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Acting Preparation: Differences Between Film and Television Series

Acting is a versatile discipline that spans various formats, from film to television series. Each medium has its own characteristics and demands, meaning that actors must adapt to different approaches in their preparation for a role. In this blog, we will explore the key differences in acting preparation for movies and television series.

1. Narrative Pace and Character Development:

Film:

In film, the narrative tends to have a slower pace and allows for greater depth in character development. Actors have more time to explore the nuances of their roles and build complex arcs throughout the movie.

Television Series:

In television series, the narrative pace is usually faster, with episodes airing weekly. Actors need to be prepared for quicker character development and be able to adapt to more frequent changes in the plot.

2. Volume of Content:

Film:

Movies generally have a limited duration, which means actors face a manageable volume of content and focus on quality over quantity. They can dedicate more time to preparing specific scenes.

Television Series:

Television series, especially long-running ones, can have a large volume of content. Actors must manage an intensive workload, preparing for multiple scenes and character arcs in a shorter period.

3. Flexibility and Adaptability:

Film:

Film production often allows more time for the preparation and shooting of scenes. Actors may have the opportunity to explore different approaches and perform multiple takes to perfect their performances.

Television Series:

In television, the production schedule can be tighter, requiring actors to be highly adaptable. The ability to quickly adjust to changes in the plot or new directions is essential.

4. Continuous Connection with the Character:

Film:

Actors in films can deeply immerse themselves in building and connecting with their characters, but the nature of a film often involves a limited time of continuous commitment.

Television Series:

In television series, actors experience a continuous connection with their characters over several seasons. This requires an emotional investment and a constant understanding of character development.

5. Long-Term Arc Development:

Film:

In films, actors may face more closed and conclusive character arcs. The narrative tends to have a more defined beginning, development, and conclusion within a single work.

Television Series:

In television, actors must prepare for long-term character arcs that evolve over multiple seasons. This involves a continuous understanding of the character’s evolution and the ability to maintain consistency in performances over time.

6. Collaboration with Directors:

Film:

In film production, actors often have more time to closely collaborate with directors and explore different creative approaches for their characters.

Television Series:

In television, where the pace can be faster, collaboration with directors is important, but efficiency and the ability to adapt quickly are crucial.

7. Viewer Experience:

Film:

Viewers experience a complete story in a single sitting, allowing actors to build a powerful and memorable narrative within a limited time frame.

Television Series:

In series, viewers follow the story over multiple episodes, creating a prolonged connection with the characters and allowing actors to deepen their performances over time.

In conclusion:

While acting preparation shares common foundations, acting in film and television requires specific skills and approaches tailored to the unique demands of each medium. Adaptability, time management, and the ability to maintain consistency across variable narrative arcs are essential for success in both settings.

The art of acting and its significance.

In the history of acting, the first known actor is the Greek Thespis, who performed at the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens in the year 534 BC. From its inception, acting has been used to embody and characterize characters, with selection based on a casting process to see how actors perform a certain role. Much of the outcome of the final product depends on the acting. Therefore, it is very important to avoid what is known as casting errors, meaning that selected actors are mismatched with the roles they play, although sometimes this occurs consciously by the production company who imposes certain actors. Additionally, when acting, one must consider the interpretive differences across different mediums. For example, in theater, everything is seen from the front, so the voice must be modulated and gestures exaggerated, whereas in a film shoot, this would be avoided.

What should be taken into account when acting?

Key considerations in acting include:

  • Suitability of appearance for the role
  • All actions (proxemics, kinesics, movements on set, etc.)
  • Facial expressions
  • Interaction with other actors and/or objects
  • Credibility of the performance
  • Preparatory work (knowledge of the script)
  • Tone of voice
  • Impression on the audience or viewer

Acting, therefore, should be based on:

  • The versatility of the actors
  • Conveying emotions
  • Expressiveness
  • The use of facial expressions

Another noteworthy element in acting is photogenicity, which is defined as the ability to know how to position oneself in front of the cameras. Lastly, a good actor should have a good relationship with the entire team, as well as maintaining a dialogue with the director and camera crew to agree on floor marks. If you want to learn much more about acting, don’t hesitate to take a look at our course!

Post-production: editing.

When the Lumière Brothers first projected “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory” on December 28, 1895, they were not aware that they had just begun a new art form, let alone the birth of an industry that would move masses, as for them it was simply a technological advancement that would remain for scientific research, and they never even thought about editing. From its inception, cinema was something entirely astonishing because at that time no one had previously seen a moving image, achieving from the beginning a global expansion, based on the simple recording and projection of fragments, known as “actualities”. However, it did not take long for filmmakers to realize the great expressive potential that cinema has, not only through different shots or special effects, but also through editing and montage. This was born at the hands of Edwin S. Porter in the year 1900, when he realized that by alternating shots of actions, he created tension and dramatization in the viewer. Thus, editing evolved until today, becoming another cinematographic phase, and one that needs to be considered from both the script and the filming process. This cinematographic phase consists of three main operations: selection, combination, and assembly; these three operations aim to achieve, from separate elements at the outset, a whole, which is the film. Editing reconstructs both the time and space of filming, providing continuity.

Stages of Editing

We talk about different stages:

  • Editor’s cut: This initial edit is longer, as it stems from the conjunction of the “rough cuts” that have been made daily.
  • Director’s cut: The editor and producer spend weeks pre-editing the film based on the first version, identifying flaws.
  • Producer’s cut: The producer has more authority than the director to approve the final version, which is why directors sometimes detach themselves from the final product.
  • Final version.

Transitions

When we edit, we use a series of transitions, each with different connotations. We can see them according to the most commonly used:

  • Cut: the first to appear. It maintains the timeline, but the term is now modernizing to signify the passage of time.
  • Fade: implies a passage of time. It’s designed to be noticed by the viewer. If the fade is longer, it plays more with the effect.
  • Wipe: based on the cutting of the frame. It eliminates what’s there and reveals what remains; at some point, both planes are visible at the same time. They were widely used in the 1960s.
  • Action Wipe: no longer in use.
  • Fade to black: disconnects sequences, establishes a sign of separation, as if it were a new paragraph. Its use in the middle of the film signifies a significant passage of time.
  • Fade to white: usually used when there’s a glare.
  • Blur: suggests a return to the past or flashback.
  • Swipe: a very long panorama often used in photojournalism to express a geographical change.

If you want to learn more about editing and montage, be sure to check out our course!

Comedy in cinema

Comedy in cinema

The comedy in cinema is a genre with humorous situations that aims to provoke laughter from the audience. We are facing a genre that had its origins in the Ancient Greece, years later, it passed into the medieval culture of Europe, where it began to be part of traditions. Later on, it was considered a relevant genre in the artistic imagination, mainly in theater and cinema. Comedy in cinema was indebted to caricature. In this genre, powerful or respectable characters were often put in tight spots or ridiculed for the enjoyment of the audience, through situations or visual jokes known in cinematographic jargon as gags. The gag constitutes, in a word, a visually staged joke and the narrative unit of comedic cinema. comedia en el cine In addition to this comedic model, which used to rely on mime language, both in the USA and in Germany, France, and other countries, comedy with more complex plots and a happy ending also developed, where acrobatic antics were not too important, but rather relied on a clever plot. Comedy constituted one of the most popular genres in silent cinema, and it is striking to note that its golden age was precisely canceled around 1929, with the advent of sound cinema, which required comedic formulas with dialogue and different from mime language. This also coincided precisely with the dramatic onset of the Great Depression, which overshadowed the entire horizon of the performing arts and the lives of many citizens.

Elements that characterize it:

Objective: Exaggeration of human flaws and vices with the intention of conveying a moral and educational lesson. Characters are ridiculed so that, through laughter, they are corrected or transmit the preventive method to do so. Theme: Common themes often revolve around deception, mockery, vanity, and theft. Protagonist: The character who embodies the vice or flaw that is to be shown or ridiculed. Conflict: Arises from the problem or vice that the protagonist has. Resolution: It is happy for some or all parties opposed to the protagonist. And whoever embodies the flaw or vice is punished or ridiculed.

The Clapperboard on the Film Set

Clapperboard on the Film Set: Essential Element and Rules of Use

In the frenetic world of cinema, the clapperboard, or slate, is an iconic instrument that triggers the start of a shot and plays a fundamental role in the production process. In this blog, we will explore the importance of the clapperboard on the film set, what information it should include, and the basic rules for its effective use.

Importance of the Clapperboard:

  1. Sound and Image Synchronization: The clapperboard provides a visual and auditory reference point for synchronizing separately recorded sound with filmed footage. The distinctive sound of the clapper closing helps sound technicians align soundtracks perfectly.
  2. Shot and Scene Identification: The information written on the clapperboard, such as the shot number and scene number, is crucial for the efficient identification and organization of footage. It helps editors classify and sort shots during post-production.
  3. Timecode Marker: The clapperboard also includes a timecode bar, allowing editors and directors to easily identify the exact moment the shot was taken. This facilitates review and decision-making during the editing process.
  4. Visual Reference for Editors: The clapperboard provides a clear visual reference on screen, allowing editors to quickly find the start of each shot and navigate through recorded material.

Information on the Clapperboard:

  1. Shot Number: Indicates the specific number of the current shot. It starts from 1 for each new scene.
  2. Scene Number: Represents the number of the scene in the narrative. There may be multiple shots for a single scene.
  3. Film or Project Name: Ensures clear identification of the material and avoids confusion if multiple projects are being filmed in the same location.
  4. Director: The name of the director responsible for the shot.
  5. Date and Time: Records the date and time the shot was taken. It is essential for organization and tracking of production progress.

 

Basic Rules for Clapperboard Use:

  1. Before the Shot: Before closing the clapperboard, the assistant director or designated member must announce the shot number and scene number aloud for recording in the sound recording.
  2. Clear Movement: The clapperboard must be closed clearly and audibly in front of the camera. The distinctive movement and sound aid in synchronization during post-production.
  3. Audio Synchronization: The closing of the clapperboard should coincide with the sound produced by the “clap.” This ensures precise alignment between audio and image.
  4. Maintenance: The clapperboard must be kept in good condition and cleanliness. Inscriptions should be legible, and the slate and timecode bar should be in optimal condition.
  5. Collaboration with the Sound Department: The sound team and the camera team must work closely together to ensure perfect synchronization. Clear communication about shot and scene numbers is essential.

Conclusion: Setting the Cinematic Magic in Motion

On the film set, the clapperboard is not just an accessory but a key element that sets the pace of cinematic production. Its role in synchronizing, identifying, and organizing shots is invaluable. By following the basic rules for its use and ensuring it contains essential information, the clapperboard becomes a reliable partner for directors, editors, and sound teams, thereby contributing to the creation of memorable cinematic works.