Actor Tools |4 Things to know when Performing On Camera


1. Know your “Nonverbal” skills.

To define the difference between acting for the stage and acting for the camera, all stage actors are trained in two channels of nonverbal communication: the body and the voice. However, what separates the on-camera actor from the theatrical actor is the on-camera actor must know the three channels of nonverbal communication: the body, the voice, and the face.

Relax into your performance, You need to get out of your head and into your body. It’s important to physically loosen your body and to unfreeze it so that natural life energy and subconscious reactions are set free to happen.

2. Understand camera angles.

Before action, you need to know whether the take will be a close-up, three quarter shot or a wide shot. There are plenty more various camera angles used to capture a scene with an actor. It’s important to at least understand the basics. The director and/or DOP will involve you with the knowledge of what the ‘next set up’ (camera angle/shot) will be so you are aware. If you aren’t told, make sure you ask. Just because the camera is aimed at you from far away does not mean it still isn’t a close-up.

3. Know your eyeline.

It’s important that during a scene you don’t stare into the camera, unless the director wants that for his/her shot. There are times when the other actor is off camera and they will be standing right beside the lens of the camera. Be sure to note where exactly the other actor will be sitting or standing so you have correct eyeline.

4. Know your framing.

From what two points are you permitted to move from side to side or stand up or sit down? Understand the framing so when camera is rolling you don’t accidentally go out of frame. There can be terrific work getting captured and going out of frame can spoil a good scene. Again, you are normally told this information but it is always advised to ask if you are unsure.


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