Directing film or television is a high-stakes occupation - the white water rafting of entertainment jobs. It captures your full attention at every moment, calling on you to commit every resource and stretch yourself to the limit. But for many directors, the excitement they feel about a new project tightens into anxiety when it comes to working with actors. "Directing Actors" is a method for establishing creative, collaborative relationships with actors, getting the most out of rehearsals, troubleshooting poor performances, and giving directions that are briefer and easier to follow. The following issues are discussed: what constitutes a good performance; what actors want from a director; what directors do wrong; script analysis and preparation; how actors work; and the director/actor relationship. "Directing Actors" is the first book of its kind. Judith investigates in detail the sometimes painful, often frustrating, but potentially exhilarating relationship between actor and director. It provides simple, practical tools that directors and actors can use immediately - and takes the reader on a journey through the complexities of the creative process itself.
Although one chapter is entitled 'Result Direction and Quick Fixes', the tools and suggestions of the book are now superficial band-aids or facile jargon; they are radical excursions into the perhaps most misunderstood artistic collaboration - that of director with actor. Judith Weston brings to this book twenty years of professional acting and nine years of teaching Acting for Directors. Her students include academy Awards and Emmy winning directors, writers and producers of studio and independent feature films, television episodes and MOWs. The first book to directly address directors about working with actors.
'A kit of concrete, practical tools to make the ineffable reachable. Time and time again over many takes or performances.' David Chase, executive producer, Northern Exposure, I'll Fly Away. 'Brilliant and original and true' Polly Platt, producer, Bottle Rocket, Say Anything, War of the Roses, Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News 'Judith has pulled off a hat trick - a book that is exciting for beginners and extremely useful for professionals; that is both 'how-to' and 'self-help'; and one that not only inspires the mind but the heart as well' Peter Werner, Oscar and Ace winning, Emmy and DGA nominated director. 'This is everything a director should know about working with actors.' Steven Charles Jaffe, executive producer, Ghost; producer, Star Treck VI, Strange Days 'After living on movie sets for over fifteen years, Judith's class opened a door for me to an aspect of that creative process about which I had never really been aware-acting.' Ron Judkins, production sound mixer, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List 'Judy's class made me better able to judge actors' performances.' Arthur Coburn, Editor, The Mask, Dominick & Eugene, Beverly Hills Cop 'A must read for any director working with actors. Directing actors is filled with constructive information that would serve not only the neophyte but also the skilled professional director.' DGA Magazine 'Directing Actors is a terrific book - informative, exciting, even inspirational.' Joe Ruben, director, Return to Paradise, Money Train, Sleeping with the Enemy 'Judith Weston understands the complex relationship that exists between actor and director. She demystifies the psychology of actors by explaining in simple terms what they need from the director in order to bring their roles to life. Whether a first-time director or an experienced veteran, you'll benefit from listening to Judith Weston.' Mark Steven Johnson, Writer, Grumpy Old Men; director, Simon Birch