Articles, Blog

Acting for the Camera


This is Florida Gulf Coast University WOMAN: Well, you know how you keep
mentioning the Bahamas? MAN: Yes!
WOMAN: Yeah, so I called. MAN: Okay.
WOMAN: And I was trying to get us a cruise to the Bahamas.
MAN: We’re going to the Bahamas! WOMAN: No. They gave me a free trip…
MAN: Yes… WOMAN: To Alaska. MAN: I’m done with you. What do you mean,
Alaska? What do I look like? GERRITT: This course is the
Acting for the Camera class, It’s a first-time collaboration between
the Theatre department and WGCU, the Public Broadcasting
affiliate located here on our campus. The goal of this course is
to give our students real-world experience in
a professional setting practicing on-camera acting skills. We’ve worked on two camera scenes,
comedy and dramatic, we’ve worked on commercial scenes. NICOLE: So we got to pick a comedic
commercial something with our character type, and memorize it, come in off-book, and
just do it for the camera. MARK: Then we get critiqued by our peers,
we watch the video over. It’s a whole lot of fun and allows you
to use your creativity skills to make something your own. GERRITT: We’ve worked on basics, like
slating in front of a camera, introducing yourself, those sorts of things. KAREN: My conversation is just about
the audition process. In three lines, you, actor, need
to create a character. MARK: I actually came to college
to do business and I fell in love with acting on the side,
completely unexpected. I didn’t consider it something that I would
do long-term, until I found out that I loved it. I mean,
why not do what you absolutely love? GERRITT: It’s a challenge. It’s very different
from acting on stage. MARK: Beside the fact that you’re actually
in the moment, living and reacting, the difference is, when you’re
here on camera, you don’t have a whole lot of staging,
it’s usually, you’re in place, and it’s more about this part,
this whole section in here, instead of your own body.
You have to be a lot quieter. NICOLE: Stage work is all about body
movement, all about matching your emotions, your wants,
your tactics, and your character along with your body. Everything is
really big, everything is really drawn out. With the camera, you get the chance to be
a little bit more reserved. Everything is with the face or with
the mouth or with the eyes, rather than with the whole body. You can tell the same story as you
would on stage, but everything’s a little bit diluted,
which is really cool. GERRITT: It’s very exacting. You have to be very precise in your
movements and hit your marks exactly, but you get to be spontaneous in a way
that you can never be in the theatre, not really. Theatre is about practicing the craft and
honing it. Acting for the camera is about being
spontaneous, in the moment. STUDENT: No, it’s a raccoon. MARK: You serious?
STUDENT: Dead serious. It’s just like a dog, man. MARK: That thing, like, lets you hold it? GERRITT: When you’re acting on stage, you’re in front of a big group of people, and a big group of people can be
looking anywhere on stage. When you’re acting for the camera,
you’re really acting for one person: the viewer.
And it’s the camera that tells the viewer what to look at. It’s much more intimate.
The camera can be up-close in a way that the stage
doesn’t allow the audience to be. MARK: And it’s really revealing. This is the place where you can really
be vulnerable and kinda create your own story. NICOLE: Learning to train my body to back down, like, being vulnerable on camera
is really fun. MARK: This is definitely something I
suggest to anybody. STUDENT: I’m on a horse.

8 Comments

  1. Miss Blonde Ambition Author

    I already love to act and have been doing it since I was 5. I am really glad to know that FGCU offers a program to teach students how to really act.

    Reply

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