We actors may think that all we need to do to become one of the greats is to practice. While that is helpful, it’s also beneficial that we study film and understand how the professionals do it.
Here are a few reasons why I believe studying film can help you unlock greatness in your acting.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
If you want to replicate an emotion or action another actor does, you first need to watch the scene at hand. If you are trying to follow a similar style of a particular actor, you need to know exactly how they portray that style.
The best way to do this is to watch as many of their films as possible and to gather information about how they hold themselves and respond to certain stimuli.
We as humans are great at mimicry, so watching and practicing the work of someone highly esteemed is incredibly helpful in growing our abilities.
Genre Genre Genre
Studying film can help you to figure out which genre you are most drawn to and can help you understand the intricacies of each one individually.
Watching films of various genres will not only expand your film repertoire, but can also help you greatly in advancing as an actor. As you watch many genres you are able to see the tropes each one plays with, as well as how to portray your character based on the feel of the movie.
Knowledge Of Work
As an actor, it’s useful to familiarise yourself with the work that other actors and directors have done, especially with auditions.
When stepping into auditions, knowing at least some of the projects the crew have been a part of can give you a bit of a leg up.
It shows that you did your research and actually care about what you are auditioning for.
This also can give you an idea of the particular style the director might have, and could help influence the way you portray your character.
Behind The Scenes
Watching the behind the scenes and the commentary on films is very beneficial.
They are made to let the viewer see what went into the creation of the film, as well as what the actors did in various scenes to get their point across.
Behind the scenes footage and commentaries can help actors get a glimpse of the preparation that goes into a film as well as gain insight into ways to benefit a set.
Commentaries are particularly good to watch because it is literally the cast and director explaining the breakdown of each scene.
Seeing and hearing what the actors and director have to say regarding the scenes is an incredible resource we get because it gives a clear explanation as to why a scene looked and felt a certain way, as well as why certain character choices were made.
This can then help influence our decisions when practicing a role.
Overall, it’s just plain fun!
We as filmmakers should naturally just enjoy sitting down to watch really any type of film — it’s in our blood!
Gaining the opportunity to head to the cinema to watch the latest film, or one we’ve highly anticipated is one of the simple pleasures of being a filmmaker because we get to experience it in ways others don’t.
As an added bonus, you get to see the look of astonishment on your friends’ faces when participating in discussions regarding movies, given your vast knowledge and seemingly endless list of films you’ve seen.
Next time you’re watching a film try to remember some of these topics mentioned, it just might give you inspiration towards your next performance!