Lights! Camera! Holy Cow!

Lights, Camera, Holy Cow! is a recurring blog series in the form of an actor’s journal. It is meant as a reference to actors entering/thinking of entering the film/commercial industry as well as entertainment to anyone who cares. I am currently embarking on my own entrance to the San Francisco film/video community, and desire to share the joys and growing pains of trying something new (as long as it doesn’t violate my NDA:).

The 3rd day of shooting for the short film project I am currently working on, Unmasked.

IMG_4473The 3rd day of shooting and I have been finding out just how different stage acting can be than film acting. “Make sure the back row can hear you” changing to “just talk to the people at the table, you are killing the boom mic operator.” The element of talking and listening becoming so precise so that any little moment of uncertainty comes across as a lie… or as the uncertainty of an actor who knows he is being filmed. The camera doesn’t lie is no lie. I am experiencing the paradox of balancing the need to relax and be present and ignore the camera and crew completely while simultaneously making sure that all the requirements of the shot are being fulfilled. I am at the tip of the iceberg where this skill is concerned. Every day a new lesson. After many hours on set today, I am filled with a great energy of celebration. I broke through a personal obstacle this evening, a breakthrough in the sense that I could feel a self who was trying to “fix it” or “look good” or “do it right” shift out of the way. Getting out of my own head, the combination of preparation and comfortability and exhaustion mingling into an advantageous jambalaya. I have no idea if any certain take that ‘worked’ for me worked completely for the DP, for the lights, for the extras, for the sound, for the director, producer – so many elements going into the making of this 12-minute project. 10 hours in, we got to the last scene on today’s schedule. It was the scene we had rehearsed the most. It also happened to be the most relaxed social situation for my character. Everyone wanting to go home and get some well deserved rest. A nice combination that begged for a “fuck it, I’m alive” attitude. After a full day of working (on a film set (at a country club:):), when most of the other actors had been wrapped and the camera was running on a battery that was being charged just enough for the inevitable ‘one more take,’ I shook the jitters down my limbs, the director called ‘action’ and a moment was shared. The camera happened to be there and be recording. So much to learn. This is what a beautiful beginning feels like.

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