Advice To First Time Directors On Directing Actors — Andrew Guerrero

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).


Vimeo (featurette) 

Come Into Your Own Trailer from Andrew Guerrero on Vimeo.


Like this video? Please subscribe to our Youtube channel. Or love this video and want more? You can show additional support via our Youtube sponsor tab or through Patreon.


Advertisement – contains affiliate links:

In Jason Innocent’s independent documentary film Masculinity he interviews both men and women as they give their thoughts on assumptions, and pressures of being a man. Masculinity covers what it means to be a man today, female masculinity, toxic masculinity, and the pressures of society on the definition of manliness.

Solicitude – A crisp, cinematic 96-second short film on mental health (depression, loneliness, suicide) and what each one of us could do to CHANGE it.  In times of quarantine and remote work, mental health has become essential. Writer/actor Uday Krishna’s Solicitude spotlights mental health, depression, and suicide with a positive ending on how all of us can improve within our own network. Uday along with Christina Perez (the director, editor, background score) and Emmanuel Vega (DOP, Lights) shot this short in three hours using one location.