Film Courage: Did you learn any lessons on directing actors that would be helpful for other first-time directors?
Andrew Guerrero, Writer/Director/Actor: Yes. Fortunately being an actor first I knew how I liked being directed so I was able to translate that to my actors.
Number 1) Story is first for anyone — actors, directors, producers — story is first! That is the most important thing.
When you are directing actors…actors are smart people, we are emotionally smart. Speak to them in a way that is prodding ideas or inviting ideas versus telling them exactly what to do, how to say a line. You don’t want to give anyone a line reading because you’re the director, you’re not the actor. You want to say stuff like Okay, so this is what the character is feeling at this moment because of this moment earlier. What do you think he’s feeling in your perspective? And then you start to talk back and forth, throw ideas, spitball. And then you come to a consensus.
For example in my film [COME INTO YOUR OWN] where one of our actors (his name is Michael King) plays the character Ted. The climax of the film is a very emotional moment, my character is crying and he’s trying to console the character. He starts crying and it’s lots of emotion, crying, tears. I look at him and Hey, your character wouldn’t be crying right now. Your character has completed his arc. He is strong. He’ll be vulnerable with him, but you’re his rock. I have him that kind of direction. It was more…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
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