonuses worth more than $300.00
I am very proud of this filmmaking course and I guarantee that if
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The regular price for this course is $67.00, but for 5 days only,
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And you have nothing to lose. When you purchase this course, you
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So if you have the passion and drive to be a successful Indie
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and Craft of the Director Online Course” can do for your career.
P.S. The regular price for this course is $67.00, but for 5 days
only, (April 5 – April 9) you will have an opportunity to pick up
this 258 page online course for only $27.00. (That’s $40.00 off
the regular price!)
P.P.S. This offer expires at 11:00pm (PST) on April 9, 2013
Welcome to Issue #141 of The Director’s Chair, April 5, 2013
1. Feature Article – The feature article this month is called:
“The Actor/Director Dance” by Mark W. Travis. “As far as
relationships go I propose the one between actors and directors
is one of the most challenging. It is extremely demanding and
often misunderstood.” (Read full article below.)
2. Please send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice
3. Two Bonuses For Subscribing To The Director’s Chair
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4. Feature Article: “The Actor/Director Dance”
I feel very fortunate, and blessed, to count Mark W. Travis among
my professional friends in this creative, and often high stress
business we call “the film industry.”
Mark has often been called “The Director’s Director” and he is
regarded by Hollywood’s top brass and international film
professionals as the world’s leading authority on the art and
craft of film directing.
He is currently on the faculty of HFF (Munich), HSU (Kiev) and
has taught at AFI, UCLA, The Binger Institute (Amsterdam), PU
(Pixar University), FAS Screen Training Ireland and many other
internationally acclaimed institutions and film schools.
Mark is also the author of two popular filmmaking books:
1) “Directing Feature Films: The Creative Collaborarion Between
Director, Writers, and Actors” http://amzn.to/XqQSpU
2) “The Film Director’s Bag of Tricks: How to Get What You Want
from Actors and Writers” http://amzn.to/Z39xTX
All of his techniques stem from the pursuit of organic authentic
performances that are deeply felt by audiences.
Enjoy Mark’s “wonderful-words-of-wisdom” below.
“The Actor/Director Dance” by Mark W. Travis
As far as relationships go I propose the one between actors and
directors is one of the most challenging. It is extremely
demanding and often misunderstood.
Just think about it. A director gets a script that is full of
complex characters and he/she needs actors to portray those
characters. No problem. There are thousands of available actors
from which the director can choose.
But … once the selection has been made the trouble begins. It’s
like dancing a waltz and both you and your partner are trying to
lead. Or, perhaps a more accurate metaphor: you think it’s a
waltz and your partner is convinced it’s a tango. (And we won’t
talk about what music the writer or the producer thinks the band
Actors expect most directors to be ‘result’ directors. They
expect the director to communicate only how he/she wants the
scene to be played as if actors can flip switches and push
buttons until the prescribed performance comes out.
The reason most actors expect result directing is because most
directors are result directors. Hey, it’s the easiest way to
direct. It’s like going to MacDonald’s: I tell you what I want
and you put it in the bag.
This ‘marriage’ is dysfunctional (and curiously co-dependent)
from the start. It’s not because of any malicious intent but
rather because the two species have never really learned how to
communicate effectively with each other.
Take a look through all the literature on acting and directing,
search through all the finest acting and directing schools and
see how little is written or taught about regarding the
communication between actors and directors.
Yet it’s very clear that actors and directors all have the best
of intentions of making this relationship work. I have not met a
director who did not have a clear idea of what he/she wanted. And
every actor I have worked with has an intuitive instinct for
their character and how a scene can be played.
Why then does this relationship so often begin to fall apart when
they begin talking to each other? The answer is quite simple:
different languages and different ideas of how this relationship
should or could work.
What’s missing? The missing element is the understanding that if
this process is going to work there must be collaboration. Okay,
I know what you’re thinking. “We collaborate. We work together.
We talk to each other.” And you’re right, of course you do. But
are you clear on what the job is and what each of your bring to
Way too many directors think that it is the director’s job to
‘tell the actors what you want’ and too many actors believe that
their job is to ‘give the director what he/she wants’.
This is their collaboration. And with this co-dependent formula
the final product is destined to be limited to the imagination of
the director and most of the potential creative input from the
actor will never be exposed.
So, what is the shared goal of the actor and director and what is
it that they are missing?
In this challenging relationship there is a third entity – the
product of this union, the child if you will – the character. In
fact the primary reason for this ‘marriage’ is to create the
offspring. Can you imagine raising a child when you and your
partner have two totally different ideas of how to nurture it?
One of you (the actor) wants to infuse the child with certain
emotions, habits, attitudes, fears and dreams. And the other (the
director) has very clear ideas how that child should behave under
certain and specific conditions.
And who is there to advocate for the child? Is anyone even
listening to the child? Is anyone truly interested in what the
child might want, what the child might need? Or how the child
thinks or dreams? What about his fears or desires?
The essential job of the actor and director relationship is to
create a character of such depth and authenticity that it can be
‘released’ into any scene without prerequisites of ‘acting’ or
What the director or the actor believes the character wants or
needs pales by comparison to what the character truly wants or
needs. How we believe the character would behave under certain
circumstances may have little to do with the character’s own
intuition and instincts. Create the character and then let the
Here’s a thought. What would happen if directors stopped
‘directing actors’? By this I mean, what if directors abandoned
the idea of demanding a certain performance, or controlling the
behavior of the actor/character? What if the director actually
allowed the actors, as the characters, to find their way through
And, what would happen if actors stopped ‘acting’? What if they
gave up the practice of shaping, defining and controlling the
behavior of their characters? What if they just allowed their
characters to exist authentically and purely? What if they let
their character carve his/her own way through each scene, through
each moment of the character’s life?
Imagine, no more ‘directing’ and no more ‘acting’?
Imagine a world of storytelling where each character was free
from the constrictions and restrictions of actors and directors.
Imagine the actor/director relationship evolving into a creative
relationship full of wonder, joy, creativity and parental pride.
It is possible. All it takes is the willingness to explore new
ways of working together. All it takes is the courage to
relinquish those old traditional controls and roles and immerse
yourself in a world of exploration and discovery.
If you liked this article, please visit Mark’s website at
http://www.markwtravis.com where you will find more valuable
information on directing actors.
And while you are there, please sign up to his newsletter. 🙂
5. Film Directing Coach – Peter D. Marshall
Actors, Singers and Athletes Have Private Coaches. So Why
Not Film and TV Directors?
Hilary Swank used an acting coach to prepare for her role in
Boys Don’t Cry. She won her first Academy Award.
Singer Renee Fleming has always used a vocal coach. She has
won several Grammy Awards.
Rafael Nadal’s coach urged him on from the sidelines during
his Wimbledon tennis tournament win in 2010.
Arnold Palmer improved his game with the help of a coach. Even
Tiger Woods has had several coaches.
As a matter of fact, winners in nearly every profession
(athletes, actors, singers, business executives) know that
without the right coach, they won’t perform at their peak.
They know that without the support of an experienced and
qualified coach, they would constantly struggle to achieve
So if these top professionals in their respective fields use
coaches, why not film directors?
So why hire me as your film directing coach?
Along with my international teaching experiences and my 39
years of professional filmmaking experience (as a TV Director
and Feature 1st AD), I feel I have the necessary
qualifications to help you achieve your dreams of being a
creative and successful independent film director.
With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to my Film
Directing Coaching services via Skype:
6. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion (Free Advertising)
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to edit the promotion for length, spelling and formatting.
1) My name is Vlasto Peyitch from Germany. I am an actor and
screenwriter. “In the Clinch of Old Lies” is my first script
where I show uncommon pictures about human behavior and the alpha
wolfs of the world who focus on making money – but are destroying
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To me, our minds are not functioning in a logic way and the
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heroes are blessed with humor and humanity. This film will touch
John, a family man, through an encounter with the wolf leader and
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than the nonsense we live and call economics. He kidnaps a banker
and asks them both the questions and provides the answers that
ruthlessly confront a new era, the Survival-Sapiens. This story
is not entirely fictional and has much in common with current
2) Raza A. Gheewala: I run a media and communications hub by the
name of Tarka Films. Our website is under construction but can be
viewed at http://www.tarkafilms.wix.com/portfolio and our
facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/tarkagroup
We are a small enterprise dealing with all aspects of production
from stock footages of Pakistan, filming interviews for
international clients for documentaries, corporate videos and
documentaries for international and local clients based in
Pakistan, creating corporate songs and themes to graphic design
We are always looking forward to working with international film
community as Pakistan has a lot to offer in terms of affordable
services and quality. I invite you and everyone on this forum to
visit our website and facebook page and stay connected for
Look us up in Sharjah this March 2013 as we perform an art piece
for the Sharjah Art Foundation’s “Sharjah Biennial” – a
collaboration between 40 musicians from various genre’s and
7. Filmmaking Links of Interest
1. Sundance interview with Edward Burns
2. Ang Lee Tells Wannabe 3D Filmmakers: ‘Trust No One’
3. Ten Pointers to Improve Storytelling Without Cracking Open a Bottle
4. Very Independent Filmmaking: Trust your instincts
5. Veronica Mars funding rattles Hollywood
6. Oscar-nominated editors clear up the category misconceptions
7. Turning Indie Filmmakers into Tech-Style Entrepreneurs
8. 7 Filmmaking Tips from Danny Boyle
9. Interview: Conversations in Film: Making Your Feature Film
10. Independent filmmaking takes ‘all the heart you’ve got’
8. Product Promotion And Film Workshops
From time to time, I will contact you to inform you of film
workshops, filmmaking products or Online courses that I feel
are beneficial to filmmakers like yourself. Of course, you are
under no obligation to purchase anything – I only offer this
information as a service to subscribers of this free ezine.
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