(This is #2 in a series about my current feature film project. To read #1, click here.)
We have a cast! And we meet next week to read through the screenplay together. So I’m deep in the throes of anxcitement (anxiety + excitement). Why? Because making a film is like painting with living paint. Paint that doesn’t stay put, that runs where your brush never went and bleeds into colors you never thought to combine it with.
Who are the “paints” in my palette? Designers and prop builders, cinematographers, composers, gaffers (lighting people). And actors.
Film actors have to live in front of the camera. They can’t pretend to be real. They have to be real. Michael Curtiz, the director of Cassablanca, put it this way: “Don’t act, just think–and the camera will see it.” Think. Feel. Be real.
My job is to place my actors in circumstances that allow them to be real, to make audiences forget they’re acting. Because, in a very real sense, they’re not. I want–need–their colors to move in unexpected directions, to bleed into one another.
One of the most exciting things a filmmaker can experience is having their vision run away from them. To see it become something larger, richer, and more real than anything they could ever have created on their own.
Anxciting, isn’t it?