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The Science and Art of Acting for the Camera

Book Description

The Science and Art of Acting for the Camera provides a precise yet practical approach to help unlock the mysteries of acting for film and television. Written by veteran actor, producer, and director John Howard Swain, the book offers a clear-cut, no-nonsense technique that equips aspiring or working actors with the necessary skills to succeed on camera. The technique teaches you how to build multi-dimensional characters; construct truthful and exciting relationships; ignite stimulating emotions; craft a series of discoveries guaranteed to energize your work; and much, much more. The book also provides instruction for actors working in commercials—from slating, to the dreaded "tell us about yourself" interview, to nailing "the tag" and embracing the cliché—and supplies sample commercial copy for students to practice.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. The Science and Art of Acting for the Camera
  3. Praise
  4. Title
  5. Copyright
  6. Contents
  7. Shout Outs
  8. Dedication
  9. Introduction
    1. What Does It Take to be an Actor?
    2. Actors Are Some of The Bravest People in the World
    3. What Motivates Actors?
    4. What Is the Actor’S Function?
    5. Film Vs. Stage
    6. What is Acting?
    7. Why is Technique Important?
    8. The Road Less Traveled
  10. 1 Things Every Actor Should Know
    1. THE Thought Process
    2. THE Goal
    3. Don’t Let the Limitations of Others Limit You
    4. You are Your Own Best Resource
    5. The What Ifs
    6. Actors are an Odd Lot
  11. 2 The Basics
    1. Shots
    2. Shooting Out of Sequence
    3. Matching Action
    4. Other Helpful Terminology
  12. 3 The Bones
    1. The Bones—Teresa Perone
  13. 4 Ten Positive Attributes
    1. Bar Scene
  14. 5 Relationships
    1. Application to a Scene
  15. 6 Main Objective
  16. 7 Opposites
  17. 8 Moment Before
  18. 9 Discoveries/Emotions
  19. 10 Beats, Tactics, and Actions
  20. 11 Humor
  21. 12 Place, Transitions, and Sense Memory
    1. Place
    2. Transitions
    3. Sense Memory
  22. 13 Status, Power, and Secrets
  23. 14 The Summary
    1. Bar Scene
  24. 15 The Technique—Condensed
    1. 1 The Bones
    2. 2 Positive Attributes
    3. 3 Relationships
    4. 4 Main Objective
    5. 5 OPPOSITES
    6. 6 Moment Before
    7. 7 Discoveries/Emotions
    8. 8 Beats, Tactics, and Actions
    9. 9 Humor
    10. 10 Place, Transition, and Sense Memory
    11. 11 Status, Power, And Secrets
    12. 12 The Summary
  25. 16 Self-Taping
    1. What Do You Need to Ensure Your Submissions Will Stand Out?
    2. What Equipment Do You Need?
    3. WHERE Do I Find These Auditions?
  26. . . . And Now a Few Words about Commercials
    1. Introduction to Commercials
  27. 17 The Slate
    1. Profiles
  28. 18 From Slate to Copy
  29. 19 Relationships
    1. Substitutions
    2. The Hero Vs. Brand X
  30. 20 Line-to-Line Objectives
  31. 21 The Moment Before and the Tag
  32. 22 Banter
  33. 23 Environment
  34. 24 Embracing the Cliché
  35. 25 Double Copy
  36. 26 The Dreaded Interview
  37. 27 A Few Last Things
    1. Make Sure You Stay Positive
    2. Make Sure You Stay in Relationship
    3. Make Sure Your Body Goes to the Audition With You
    4. Make Strong Choices
    5. Don’t Memorize—Not Yet
    6. Speed is Your Enemy
    7. Ask For a Rehearsal
    8. Know Your Frame
    9. A Few Words About Improv
  38. 28 Your Greatest Asset—You: Acknowledging Your Power
  39. 29 Commercial Practice Copy
  40. Notes
  41. Appendix: Recommended Reading
  42. Index