Published on February 23, 2014
Critically research and explain the technical and creative roles of a director in a moving image production.
When working with actors, a director must maintain control of all situations. A directors job is to help the actors be the best they can be in the role they are playing. This may mean that the director will need to personally guide the actors through the storyline and help them understand their role.
Body language is key in acting. A director must make sure that the actors in the scene know exactly how the character should be feeling at the time and what body language they should use to portray this. For example: If the actor was playing the role of someone extremely happy, their body language would be smiling, loose arms etc. This is a complete contrast to how they would need to look if they where [were] acting out a fighting scene, where the actor must present a tense stance, angry features and clenched fists. A director has to work hard to ensure that the actor knows exactly how to play out the scene and must coach them through it to ensure that the body language is consistent with the dialogue.
The way a line is delivered is very important. The director may want emphasis put on a certain word in the script- For example, “I don’t need you” In this case the emphasis would be put on the word ‘don’t’ and the director must explain this to the actor before hand. If the delivery of the script is wrong, the scene won’t look right and it will bring down the movie.
Sometimes actors can find it hard to get motivated and get into set on time due to the lifestyle they lead; with partying, drinking or drugs (in some cases) being taken the night before. A golden rule in being a director is to make sure to send a taxi to the actors house every morning they’re working to make sure that they come in. This way the director will be sure that the actor will be coming. If there was no taxi for the actor and they didn’t show up to the set, the whole day would be wasted and a lot of money would be lost for nothing.
Blocking is the precise positioning of the set and the actors in a scene. It is the director’s job to ensure that the set looks right on camera. The camera man and director work very closely together whilst blocking as the camera man would sometimes not like how the shot looks so the director would make sure to listen to his/her input and decide how to change the set so it looks better. An example of this would be if one actors was noticeably taller than the other during a scene. If this occurs and looks bad on camera, the director may choose to get the two actors to stand further apart and shoot the scene from over one of their shouldersthis making them appear to be the same height.
Before a scene is shot, the director will do a walkthrough with the actor. They will take the actor through their movements and marks and explain what should be done. By doing this the director can explain exactly what he wants the actor to do during the scene and its gives the actor the chance to know exactly what is expected from them during the take.
A mark is a placement on the floor (usually taped down with duct tape) where the actor must stand during various parts of a scene. It is very important for actors to hit their marks during a scene as the camera and set around them are in place to film from that exact placement. During the walkthrough, a director will take the actor through their marks and explain how they would like the actor to stand etc. in that place. If an actor misses their mark during the scene the entire shot will be off balance and won’t look right on camera.
After a walk though of what the director expects from the actor, a run though then takes place. During this the director will film on a video camera as the actor performs the scene. By doing this, the director can then review the tape on the camera and see how the scene looks on screen. Each magazine of film costs £1300 each, and can’t be taped over, so directors tape scenes by video camera to save money.
A director oversees the mise en scene of the set. This refers to everything that appears before the camera such as, composition, props, costumes, sets, actors and lighting. Mise en scene also includes the movement and positioning of the actors on set so can tie in with Blocking.
A director uses coverage- a term that refers to shooting a scene from a variety of angles and distances- to ensure that they have the material necessary to edit a scene together. By doing this, it can give an interesting visual and emotional experience for the audience who watch it. It also gives the editor more choices
A master scene is where a camera is set up from a long shot to tape the entire film. It is used mainly for the director to be able to check for continuity errors in scenes. For example, positioning of clothing in a scene. This image shows a big continuity error that was made in the movie The Lord Of The Rings.
The 180˚ rule refers to all scenes being shot from within a 180˚angle. If one camera films the same scene from outside the 180˚ Angle it is called ‘crossing the line.’ This Means the 180˚ Rule has been broken. When the 180˚ rule is broken The entire scene shot from Outside the circle appears to have the actors going in a Different direction. This looks bad if combining shots and affects continuity.
A director needs to make sure that there is continuity in films. This can include what the actors are wearing and props in the scene. It is very important that continuity is followed during filming, so to make sure that there are no errorsdirectors ensure that they take pictures of the scenes and how they are set up- as well as taking pictures of what they are wearing etc. It is vital that continuity errors are spotted during filming and not after as it is almost impossible to rectify a continuity error after filming has ‘wrapped up.’
There are two [three] main problems that a director will deal with during filming. These are: Technical problems- Where equipment stops working or incurs a technical fault. It helps if a director has a working knowledge of the equipment they are working with as it means that they are more likely to know how to fix a problem. IT also earns respect with the people they work with if a director has taken the time to learn about the tech side of filming. Personnel problems- Directors may also need to deal with people not getting on. To rectify this the director would need to talk to them and ask them to work through their differences and remain professional. Another issue would be Logistical problems- Gear not put in right place or that dosent work may be another issue for a director. They will need to know who to contact if this occurs and will need to figure out how to rectify the situation.
Overall, the role of a director is arguably the most important role In film. The difference between a good director and a great director can define how successful it is. The many roles in which a director must occupy when producing a film shows just how involved they are within the entire process.
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