Book: Act or Die (notes)

 

Act or Die

In preparation for our film, aside from getting the camera equipment and such, we also bought a book (one of a few, I’m sure) called Act or Die.

If the title isn’t a give-away it’s all about acting, but it’s also recommended for directors. It came in the mail today and I got about half way through (taking time for writing notes).

I learned a lot about perspectives – Trying to read a paragraph in different perspectives (totally paraphrasing): Think of a time when you were most happy, and read the paragraph. Think of a time you were the most sad and read the same paragraph. Note the differences in your reactions/thoughts/perspectives and DON’T read yourself into or make judgements on it.

 
It was interesting to see how the thoughts and reactions that came from reading a paragraph in different lights were well, different. Starkly in some cases and subtly in others. The way the paragraph made sense changed depending on the perspective or background you were bringing into it. It was a great exercise actually in connecting to an emotion or an idea or background (helpful if you’re acting) even if you weren’t originally feeling it at the time – and if you’re acting, you probably wouldn’t be, which is why it’s important to invest in the character and learn from the character’s perspective.

As I continue reading and thinking and absorbing I’ll probably post here with more things. Super great book, I think it’ll be really helpful for our film, in being able to write good characters, communicate what we’re looking for, and also, hopefully, work on our acting skills…

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