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Auditioning actors for a piece with no dialogue


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#1 Suri Grennell

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:58 PM

Hi there,

 

I'm auditioning actors (tomorrow!) for a purely visual experimental short film. I obviously need to ensure that the actors can portray the emotions and feelings of the characters in a truthful way but I am struggling to come up with good techniques to try and get this result. I have them coming in in twos and all the improv stuff I can find online tends to be more comedy related than drama related.

 

If anyone had any ideas they would be very much appreciated.

 

If it helps, here's some of what i need the main character to convey at different times in the piece: being, harrowed/tormented/haunted by a memory/thought; intrigued by a new person in his life; being bored/despondent


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#2 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:04 PM

Hi Suri.

 

For my last experimental short (also silent,) I didn't do auditions.  I'm not a big believer in the audition process as I don't think it is an accurate measurement of an actor's abilities.  I first selected some actors to meet with simply based on their appearance.  I met with them at Starbuck's or whatever and went over the script with them to see if they were in tune with the material.

 

In the end, it was more of a philosophical conversation than an audition and it paid off for me.


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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:08 PM

Just give the actors a situation and let them improvise around that, then throw something left field and see how they take direction. Improvisation isn't all comedy, although you may find that some actors are more text driven and can't or won't do it. 


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#4 Suri Grennell

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:09 PM

Hi Suri.

 

For my last experimental short (also silent,) I didn't do auditions.  I'm not a big believer in the audition process as I don't think it is an accurate measurement of an actor's abilities.  I first selected some actors to meet with simply based on their appearance.  I met with them at Starbuck's or whatever and went over the script with them to see if they were in tune with the material.

 

In the end, it was more of a philosophical conversation than an audition and it paid off for me.

Thanks Bill, good advice for next time. I have them coming in tomorrow though so better think of something!!


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#5 Suri Grennell

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:11 PM

Just give the actors a situation and let them improvise around that, then throw something left field and see how they take direction. Improvisation isn't all comedy, although you may find that some actors are more text driven and can't or won't do it. 

Thanks Brian. Yeah i'm trying to come up with some relevant stuff that isn't just lifted directly from the script as it's pretty non-narrative but I like the idea of throwing a curveball


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#6 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:18 PM

Thanks Bill, good advice for next time. I have them coming in tomorrow though so better think of something!!

 

 

Thanks Brian. Yeah i'm trying to come up with some relevant stuff that isn't just lifted directly from the script as it's pretty non-narrative but I like the idea of throwing a curveball

 

It's all a matter of what you think will work for the particular material.  Different approaches are definitely called for in different types of projects.


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