ACTING FOR DIRECTORS AND WRITERS
THE ACTING CLASS FOR INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CAMERA
Deepen your communication with actors and inspire them to do their best work.
Establish an open-hearted and positive authority with your cast.
Write dialogue that's real and that actors can speak with conviction.
A crucial element of film production is understanding the process and requirements of performance. This unique workshop provides indispensable techniques and new insight to give directors confidence and develop your "eye"; to help writers take dialogue and structure to another level.
"Everything you taught me was more than useful. I am deeply grateful."
ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ IÑARRITU,
director/producer, BABEL, 21 GRAMS, AMORES PERROS,
Academy Award® nominated Best Foreign Film
"Judith Weston is an extraordinarily gifted teacher.
She doesn't so much explain as she changes your consciousness of the creative process and restores your confidence in it, through acting."
DAVID CHASE, writer, director and executive producer,
THE SOPRANOS, NORTHERN EXPOSURE, I'LL FLY AWAY, ROCKFORD FILES
"Judith Weston's 'Acting for Directors' (seminar and book) gave me my first real insight into the work of the actor and the relationship between actor and director.
Practical, scary and inspiring, it taught me to think in new ways and turned out to be the ideal introduction to the impossible task that lay ahead."
HENRY BEAN, writer-director, THE BELIEVER,
grand jury prize winner, Sundance Film Festival, 2001
This workshop for directors is set up as an acting class; each participant will engage in exercises using acting techniques, improvisation and monologues and two-person scenes provided by Judith. Judith will use the exercises to highlight and discuss principles, tools and techniques of directing actors. In particular she will address issues that arise in casting, rehearsal, shooting and script analysis, including the following:
Cost of the Los Angeles workshop is $800. The cost of the New York workshop is $900. A $150 deposit ensures your place (enrollment is limited); the remainder is due at the first class.
- how to establish a collaborative relationship with actors
- how to be more specific and effective with your direction
- troubleshooting poor performances
- how to recognize and fix a performance that is forced or indulgent or flat
- what to do when an actor disagrees with your interpretation
- how to rehearse; why to rehearse; when not to rehearse
- a fresh approach to casting
- how to match a performance and still keep it alive take after take
- what to do when actors freeze up; when to push an actor; when to leave them alone
- what you can do to make "chemistry" happen
- how to get more out of close-ups
- what is "result" direction; why it is bad; how to avoid it
- through-lines and "beats"
- creating unforced "moments"; building suspense
- how to work with objectives and adjustments (the magic "as if")
- the uses of sense memory objects and personal substitutions
- how to find and use a character's spine; the difference between a spine and an arc
- how to add "layers" to a characterization
- the power of opposites
- how to encourage creativity in an actor, trigger your own imagination and insight, and become a superior storyteller
- how to work with "difficult" actors; how to work with non-actors; how to work with stars
- an organic approach to blocking
- tips on directing comedy and creating period and style
- guidence & incentive to do your pre-production "script analysis" homework
- Stanislavski, the "Method," Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler
Visit Workshop Schedule and Directions to Los Angeles Studio for further information on scheduling and location.
For descriptions of the class by former students, visit the Endorsements page.
THE BOOKS It is a prerequisite for this workshop that you have read one of Judith’s books, either "Directing Actors" or “The Film Director’s Intuition." Both books are available in bookstores or through Amazon.com or publisher Michael Wiese Productions www.mwp.com.
Participants must be able to commit to all three days of the workshop. Other than reading Judith’s book, there is no preparation required. But there is some homework each evening of first two days of the class.
If you have any questions or would like to enroll, please don't hesitate to write us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 310 392-2444.
JUDITH WESTON is the author of two books: "Directing Actors," which has been required reading for film directors since its publication in 1996; and the recently published "The Film Director's Intuition." She has been teaching her Acting for Directors workshops in Los Angeles, with trips to New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and cities of Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, since 1988.
The thousands of directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, editors, casting directors, script supervisors, and studio executives who have taken the Acting for Directors workshop include:
- Directors of such feature films as 21 GRAMS, WALL-E, HUNGER, BELLFLOWER, AKEELAH AND THE BEE, BARBERSHOP, TRON LEGACY, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, COUNTRY STRONG, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES, DAHMER, THE BELIEVER, HOWL, MILK OF SORROW, SHRECK, KUNG FU PANDA, MEGAMIND – and countless independent films;
- Directors of current and classic television shows including THE GOOD WIFE, MAD MEN, TRUE BLOOD, GOSSIP GIRL, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, RIZZOLI & ISLES, GREY’S ANATOMY, HAWAII FIVE-O, WHITE COLLAR, LOST, 24, FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, NIKITA, FRINGE, WEEDS, CSI, CSI: NY, CSI: MIAMI, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, UGLY BETTY, CHUCK, EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS, CRIMINAL MINDS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, LIE TO ME, COLD CASE, CASTLE, NIP/TUCK, SMALLVILLE, THE PRACTICE, MONK, SCRUBS, MY NAME IS EARL, THE SOPRANOS, ER, LAW AND ORDER, SIX FEET UNDER, ALIAS, WEST WING, NYPD BLUE, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, FRIENDS, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, THE O.C., MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, FELICITY, STAR TREK: VOYAGER, STAR TREK:ENTERPRISE, DREW CAREY SHOW, JUDGING AMY, GILMORE GIRLS, DAWSON'S CREEK, THE X-FILES, CHICAGO HOPE, PICKET FENCES, NORTHERN EXPOSURE, L.A. LAW, HILL STREET BLUES, I'LL FLY AWAY, THE ROCKFORD FILES, etc., etc., etc.
- Winners and nominees for Academy Awards, Emmys, SAG Awards, Spirit Awards, and Grammys;
- Directors of award-winning commercials and music videos;
- Alumni of prominent film schools such as USC, UCLA, AFI, NYU, Columbia, North Carolina School of Arts, etc;
- Directors of films presented in competition at Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Tribeca, Berlin, South by Southwest, Rotterdam, AFI, Palm Springs, Slamdance, L.A. Film Festival, and many, many others.