Film acting is a different kind of craft than stage acting, and it can be far more intimate of an experience for those on set. It requires incredible focus, and long hours of repetitious behavior to get exactly what the director wants. Staying in character becomes a lot more important when you have to maintain composure after your fifth, seventh, tenth or more take. Professional actors know how to handle themselves on set, have the stamina to do a full day of work and they take their craft seriously.
Never under estimate stamina. It’s the difference between your first twelve hour day and your twentieth. Actors who can’t keep up a good pace, can’t deliver later into production when their performances matter most. You can’t waste time while actors regain composure, and it’s frustrating to work with too many stoppages happening at once.
Experienced actors understand that acting for the back row is over acting. Film acting is complicated, requiring nuanced approaches to a character and a script. That doesn’t mean loud or boisterous. The camera is often centered on a specific part of the actor’s body, like the face or the upper body. Experienced film actors understand how to work within those boundaries.
When an actor is cast for a role in film or television, it’s likely the actor will be approaching a character that has never been portrayed before. Stage actors do not have that luxury in all cases, and often have to live in the shadow of an actor before them. New takes on a character are always welcome, but if a character is played too far away from the expectations of the audience, the play could fall flat. Film leaves room for surprise, and experienced actors understand that power and approach their characters with that in mind.
Bio: Charles Matthau directed, and is best known for, the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp.” The Charles Matthau Company is also producing the upcoming TV series “Mexican High.” More information about Charles Matthau, including additional projects, is available at the Matthau Company.