Theory of Directing 2

As promised, the introduction from the following book:

Handbook of Acting Techniques edited by Arthur Bartow.
London : Nick Hern, 2008.
Edith Cowan University library, call number 792.028 HAN

Handbook of Acting Techniques – introduction

This is a clear and concise overview of the development of acting techniques and training from Stanislavsky onwards in the United States of America. Most professional actors will have trained or be accustomed to the language of Stanislavsky and other techniques described in the book.

Some relevant YouTube links:

1. A director’s relationship with an actor: I Don’t Heart Huckabees

An infamous out-take from the shoot of the feature film, I Heart Huckabees. The director loses his temper after getting into an argument with actress Lily Tomlin over stage business – how to hold a folder of papers. Search ‘Lily Tomlin’ on IMDB and compare her credits and experience with writer/director David O. Russell. Meanwhile, Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman doesn’t say a word.

2. Directors who improvise scripts: Fred Willard talks about Christopher Guest

Actor Fred Willard (you might recognise him as the father of Phil in Modern Family) talks about working with director Christopher Guest. Guest is famous for his improvised ‘mockumentaries’: This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show.

3. Acting before Stanislavsky: Silent Film Acting Exercises

This is a clip from The Imposters (imdb), a 1998 comedy starring Stanley Tucci (Burlesque, Devil Wears Prada) and Oliver Platt as two out-of-work silent movie comedians, like ‘Laurel and Hardy’. In this scene they practice acting emotions for silent films. This is the antithesis of Stanislavskian ‘truthful’ acting.


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