Back at the Danish Film School this week and eager to share my experiences. Monday we watched the documentary Testamentet/The Will , a fascinating story of a pair of loser brothers about to inherit a ton of money. I can highly recommend this movie if you get a chance to see it. After the film there was a Q&A with the director, producer and editor. While I often think of documentaries as boring, I also tend to think of it as a more honorable media than fiction. Documentary director/writers are journalists, the rest of us are just making stuff up.
I missed Tuesday because I was home with a sick kid. Today I was thrown head on into our Acting for Writers course with screenwriter Hanna Lundblad and actress Sara Boberg. Even for an roleplaying veteran like me it was quite challenging to act out scenes with the others. Fondling fellow (male) students isn’t something that comes natural to me. In case you were wondering.
It’s hard to describe in punchlines the lessons I picked up today, but here’s some of it :
When writing the scene with actors in mind, it’s important to have decided:
- Who drives the scene
- What came before
- What kind of emotion the characters enter the scene with
- What kind of plan they have
- What is the turning point
Now, about turning points; I never really understood what that was about, until I read Robert McKee’s Story. I used to think it was something that turned everything upside down. It’s not. In a single scene, the turning point is where there is a shift in balance, and it’s there to make sure the opening and the ending of the scene are different. If they are the same, you could argue that nothing has really happened in the scene, and it runs the risk of being cut. So try to have characters enter with a plan, an emotion or an expectation and try to end the scene as far away from this as possible. Usually there is a moment in the scene, where they realize they can’t get what they were after or that things are not as they expected; That’s the turning point. It’s not rocket science.
Hope you got something out of this. I’ll try to post again later this week.