As an actor, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “When you’re filming, make love to the camera.”
It’s obvious what is “meant” but how is that accomplished? How can you transcend that piece
of equipment and reach into the viewer’s heart and move them? After all, isn’t that what the
art of acting is about? The best onscreen actors have discovered how to lure that lens to
capture exactly what they want during a scene.
Remember the saying, “The eyes are the window to the soul.”
In acting, your eyes should tell the story without ever uttering a word. Your eyes can look upset,
tear up, cry and even smile. But no matter what type of scene you’re working in, remember you
need to have solid eye contact! And as you are making that ever important eye contact, try not
to shift from one eye to another unless the scene calls for it. Focus on one eye and preferably
the downstage eye (the one closer to the camera) especially if the shot is extremely close and
intense. When doing this, your performance will have an intensity and stillness which creates
emotion by both the actor and the audience.
The camera misses nothing.
That might seem like a frightening statement, but actually it’s just the opposite. The camera is
your best friend and biggest fan. It’s the closest thing to you and doesn’t judge your
performance, diction or anything else, it just records. It leaves everything up to you. The
subtlest movement can create a major emotional shift in the scene. So be aware that the
camera really does love you and learn to make it your friend not foe.
The camera can reveal your most intimate thoughts.
This is good news for the actor that feels his role, has prepared for the role and is ready to
shoot the role. You have found the emotion that will connect the words written on that script
to the audience. And the camera won’t miss a beat.
Problem is, if you have an issue allowing those emotions to be revealed; issues with connecting
with the writer and his vision for the character; then the camera will see exactly that.
The greatest actors are those who make what they do very easy. It’s not easy. There is work
involved and if you rely on your work that you’ve done, the honesty of that work will shine
through your eyes and the audience will feel it.
Live in front of the camera, as you would in real life.
I need to say that again. LIVE in front of the camera. You have an itch, scratch it. A hair falls in
your eye, move it. Bring YOU to the role; ALL of you exactly as you move, think and talk. After
all there is only one you. That uniqueness is what casting is looking for.
If you are a stage actor, you know that the audience sees your body and hears your voice. In
film, there is also the body and the voice but one more element and the most important is
added; the face. The camera will fall in love with you if you if there is an interesting human
being, who is feeling, expressing and living in front of that lens especially through your face and
Now you know how to get that camera to fall in love with you. Apply that to your auditions as
well and watch your callback ratio soar.