On Screen Acting
An Introduction to the Art of Acting for the Screen
With On Screen Acting, director Edward Dmytryk and actress Jean Porter Dmytryk offer a lively dialogue between director and actress about the principles and practice of screen acting for film and television. Informal and anecdotal in style, the book spans auditioning, casting, rehearsal, and on-set techniques, and will be of interest to both aspiring and working actors and directors.
Originally published in 1984, this reissue of Dmytryk’s classic acting book includes a new critical introduction by Paul Thompson, as well as chapter lessons, discussion questions, and exercises.
Table of Contents
Edward Dmytryk: A Short Biography
Jean Porter Dmytryk: A Short Biography
Introduction by Paul Thompson
- The Interview
- The Reading
- The Rehearsal
- Where Did Everyone Go?
- Make a Face
- What Did He Say?
- Who Do You Think You Are?
- The Magic Formula
- Help Is on the Way
- Keep It Alive!
- Don’t Be With It
Filmography of the Authors
Chapter Notes by Paul Thompson
Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999) was an Oscar-nominated American filmmaker, educator, and writer. Over an acclaimed forty-year filmmaking career, Dmytryk directed over fifty award-winning films, including Crossfire (1947), The Caine Mutiny (1954), Raintree County (1957), and The Young Lions (1958). Entering academic in the 1970s, Dmytryk lectured on both film and directing, first at the University of Texas at Austin and later at the University of Southern California. He is the author of several classic books on the art of filmmaking, including On Film Editing, On Screen Directing, On Screen Writing, On Screen Acting, and Cinema: Concept & Practice, all published by Focal Press/Routledge.
Jean Porter Dmytryk (1922-2018) was an American film actress. From the 1930s through the 1950s, Porter appeared in almost thirty films and numerous television series, alongside stars like Abbott and Costello, Humphrey Bogart, and Esther Williams. She retired from acting in 1961.
Paul Thompson (contributor) is an associate professor at New York University. Born in England, he was a featured actor in over thirty television productions. His published plays include The Children’s Crusade, The Motor Show, By Common Consent and The Lorenzaccio Story. He was resident dramatist with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He has written for BBC Television, BBC Radio and was a screenwriter on Lion of the Desert (starring Anthony Quinn). He has directed at numerous theatres in England, Australia, and the United States.