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Worlds worst actress in my film

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  • Worlds worst actress in my film

    Son of a gun guys! I made a huge mistake!

    During the small casting call I found a beautiful girl that (at the moment) did very well in the casting! Obviously this is my mistake but when a camera is in front of her it is literally like she is retarded (no offense) its like she's reading the lines off of the page and is just focusing on getting the lines right and not on her character.... Know what i mean?

    So during the first 3 weeks of pre production she was a CHAMP, she helped me get everything set up and she helped me keep things organized. So now its weird for me to tell her that she sounds like she is reading from the script, its just awkward - I have had a conversation in private with her and she says she chokes up when the camera is rolling (Isnt there a name for that?)

    Anyway, I know this is my fault but what the heck do I do! This film will be a laughing stock and will not be taken seriously!

    Basic Info:

    We are 4 days into filming (hints why ive been done from here)

    We have 3 days left (not including today)

    We have $400 left (from $1,000)

    and my lead actress is falling apart!


  • #2
    As a director, if you don't feel like you can help her then you should either replace her or ADR all of her lines using another actor. As the director, you must do what you must do. Directing is not easy.
    2001 Productions Web Site


    • #3
      Originally posted by 2001 Productions View Post
      As a director, if you don't feel like you can help her then you should either replace her or ADR all of her lines using another actor. As the director, you must do what you must do. Directing is not easy.
      You said it, Directing Is Not Easy!

      Eric, don't stress out. At least you are learning and you should be happy this did happen at a $500,000 budget :)

      When casting, if you are doing it yourself you should always have lines that would be difficult for any non actor to perform.

      Do you mind if I ask what the lines were?
      Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue


      • #4
        So it seems your job now is to get her in practice mode when the camera is on. Stage fright happens to a lot of people. For me it was sports. I was a beast at the playground playing ball, but when I'm in a high school game I choke, literally. So find ways to get her to act as if she is still in casting mode to make her comfortable then show her how she did to build her confidence. Stage fright is all about lack of confidence in ones self. They are afraid at how others will view them. I hope this helps, good luck. I pray all goes well.


        • #5
          Perhaps audition her again infront of a camera so that she can get a feel for it and perhaps conquer the fear of film... what an awesome set of words that I just put together!
          "Nobody knows anything"


          • #6
            lol I feel for you dude!


            • #7
              How big is your crew? Maybe extra people on the set are making her nervous, maybe ask a few people that dont need to be present for the take to step out to help her not be nervous or self conscious?
              "It's all make believe, isn't it."


              • #8
                I have not yet made a film yet, but I would imagine you view the project like it is your child, and take much pride in its potential. It sounds like you don't have time to wait for her to gather the confidence she needs. I would just tell her its not working, why its not working, and tell her to use this as a learning experience, to figure out this problem she has with being in front of a camera, and let her know you will keep her contact information for further projects and she can prove herself to you then. You can not let someone tamper with your timing or quality. You have a vision I'm sure of how this project will look at the end and you must do everything you can to create that vision to your satisfaction.


                • #9
                  If you are using an HD camera, then have several rehearsals before you actually shoot the scene. Some actors perform well during a rehearsal but not during the actual shoot. Record both, keep the camera rolling. In her "relaxed" state she may pull through for you. See, you can't "tell" someone to relax, doesn't work that way. But if they are relaxed then you can work with them to get them through the scenes. It's a thought.
                  I write. Therefore I am.


                  • #10
                    Weird thought. Do a few cuts (maybe without actually turning the camera on even, just tell them you are) where you have them grossly over act, including her. Basically, break the seriousness of the whole process. It might help loosen her up. Just an idea, but trying to hard can be as bad as not trying to all. At least she sincerely cares, which is really step one, to some degree.
                    Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox


                    • #11
                      I would try running some acting exercises in a brief rehearsal type process before shooting a scene, sounds kind of high school but we used to do this in acting classes to mentally get into roles. For instance we had to think about our characters motivation for the scene, what they are looking to achieve and then transfer this to a setting in our own lives so if the desire was to get someone to listen to them, you would then act this out in a scenario in your own life such as getting your boss to listen to you or whatever


                      • #12
                        What ever happened with this Jimmy?


                        • #13
                          I know I'm late on this, but I may have kept her after shooting and worked with her on getting a more natural performance. In other words get her used to being on camera so maybe she won't notice it as much.

                          And use exercises like HDocks said---to break her out of her weird place.

                          Also explain that it's videotape [if it is]...and it's cheap to use--so it's not like she's wasting expensive film. And get her to understand that natural is what you're after....shake it off and say the words like she means them---not like she memorized them. Rehearse, and rehearse again.

                          A thing I used to do is film the rehearsals on set without telling the actors that the camera was rolling.

                          A friend of mine shot a short film and the lead actress was an investor. She wanted to be a Hollywood player--it was out here in Hollywood...and when I saw the dailies, I could see her deliver her lines as wooden as possible--then when the other actors were talking, she'd actually relax and take herself out of the scene....then when it was her turn to speak again, she'd straighten up and deliver her line. She wasn't acting/reacting to the other characters at all--as if she thought the camera would be on them and not her when they were speaking.

                          It was the weirdest "performance" I've ever seen. Needless to say, she is NOT a Hollywood player.

                          Kurt Hathaway
                          VikingDream7 Productions
                          Video Production & Editing



                          • #14
                            lol that is very strange! certainly if she turned to wood when the camera started rolling on I guess she wasn't perhaps meant to be in movies :P