Directing actors is not easy. You need to choreograph every one of them and pay attention to each of them during the scene, and while you’re doing that, you need to remember that their job is making them very vulnerable. That is why many directors don’t like or are afraid of directing actors and want to focus more on the shooting. I hope you don’t feel like it. If you want your acting to be good, as a director, you need to treat your actors with respect, and this is what I’m going to talk with you about today. Now, you may like it or not, but actors are one of the most critical elements of your film, and directing actors is, in my opinion, about 50% of directing, so you better learn how to deal with them.
If a director can’t make an actor understand how he sees the character, his all film vision might be damaged. Actors are the ones that bring life into your characters and to the lines of the script. If the actor is good, every face and movement he’ll do will be full of meanings, just like every shot angle you choose to shoot. To get your actors bests, you have to create, as a director, the best atmosphere that works for both of you.
The first thing you need to do when you work with an actor is to find what is the unique ingredient that the actor can give to your character. Every good actor gets to bring something else. Some actors can bring authenticity, and some can bring comedy portions.
Find out what is your actor’s talent and use it.
The director and actor have a unique relationship. The director is the watcher, and the actor is the one being watched. That is something that puts the actor in a very vulnerable position. The actor is taking a huge risk by taking the front line of the show. Just for making that big of a chance for your movie, they deserve your respect.
A good actor will bring something personal from himself. If the actor is good, he will expose very private parts from himself, and that also makes him vulnerable.
When you direct them, don’t be too harsh and listen to what you are saying. Try to create a positive atmosphere. For example, instead of saying, “Let’s do it again and this time doesn’t talk so fast,” you can say, “Let’s do it again and this time trie to talk slower.”
Also, try to pay attention to all of the actors in the scene. As directors, we tend to forget the small part characters, but they need care and direction too, so watch out for that.
I also recommend you to take an acting class. This will help you to understand how actors feel while acting.
Before you start working with an actor of his character, you should know the character’s nature and its background. Introduce the actor to the world the character is living in. Think about the kind of movies or music the character likes. Have a paper with everything you know about the role and let the actor add his point of you, but make sure he stays in the film’s world.
Don’t say stuff like “Do it funnier” or “You need to be scarier” This is a very general directing. You have to tell the actors how to act what you want. A good trick is to use metaphors. Let’s say your actor needs to play a guy asking a girl on a date; you can tell him to act as if he is in a job interview.