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I screwed it up!

July 29, 2012

Had a decent day of filming, yesterday – including a fantastic morning with Craig O’Neill, the anchor for Channel 11 – he was so funny! I figured he’d be fun, but he was up for anything and gave a GREAT performance.

We filmed with him in Little Rock, then moved back to Conway, and the day got slow. Scott Meador had redone our audio studio to make it look good for the shoot, and we also ordered a new audio board and control surface for the room.  We had a few tricky shots, nothing too complex, but I got distracted trying to make the new audio board work with our recording audio on set, and wasn’t paying enough attention to the crew. A couple of setups had to get tweaked, a few in big ways, because they got set up and then weren’t what I needed. Because I wasn’t there to catch the problem at the beginning. My crew deserves my full attention and I wasn’t there for that. Lesson learned.

But today went great. We finished ridiculously early, and got some great stuff. I don’t think I’ve mentioned for a week or so how much I love my cast. They’re so professional, and incredibly funny. Every look, every line, they bring interesting stuff. I’m constantly surprised by their choices – they bring so much to the script!

I was talking with Chris (playing Danny, the lead) about acting, and we were both saying how casting is everything. You cast well, and your job as a director is easy (which it is). You don’t cast well, and everything is a fight because you’re asking people to do things that aren’t natural to them. We cast well. :)

Chris also was talking about how he teaches acting, and I’ll be stealing advice from him in my classes (and in my directing!). I love when someone can take a complex idea and find a way to put it simply. While of course acting is a complex thing, but like anything that is difficult and artistic, it does boil down to some things that can be simple. His take, that I hope I’m not overly simplifying, was to concentrate on three things: Who am I talking to, What do I want from them, and How badly do I want it? Again, of course there’s more to it than that, but what a great simple starting point. If you know that info, you’re ready to talk to your actors. It teaching, you have to be able to get to the simple heart of things, and I think this does that wonderfully. Thanks, Chris!

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