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ART OF ACTING

According to my experience, acting is one of the easiest step in the process of making a cinema. I am expressing this opinion based on modern cinema, where latest technologies are widely implemented. There was a time in which, an actor in cinema had to put more effort in studying dialogues, fight sequences, and more physical strain than in modern cinema. Now a days, a good director can transform bad fight sequences to best or can turn a bad acting performance by an actor to an appreciable one, using modern techniques during final cut. On shooting stage, arranging the camera angle or individual cut shots or  birds eye shot, aim at using in editing lab or in special effects could save the time, and improve the totality of a scene.

Different types of acting:

  Acting is the way of expressing a character sewed by various emotions. The types of acting in modern cinema  have a lot of difference than traditional stage acting. The complete performance of an actor alone cannot save a shot. Dubbing, Camera angle, Makeup, Editing, Special effects, Character identity could make special impact on the performance of an actor presented in a cinema. If any of these factors fail to support an actor, then the end result of that performance will be poor. I would like to classify types of acting as
1. Minute acting in which an actor expresses his emotions in minimal facial expressions. Usually this acting supports close-up shots.
2. Explosive acting, in which an actor expresses an emotion in a bombarding way. This is a copied stuff from stage acting.
3. Centered acting, in which the actor develops an emotion slowly and focusing himself in the shot. Directors must take care to complete this shot in a single take.
4. Mannered acting, in which the actor  emote himself using his body language and mannerisms.
5. Synchronized acting, in which the emotions are  synchronized with other actors within or out of the frame.

Factors contributing acting:

There are many intrinsic factors contributing to best performance are basic knowledge of emotions, & visual impact of shots, dialogue delivery & timing, body language, rhythm with other actors in the performance and level of confidence in  transition to the character.
The extrinsic factors include the imagination of the director, the strength of the story & dialogues, shot selection, mood of the total system, and other motivating factors such as money, fame, awards etc.

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INFLUENCE OF CINEMATOGRAPHY IN ACTING

Gaining boost from the stage play, the cinema grown to a mesmeric level of audience attraction. The positive punch behind Cinema is the enormous support by the technical factors, like, camera angle, lighting, makeup, editing etc. When comparing stage performance, these technical factors contribute much support to the level of acting in Cinema. A best cinematographer or a director, or even a dubbing artist can cover the negatives of acting in a sequence to some extent. This broke the parameters of explaining the art of acting in cinema. In this post and coming posts, I would like to explain about some factors to be noted about the level of acting, that can be useful for beginners.
The traditional way of expressing an expression or rasa or an emotion, is quite a bit changed after the introduction of modern technology. What ever old theories were formulated the acting, now I can structure it out based on, cinematography, voice mixing (dubbing), and makeup. A good director can make a good shot out of an actor using these three factors. So these three factors becomes very important  for an actor or actress to establish their own presence in the shot.

Influence of cinematography in acting:

Before starting to understand how cinematography or camera works, influences acting, an actor must identify all potential angles of himself based of various rasa or expressions. Usually expression are categorized into lovely, egoistic, pathetic, humorous, exclamatory, horrorful, ugly, anger, peaceful, sorrowful, and neutral emotions. The actor can select any one of these emotions that suits to the story, scene and shot. Even though the actor express the best emotion in its best way, if the camera didn't copy it to film, then the whole performance can be considered as negative. There are many reasons for such a failure of capturing the emotions of an actor. It can be the inexperience of a director, or a cinematographer to identify the best expressive angle in the shot.While shooting, I suggest the actors to take one or two rehearsals  to find the best expressive angles for all actors present in the shot. Later while real shooting, the cinematographer absorbs the sequence as we decided earlier. The factors that come to consideration are, cameral angle, lens to be used, the filter, materials to be present in the scene (like chair, table etc) and their position, voiced to be included, and position of actors. I am not favoring free movement by actors, as it will disturb the capturing sequence by cinematographer.

As per my belief, an actor or an actress must have fair idea about  the field size and camera angle. They must ask the director or cinematographer about the nature of the shot, such as, long shot (often used as an establishing shot), full shot (also figure shot, complete view, or medium long shot), medium shot, the close-up, extreme long shot (used for epic views and panoramas), American shot (also 3/4 shot), Italian shot (Extreme Close Up (ECU or XCU), where only a person's eyes are visible), medium close up (between medium and close up), lean-in shot or lean-out shot.

If an actor have an understanding about the camera angles such as aerial shot, bird's eye shot (sometimes performed as a crane shot), low-angle shot, over the shoulder shot, point of view shot, reverse shot, two shot, multiple shot, then he or she can select their own position and mode of expression. If the camera angle is aerial shot, then the actor must not waste his time by giving more expressions on his face but can concentrate more on the body movement and co-ordination of other actors in the scene.

My suggestion is that, a director also must take care to explain to the selected members of his crew, about the specialties of a shot that he is planning to do right before the shooting of that shot starts.The director must describe the camera angle, field size, preferable lighting area, mood of the shot, expected expression from prime characters etc. At that time, the actor must do some calculations inside his mind about own peculiarities. For example, while taking a shot bubbling with mood of romance, then actor must identify the angle in which he looks more handsome and effective is expressing the romantic mood. ( A self rehearsal at home, or self shoot could help an actor to identify his own best angles related to various emotions). I will explain the methods of using various expressions to develop an emotion in coming articles.

Cinematographer is responsible for the technical aspects of the images such as lighting, lens choices, composition, exposure, filtration, film selection. So an actor must give special respect and attention to the words of a Cinematographer also.

Most of the terms used in this article are self explanatory. Still you have doubt? Please feel free to contact me or comment here.

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