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How to Work with a Film Director

You got the part in the movie! Great! Now it’s time to start working with the rest of the cast. Whether it’s a one-day gig or a recurring role in a series, you will be meeting and working with other people in the industry.

Each crew needs a leader, someone who has the vision and makes sure all others work toward that vision. The captain or the leader is in charge of guiding the whole crew on the set. That leader that we are talking about is the director. Explore Talent is here to give you tips on how to work with a film director.

Don’t Be Negative

A workplace, no matter what your job is, should always have a positive atmosphere. When you walk into a rehearsal room or a set, be excited about the work day you are about to begin. Be civilized and greet everyone. Learn their names and get to know them. Respect everybody on the team. Be a team player, not a wannabe diva. A poor attitude will not get you anywhere.

Before you walk onto the set, you should know a little about the director’s background and past projects. Make sure you introduce yourself when you walk in. Be open to take direction and build a positive bridge of communication between yourself and the director.

Be Punctual

Time is money, so they say. Respect the people you work with and try to show up even a few minutes early. Barring accidents and emergencies, there is absolutely no excuse for you to keep the cast waiting. When you arrive on set, make sure you are prepared. Know your lines, and be ready to give a good performance. The director is in charge of a lot of things, so keep up your end of the bargain. There are many things a director needs to run smoothly, and actors knowing their lines is just one item on the list.

An actor who is always prepared and punctual will be remembered as a good cast member. By being prepared, you are allowing yourself enough time to study the role and get the details of your performance perfect. If there is something about your role or lines that you want to question, ask the director if you can meet privately to discuss your concerns. Don’t waste the director’s time on the set by asking a bunch of questions when you are about to perform. Just set a time when the two of you can go over the scene and what you think should be done.

Be a Team Player

When you are selected to be part of the cast, aside from being prepared and on time, you should also respect the director’s casting choices. It’s not all about you, so be willing to see the scene portrayed with someone else’s vision. You may not like what the director has planned for the scene, but you should be willing to try it to see if the roles work. If you are asked for your opinion, then give your input on what you think should be done in the scene.

Don’t be combative, but always strive to see things from another’s perspective. Director’s have more experience than a newbie actor, so always listen to their ideas and don’t be afraid to take a risk. You don’t always have to follow exactly what the director wants because you have a measure of creative freedom to portray the role in your own style. Together with the other cast members and with the director’s guidance, you can all come up with a way to make the scene work for the project.

These are just the top three tips that we can give you so that your experience on set will be better. These tips can be especially helpful to someone who is new to the industry and doesn’t know exactly what they should be doing with regard to their behavior toward their cast members.

No matter what level of acting skill you are at, know that being punctual, professional, and flexible are always good traits to have. Acting is not a static job. These acting tips are given to help you be able to adjust to the scene, set, and cast members you will be working with.

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