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The Director’s Chair Issue #144 – July 2, 2013 (The 5 Groups of On-Camera Players)

Free Monthly Ezine for Independent Filmmakers

July 2, 2013                Scene 14 – Take 7

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Website: http://actioncutprint.com
Blog: http://filmdirectingtips.com


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1. Introduction
2. Bonuses for Subscribing to The Director’s Chair
3. My 2013 Film Workshop Schedule (July-September)
4. FEATURE ARTICLE: The 5 Groups of On-Camera Players
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. Introduction

Welcome to Issue #144 of The Director’s Chair, July 2, 2013

1. The Feature Article this month is called: “The 5 Groups of
On-Camera Players.” Here is my list of eight categories of actors
you could work with. When I say “categories,” I’m actually
referring to how each group fits into the hierarchy and politics
of this business.” (Read full article below.)

2. Please send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice
to: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

2. Two Bonuses For Subscribing To The Director’s Chair

Thank you very much for subscribing to this ezine.

BONUS #1 – Here is the link to download Day One (41 pages) of
“The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar.”

BONUS #2 – Here is the link to download the first 30 pages of
the “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course.”

IMPORTANT: Once the pdf file has opened on your browser, go to
File, “Save Page As” and save the file to your desktop. All links
will now work in the pdf file.

3. My 2013 Film Workshop Schedule (July-September)

I have three different 2-day filmmaking workshops booked over the
next few months in three different cities. If you are interested
in participating in any of these workshops, please email the
contact person I have included with the workshop link below.

1. July 31 & August 1 – Petionville, Haiti
“Film Directing Essentials: The Art of Story Telling”
Contact: Stephanie Leigh Limage

2. August 17 & 18 – Toronto, Canada
“Chemistry Behind the Camera: The Director/DOP Relationship”
Contact: Jaimy Warner

3. September 7 & 8 – Vancouver, Canada
“Essentials of Film Directing”
Contact: Karen Margolese

4. Feature Article: The 5 Groups of On-Camera Players (Talent)

The Five Groups of On-Camera Players (Talent)
by Peter D. Marshall

On-camera performers are not just the actors on a set. I have
included a list of other “performers” that you will see on most
film productions.

I have divided these performers into 5 groups. These “groups” are
not based on any Union description – they are based solely only
on my own experiences of how they function on a film set.

(1) Actors

Here’s my list of eight categories of actors you could work with.
When I say “categories,” I am actually referring to how each
group fits into the hierarchy and politics of this business.

Each of these categories of actors represents a group that has a
different share of the power on any set – which means that
certain actors in each group may require special treatment. Look
these categories over carefully, and you will understand what I

1. The legend (Jerry Lewis, Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis)
2. The movie star (Tom Hanks, Robert DeNiro, Julia Roberts)
3. The television star (Eva Longoria, William Shatner, Wentworth Miller)
4. The cross-over star (TV to Film) (George Clooney, Will Smith)
5. The cross-over star (Film to TV) (Judy Davis, Glenn Close)
6. The guest star (Brad Pitt on “Friends”, Sally Field on “ER”)
7. The principal actor (larger speaking roles)
8. The day player (smaller speaking roles)

(2) Stunts

Stunt people are also performers. Here are the 3 categories they
fall under:

1. Stunt actor (plays a character – could have some dialogue)
2. Stunt performer (not a specific character – no dialogue)
3. Stunt double (doubles actors for harder and more dangerous stunts)

(3) Extras

Extras are also known as Background Performers or Atmosphere. I
have broken extras down into 3 categories:

1. Special skills extras – They have a special ability (skill)
they have practiced and trained for. (Hockey players, scuba
divers, ballroom dancers)

2. Uniformed extras – These extras “play” characters the audience
knows something about. (Police, waiters, nurses, military,

3. General extras – These are the majority of extras on any film
set (Crowd on street, passengers on a plane, bar patrons,
students in school hallway)

(3) Actor Photo Doubles

Photo Doubles “portray” an actor in any scene where the actors
face is not seen.

1. They are matched for body size, physical movement, hair and

2. They are used mostly for second units and splinter units. (car
drivebys etc)

3. If they are used by main unit, it’s because an actor is not
available for over shoulder shots etc.

4. They are also used as body doubles for love scenes and nude

(5) Stand-Ins

Although Stand-ins are not technically “performers”, I have
included them on this list because of the important role they
play on any film set.

Stand-ins (also known as Second Team) are not hired to work for
the actors. They are hired to work for the Director of
Photography, to “stand in place of the actors” while the DOP
lights them.

They are also used by the camera crew to rehearse camera movement
and focus.

Stand-ins are usually picked by the DOP in pre-production after
all the cast is chosen. Sometimes actors will have their own
stand-ins they prefer to use.

Stand-ins are a very important part of your crew. Good stand-ins
are worth their weight in gold because they help make your
re-lighting time less.

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)

The Director’s Chair gives you an incredible opportunity to
get Free Advertising for your services and your films.

Each month, I give two subscribers an opportunity to promote
themselves, their company or their productions in this

So if you want over 6000 filmmakers around the world to know
about you and your films, please send me your “shameless
self-promotion” to: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com.

Please limit your promotion to 300 words. I reserve the right
to edit the promotion for length, spelling and formatting.


There were no Shameless Self-Promotions this month 🙁

7. Filmmaking Links of Interest

1. 6 Filmmaking Tips Directly From David Slade

2. Director Costa-Gavras: European Cinema Could Not Survive
Without State Protection http://bit.ly/1aUjdZm

3. Bring on a Hollywood-style disaster for the blockbuster film

4. How To Succeed As An Independent Filmmaker: Interview With
Sheri Candler http://bit.ly/1a7wf77

5.Five Tips for Nonfiction Filmmakers

6.  Crowdfunding: Terms You Need to Know to Successfully Fund
Your Film http://bit.ly/14bw97X

7. What’s Wrong with Hollywood Filmmaking These Days?

8. Ten Lessons on Filmmaking from Director Takashi Miike
http://bit.ly/16gzZOM  #filmmakers

9. How to Raise Money So You Can Finally Make Your Independent
Movie http://bit.ly/12SWNHg

10. 6 Filmmaking Tips from Richard Linklater

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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10. Copyright Information

Copyright (c) 2000-2013
Peter D. Marshall
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