Attending film school was a pivotal point in my life. I never expected the curriculum to be so impressive or that local press and movie stars got their start from the same school. Film school really brought out my hidden talent for writing. Although many of my classes involved acting and acting methods, they awakened the sense inside me that good dialogue is the difference between a good movie and a bad one. A great way to analyze this fact is to watch comedies. Comedic acting lives and dies by its dialogue. But so does every movie, although it may not be as obvious.
Going to classes and learning from the instructors taught me that the method used by the actors is almost as important as the writing. The script creates the circumstances, the physical environment and the position to which the actors must adhere. Recent comments by Jessica Alba say that writing is secondary to good acting, but it must be noted that writing frames everything going on. Writing frames what the camera sees, and more than likely the way circumstances are interpreted. Some actors feel that since the actor makes the script work, that the actor is everything. Film school never divided the “below the line people”. We were taught that all parts of the work of art are important. This is a concept that comes to life in impromptu acting methods. In these classes it became clear that acting was only a small part of our modern day cinematic experience. Makeup and wardrobe really set each scene too. Somehow sitting there watching two people hammer it out on stage really brought home the fact that acting alone isn’t nearly enough in 2010. Sitting there in the audience it was hard to believe that our view of acting is now a part of something as fantastical as movies like “Avatar.” Humans still play the parts, but the finished product often looks nothing like human actors. We have adjusted our mental framework to the idea that movies are elaborate multi-million dollar works of art. They are rarely just two people acting and showing their emotions.
Today I don’t use my film degree, but it will always be a part of me. I went on the film my own YouTube series and pen several books about that YouTube series. The book went on to stay in the top 20 of Amazon’s African-American Art bestseller’s list for 2 years.
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