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Film Directing – The Triple Take Method


Shooting With The Triple Take Method

A few weeks ago we’ve talked about the Master scene method. Now I want to teach you another film directing technique called “The Triple Take method” and sometimes also called “The Overlapping Method”. It’s a very easy method and the purpose of this directing method is to cut in action while maintaining continuity.¬

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The triple take method is a great method especially when working without a script and for documentaries, but also great for scripted scenes.

How does the film directing technique works?

The main idea here is to start each shot with the last action of the shot before it, so those two actions are now overlapping.¬ Let’s say you have a scene where the actor is opening his house door, entering his home, walking to the TV, opening it and sits on his couch. You will shoot him opening the door and getting inside the house in one angle, then you want to shoot him walking to the TV in a different angle, so you tell the actor to stop, change the angle and now you will shoot him walking towards¬†the TV, but the actor will to go a few steps backwards and start the shot from the part of stepping inside the house, so you¬†will¬†have that action in both angles. Now he is walking to the TV and you want to shoot the part where he turns it on in a different angle, so again, he will take a few steps back and play the action including turning the TV on. Now we want the part of him sitting on the couch in a different angle, so we’ll tell the actor to stop, we’ll change the angle and tell him to start from the part of turning the TV on (which we already filmed in the angle before).
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As I said it’s a very simple method, but I would shoot also a master scene to make sure the editor will have somewhere to turn to if something went wrong and we didn’t notice. Also, remember it’s a very technically scene that might be hard for the actor to work with, so don’t use it on emotional scenes.

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Film Directing – Auditioning Actors for Film

Auditioning Actors – Rules & Tips

Auditioning actors is a field that many beginners at¬†film directing are taking for granted, It’s a very hard and long process that many directors choose to not be part of. I think the reason¬†is because¬†this is a stage where you have to make great decisions. You don’t want to do a mistake at this stage. In these days you have more options than ever, so making a mistake is even more scary.

Auditioning actors is also a great chance for the director to hear his texts being played ¬†for the first time and it’s a great opportunity to test scenes that you weren’t sure about them.¬ That’s why I’m going to give you some¬†tips for setting up auditions. I think that there is nothing worse than getting stuck in production. When you find a good actor that can act and listen, you did 90 percent of your actor’s directing job.

The main idea is to play with the actor. Try different approaches to him. For example, you can let a guy play a female role in the script and vice versa and see what happens.

Casting Director

The auditioning¬†of actors is a complete field we can talk about for hours. That’s why, if you have the option, use a casting director, It can be great. Today the casting directors, in my opinion, don’t get the respect they deserve, but I really think it’s an important role.
These are the skills needed for a casting director: good communication, better identification of talent, good management ability, the ability to direct and paying attention to detail.
The director needs to explain to the casting director what he wants what his vision for the film is and the specific role

Advertising the audition

The possibilities for advertising your auditions are diverse. You can advertise on Facebook, acting groups, industrial sites, acting schools and so on. Once you post you are looking for actors, you will probably be flooded with e-mails from dozens of actors. That’s why you should try to a specific description of the part as you can. You should describe the character name, age, important characterization points and two interesting sentences about it. If the physical description is important, you can add that one too.
Most actors will send you photos and resumes. Often there is a temptation to check only the images, but it is very important to read their resumes too.

Rent a room for auditions

Do not audition actors in your home or your friend’s home. It shows the lack of professionalism and can be a little intimidating for actresses. It is worth investing a few dollars renting rehearsal room.

Auditions forms filling

While the actors are waiting for their turn, give them to pre-fill a form that will include date, the name of the production, below that, make room for actor information: name, address, home phone and mobile, email and the role he is faced.

Schedule your auditions

All the actors auditions should be between 10 and 20 minutes, tops! You should have someone to be with the actors that are waiting in the hallway. There should also be refreshments.

What are you looking for when you cast an actor

You really should know what it is you are looking for when you are auditioning actors. Maybe the role you are casting is one that demands the actor to give parts from his life outside. Does the actor ready for that kind of  vulnerability? I will talk about it later on this post and will explain how to do that, but I will mention it now too Рyou need to check if your actor can listen Рnot only to you but also to the actor he is playing with. The important element you should check is can the actor take the lines you gave him and make them sound like they are his own.

Pay attention to the small details


When auditioning actors it’s very hard to find in a few minutes if an actor can really act, so what you have to look mainly is his charisma and screen presence. Note the actor immediately as he enters the room. Pay attention to his body language, is it conveys security or insecurity? note his walking style, the way he sits, does he talk too much? Did he come unprepared? If the actor got some information about the character he is faced, pay attention to what he wore in honor of the audition.

Audition Management


Actors audition begin with an introductory interview. The actor will talk to the camera and say his name and age and preferably also a phone number, in case the form get lost. You can ask questions like, what have you done lately? What was the most enjoyable role he played so far? What were your experiences of previous productions? and so on.

‚ÄúThe most important job of the director is casting. If you can cast your film in an interesting way, then you‚Äôre 50 percent there.”

Susan Seidelman

You should also tell them about yourself. Your experience and how did you get that movie. Explain how many days of filming are ahead, and how many days of rehearsals are needed. note their responses. If they are too hesitant, you might want to give them up.

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Sometimes you may prefer to do only the first reading of the text. At this time, the actor gets the text for the first time at the audition. He will probably ask questions about the text (you can learn a lot about the actors from these questions). I like to start by just telling them to just do their thing. That way I can see what they are able to bring without my direction. When they start acting, note his acting and the character he brings you. Does he have something good you have not thought of before? If something does not work for him, try to let him do the part standing up. Sometimes it is a good idea to give them a direction just to see if they can follow a direction, so it’s a good thing to bring one even if you don’t feel it is needed.¬† Let them read the text for themselves first, then adjust them a little in order to see how they understand what you are saying, then give them a completely different direction. What is important here than the way the actors act, is how they change their acting in accordance with your instructions.

Set a relaxed mood

Keep in mind that the actor is very tight and probably you will be stressed too. Try to calm him down with respect. If the actor does not fit, you may want to tell him gently in place, instead of having him sitting on the phone days in anticipation for your call.

Working in pairs

If there’re roles such as lovers couples, mother, and son, etc., you should invite them to audition together and see the chemistry.
Generally, you should let the actor act with another actor so that it is easy to produce emotional responses.

Shoot the audition


If it possible,
shoot the audition and if possible, let someone else do it and tell him to shoot it from several angles. On the other hand, it is advised that the camera man won’t be too noticeable because it can put pressure on the actor that way.
The camera man should take as many close-ups as he can, to see facial expressions and as many medium shots, to absorb body movements.

Sometimes it is advised to shoot actors when they are not aware of the camera. Suppose as assistant director gives the actor notes between takes, He can sit where the other actor is sitting then the camera man will take the actors reactions while he listens.

Decision-making and Last tips


If you’re debating between two actors on one character, it is better to go for the actor with more experience and talent than the one that looks better.

In low budget movies, it is very easy to find yourself compromising the process of auditions with actors you do not feel complete with them. Try not to let that happen. If the actor is not really enthusiastic about the part, the audience will feel it.

Just remember, as Jack Nicolson once said, Once you cast someone for a movie, that person is perfect for the role.

Film directing – Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Film Director?

The Film Director Requirements

Learning how to direct a film is kind of fun stuff, but there are a lot of responsibilities that are coming with it. Eventually, you are going to be in charge on a lot of money, so let see first if you have what it takes to become a film director.

Know the filmmaking craft

Before you start directing a film, make sure you know the film directing fundamentals and film directing techniques. It’s been known that the job of the film directing is¬†to tell a story with pictures and sounds,¬†but the truth is¬†that In film directing the story is being told also through actors, art design,¬†clothes design, dialog styles and more.¬†You are in charge on all of that.¬†That’s why the director must have knowledge in all the filmmaking departments like script writing, camera and lightning techniques, sound designvideo editing etc.¬†If you’ll look at the most respectable directors, you’ll see that many of them¬†have a gift at least in one of these departments. Find yours and develop it.

Visualizing abilities

In the article The film director’s vision I talk about¬†how to translate the script into visual shots and concept that it unique to you.¬†On the next articles I am planning to talk about¬†the tools that will help you do that like storyboard and shooting script,
but the bottom line is:
While you are visualizing your movie (which is the main job of the director in In film directing), you’ll need to do it through the departments mentioned above.¬†You will learn how to develop your visualization skills with practice.

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Film as many short films as you can

Like everything else in life, film directing is all about¬†practice.¬†Shoot as much as you can and offer yourself to participate¬†in as many productions as you can.¬†Shooting a lot of shorts will also help you to get your deepest artistic voices, out of the system¬†until you’ll find the one that works best for you.¬†You have to be ready to deal with the fact that most of your first shorts¬†will be bad ones and that you can only learn In film directing by making mistakes.

Find your own true voice

As a film director and an artist, you will have to find your inner voice-¬†the one that separates you from all the others.¬†You’ll have to be real honest with yourself and listen to it very good.¬†I recommend reading my article, Find your inner voice, to learn better how to do that.¬†Understanding your true voice is not enough.¬†you will also have to keep it as your guide through all the trip.¬†That means to watch out from what other people say,¬†but also to watch out for yourself.¬†Don’t try to show out how smart and artistic you are¬†and focus completely on what the movie really needs.

Become a leader

The different betweena In film directing and other arts like¬†a poetry or a painter is that the film directors have to lead¬†a big crew after him.¬†You’ll have to be good with people and also¬†know how to push them to their limits,¬†so you can take out the best from each one of them.¬†You’ll need to be able to guide them, inspire them¬†and supervised them all at once.You’ll have to make decisions that sometimes will be against the view of your crew.¬†You will also have to lead with confidence.¬†There is nothing worse for actors and crew member than¬†to follow a director that is unsure of his actions.¬†If you don’t know what to do in certain situations,¬†don’t be afraid to console with the right crew members¬†and then make a confident decision.¬†Sometimes the producers will try to change things in your script to lower the expenses.¬†Unless you really agree with their changes,¬†it will be your job to defend the script.¬†With all of that, you’ll have to remember that you are working with artists,¬†and an open mind is needed too.

Recommended books on film directing

Film Directing- The Master Scene Method

Using The Master Scene Technique

The Master scene method¬†is the first tool you’ll use when you approach a scene. No matter how much you’ve worked on your shooting script, there is always something that can go wrong on set and you’ll miss¬†it .¬†The master shot technique method¬†comes to the rescue in such cases.

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The master scene method is one of the¬†films directing fundamentals¬ techniques that began during the silent movies in the 20’s. It was a time when video editing wasn’t as easy as it is now.¬

The Master shot method means to shoot the whole scene in one long take in a wide angle ( See types of shots articlewith all its important elements and then you can move on to shoot the coverage shots like the over the shoulder, medium shots, close-ups etc.

Now,

In the editing room, if you find you missed a shot, you can go to this cover shot to the rescue.

Master shot method tip
When shooting a scene in a room, the master shot will usually be in the opposite corner. If you are shooting outside, just look for the farthest spot that will cover everything in the shot.

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A few tips about working with master scene method

Before I’ll tell you how to do this the right way, here are some tips you need to know:

  • Start the shooting with the master shot before the coverage shots to prevent problems in the continuity of the scene.

  • When a scene is too long or has a complex movement, it is recommended to break the Master shots into 2 masters.¬

  • Watch for the 180-degree rule¬†(see¬ rules of the camera)¬†while you shoot the master and the coverage.

  • When you plan the shooting script breakdown, think about the time it will take¬†to change the lightning¬†from the master shot to the coverage shots.

  • Make sure you start the shot from the beginning of the scene until the ending of it.

  • Master shot method can also be used to add a certain atmosphere.

When this method is done properly, the audience will barely feel it was made to cover faults.

Shooting in one take is not as hard as it sounds

Don’t waste too much time on it. It’s not a big deal if the actors make mistakes.¬ It all If an actor gets confused in the middle of the scene,¬†you can take the second take from that point.

So this is a very basic but useful film technique that is used a lot in¬†Film directing.¬

I recommend to read also about¬ The Triple- Take Technique.

Recommended books on film directing