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Old 06-03-2015, 06:13 AM   #1
lorenarcp
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Directing a non-actress

Hi all!

My name is Lorena and I'm in the pre-production of my short-film.
At the moment I'm struggling with the will of casting a non-actress for the leading and only part, as I'm aware on how it is generally advised not to cast non-actors. I feel she would be perfect for it though, as she moves in life as I would like my character to move in my film, but has no experience on how to behave in front of a camera.

I was wondering if any of you could give me helpful advice, as I would love to make her feel more comfortable, but am unsure on the best way of proceding with it. There are no dialogues or other characters in the short-film.

Many thanks! =]
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Old Today   #1A
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:58 AM   #2
Sweetie
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If you're serious about this film, re-cast.

If you're not so serious, realize that the best you're going to get it a non-actor performance. Simplify the role as much as you can. It's good that there is no dialog. Ensure you capture the emotion you need from your camera movements and music and not rely upon the performance. Basically, you may find you'll be in damage control mode as opposed to directing to get the best performance from your talent.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:04 PM   #3
sfoster
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I think you should do a audition for her and see what she is really like in front of the camera. It may surprise you.

For non-actors it's generally best to do line readings for them in my experience.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:03 PM   #4
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I would go along with sfoster. Sometimes you get pleasantly surprised or find that the person is not suited for the role.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:15 PM   #5
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What I suggest... if you are directing... you better know how to act!

Often, the best directors are actors... or at least they are trained in acting theory. Some of the best directors this past century. Fellini, Herzog, etc. cast non-actors. If you know how to direct and if you can work with them and make them "find their need" motivation or what have you in a scene... if you get to know who you are working with, you can get a great performance.

If you have no training and they have no training... your film might suck. But you never know. Some experiments succeed!
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:09 PM   #6
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You find some hidden gems in non-actors. Just be careful because it can always backfire.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:02 AM   #7
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non-actors also require more shooting time on set.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:47 PM   #8
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non-actors also require more shooting time on set.
and more time off set too! Having a great actor certainly makes your film better and everything run smoother
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:28 AM   #9
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Why is this even a question? Would you hire a camera operator who'd never picked up a camera before? Or an electrician who didn't know the first thing about it? So why hire a non-actor for an acting role?
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:06 PM   #10
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Test...at worst (or best) your gonna make a pink flamingo.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:19 PM   #11
directorik
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This was posted more than three years ago and she never
returned. I wonder what she decided?
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:15 PM   #12
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I don't wonder.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister_s View Post
why hire a non-actor for an acting role?
I'm guessing the "actress" was someone with a good look, but no experience. It happens fairly often with models and singer, like Whitney Houston in THE BODYGUARD.
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister_s View Post
Why is this even a question? Would you hire a camera operator who'd never picked up a camera before? Or an electrician who didn't know the first thing about it? So why hire a non-actor for an acting role?
Hiring an actor is totally different from hiring DP's or sound mixers or any other key crew members. Quite a few directors has frequently hired non-actors, even for principal roles, for getting the naturalistic performances.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064541/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1153690/
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:50 PM   #15
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Lorena has one post from 3 years ago.. this thread is at the end of its life cycle.
If anyone wants to PM her maybe she'll get a notification and let us know how it went.
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