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Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television Paperback – 18 Jun 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (18 Jun 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941188248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941188241
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.1 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Author

Greetings to readers
Hello! I wanted to say THANK YOU to all the readers who have been emailing me with their responses to the book. It means everything to me to know that you are finding DIRECTING ACTORS helpful and even inspiring. I've been doing quite a bit of traveling since the book came out -- Last year I went to a number of film festivals, and gave seminars and book signings at the Sundance Festival, the Taos Talking Pictures Festival, bookstores in New York and San Francisco, as well as a number of book signings in Los Angeles. I traveled as a teacher too -- In addition to my Acting for Directors workshops in Los Angeles, I went last year twice to Amsterdam, giving three workshops on each visit. And I returned home a few days ago from a trip to Helsinki, Finland, where I taught two workshops. I feel very lucky to be able to meet filmmakers from all over the world, in person and via email.

I'll be teaching an Acting for Directors workshop in New York City on March 27-29. If you are interested in information on the New York workshop, or my workshops in Los Angeles, please email me. Thank you and best wishes. Judith

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "briskiboy" on 11 Aug 2004
Format: Paperback
I am a trained actor who has worked within the film and television industry and am about to direct my third short film. Directing is something quite new to me. This book took me to new heights as i searched for a deeper sense of understanding of what makes for great, playable direction; the key to guiding actors towards truly wonderful performances, unforgettable films and enough ammunition to accomodate every angle you need when directing fianlly begins.
Each and every element of this book is connected seamlessly, developing with your own learning curve. Well written. Beautifully constructed, it rings on so many bells that tell you in no uncertain terms exactly what you can find within yourself to make you a great director if only you will take the time to invest in it. I have only had this book 2 days and i am starting to read it over for the second time to cement its principles to my approach. I now see so much inner life within my script and cannot wait to get into my next rehearsal. If you are a director and think you know how to communicate with actors on yours and their terms then you might just need to wipe the slate clean and start again. And you wont regret it. I assure you. I urge both would be actors and directors alike to indulge themselves.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Mar 1998
Format: Paperback
Judith does a masterful job of educating on the fine art of communicating effectively and constructively with actors. Many of her insights and recommendations translate very easily into the "real" world, allowing you to not only practice these techniques more frequently, but also hone you communication skills with those around you. A series of "quick fixes" are offered up that are effective ways of getting you to think "outside of the box", and each is elaborated on and folded into more in-depth techniques. All in all, one of the best of MANY books I have read on directing and communicating with actors!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Dec 1999
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as a first time theatre director and also an aspiring film director. i loved the no-nonsense approach, and Weston's realistic impressions of what actors and directors really feel. I found it very useful, and I think that many of the techniques are equally useful for the stage as well as for the screen. I certainly found them so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JB Moussa on 16 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback
Directing Actors is a very practical guide on how to bring out the acting in your talents. Judith Weston tells you about the misconceptions and takes time to describe the character of an actor. As well as listing the wrong ways to talk to your actors, the book wanders into the realms of personality and understanding people, an essential since making a film is all about understanding both your characters in the script and the characters who are playing those roles.

She teaches you how to give FACTS and PRACTICAL TASKS to your actor, instead of simply telling him what emotion you want. There are a couple of wonderful true stories dotted here and there in each section, which really explain the relationships between a director and an actor and get across the point Judith is trying to make.

There are a couple of occasions where 'blocking' is mentioned, a technique that I believe is going out of date recently. However, Directing Actors is such an encompassing, rich read that I would strongly recommend it to actors and directors alike.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Yarasmodai on 23 May 2011
Format: Paperback
The book has a lot of ideas to offer, and the writer is very knowledgable. Unfortunately, most of it is theory, with little concern for practicality.
The teachings in this book would work perfectly in an ideal world where all actors are excellent, they all think the same and the time available in your production is limitless. The reality is that many of the methods mentioned in the book cannot be used in real life.
Another annoying thing is how the writer makes her point in one sentence and then writes eight additional paragraphs just to add more pages to the book. It becomes very tedious after the first two chapters to have to read monotonous and useless repetition after every point.
It is an interesting book and there are definitely things to be learnt (but not followed dogmatically), although overall it could have been a quarter of the length.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is different from all the other books on directing, as it just covers working with actors. I didn't realise, before reading this book, just how much work was needed to get the performance you require from your actors. It is very in depth, and explains all the problems that can occur, and all the preperation you need to do before you start to shoot. Very much written from an actors perspective, so you know what actors are looking for, so you can get good interaction and a good working relationship. This is the book you want if you want to get a great performance and not just want to know where to point your camera, to get good shots.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fabulous book. It is truthful, honest, informative, focussed, insightful and intuitive.I have been a director for nearly 15 years and this book has helped me to focus all that I've learned, and more importantly given me new ways to apply all that I've learned, in an enormously thorough way. If you are relatively experienced or not, if you are directing actors, you should read this.
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