on 29 August 2008
This is a book about directing actors, written by a director, but it's written by a very clear headed and humble director.
The examples given are usually from the director's own films and most of them detail the mistakes he made in misunderstanding the actors in the films.
More than any other book I've read on the subject, this helped me (finally) understand what actors look for in roles and why they seem to be focussing on some strange things in their work? The simple answer is that they're not strange if you see things from their perspective. They're actually very important, even key, details that help the actor create the character.
This book is all about putting yourself in other people's shoes and communicating clearly. In fact the lessons in the book go beyond acting and directing and cover wider management skills too.
It's also a very readable book on Hollywood.