The collaboration of director and actor is the cornerstone of narrative filmmaking. This book provides the director with a concrete step-by-step guide to preparation that connects the fundamentals of film-script analysis with the actor’s process of preparation.
This book starts with how to identify the overall scope of a project from the creative perspective of the director as it relates to guiding an actor, before providing a blueprint for preparation that includes script analysis, previsualization, and procedures for rehearsal and capture. This methodology allows the director to uncover the similarities and differences between actor and director in their preparation to facilitate the development of a collaborative dialogue. Featuring chapter-by-chapter exercises and assignments throughout, this book provides a method that enables the director to be present during every stage of production and seamlessly move from prep to filming, while guiding the actor to their best performances.
Written in a clear and concise manner, it is ideal for students of directing, early career, and self-taught directors, as well as cinematographers, producers, or screenwriters looking to turn their hand to directing for the first time.
Table of Contents
WHAT A DIRECTOR NEEDS TO KNOW
CHAPTER ONE: WHAT IS DIRECTING AND THE "PROSE" OF PREPARATION
CHAPTER TWO: STORYLINE FACTS -
THE BRIDGE TO THE THREE QUESTIONS TO CHOICE
CHAPTER THREE: THE THREE QUESTIONS TO CHOICE - Walking in the Actor’s Shoes
CHAPTER FOUR: THE 5 TOOLS - Bringing the Ensemble Together – Part One
CHAPTER FIVE: THE 5 TOOLS - Bringing the Ensemble Together – Part Two
CHAPTER SIX: MOMENTS AND BEATS
CHAPTER SEVEN - MARKING YOUR SCRIPT
CHAPTER EIGHT: THE IMPROV MONOLOGUE - Exploring collaboration through personal experience
CHAPTER NINE: THE SCRIPTED MONOLOGUE - Prelude to directing a two-person scene
CHAPTER TEN: PRESENTING AND RESPONDING TO THE MONOLOGUES
CHAPTER ELEVEN: SCENE WORK – CONDUCTING THE FULL REHEARSAL
CHAPTER TWELVE: PREVISUALIZATION
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: DIGITAL CAPTURE: PUTTING IT INSIDE THE FRAME
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: RESPONDING TO SCENE WORK
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: BUILDING YOUR SIXTH SENSE –BREAKING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
CHAPTER SIXTEEN – THE POWER OF IMPROVISATION
Regge Life is a producer, director and writer for film and television. He is currently the Senior Distinguished Director in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, MA, and has enjoyed a continuing career in film, theater, and television. His most recent work is a film adaptation of the Akutagawa Prize-winning novel Cocktail Party by Tatsuhiro Ōshiro. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, four-time CINE Award winner, Sony Innovator, Fulbright Journalist Fellow, Emmy Nominee, and member of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.
"Regge Life shares his approach to directing, honed by first-hand experience in the American film industry and informed by a valuable international perspective. This is a text that should find a place on the bookshelf of any prospective film and television director."
Tom Kingdon. Author of Total Directing
"Finally a book that examines the most important relationship in film making, the director and actor."
John Chase Soliday, Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate/Graduate Studies, Cinema Arts Department, University of Miami School of Communication, Florida
"Regge Life has written an easy-to-understand deep dive into the preparation essential for directors of theatre, film, and television to create their best storytelling. He provides step-by-step how-to tools, practice examples, personal stories, technical recommendations, and helpful daily practices that define the director’s homework. His incisive point-of-view, forged through decades of global experience and classroom teaching, demystifies the art of directing. A blueprint for gaining command of and confidence in one’s directing work, this is must reading for the novice, early career practitioner, and seasoned veteran."
Benny Sato Ambush, Professional SDC Director, Educator, Published Commentator
"Throughout his text, Regge Life goes beyond the mere technical and mechanical concerns of directing for the camera to focus on the social and emotional aspects of human interaction — the crucial connection at the heart of successful storytelling. Readers of Becoming an Actor's Director will find themselves in the hands of a master teacher."
Jabari Asim, Associate Professor and MFA Program Director, Creative Writing Deparment of Writing, Literature and Publishing, Emerson College