BEFORE WE FILM
We know that filming (especially if you haven't done much before) can feel a bit daunting and perhaps quite stressful. We don't want you to have sleepless nights worrying about it, so that's why we have compiled a list of 'tips' we want to share with you before you film with us. Some of these you may already know, so go ahead and ignore those ones, but because we work with actors and performers at all stages of their careers the list is designed for all levels.
Let us know what you think of the tips and whether you have anymore questions!
1. Learn your lines. As simple as this sounds, learning the script is such an important part of producing a professional showreel scene. Daniel will also struggle to build the scene around you if you do not know your lines, and you'll likely only have time to 'get' the scene rather than work on it. Plus, when you're on a professional set, learning your lines is a given - so it's worth doing!
2. Be on time. This is another obvious one, but professional productions won't be happy if you turn up late, and nor will Daniel. Occasionally, unforeseen circumstances can play a part (such as traffic), and that's understandable. But we would like you to treat this project the same way you would anything else.
3. Wait for Daniel's "action" call. This one is particularly important for anyone who has been trained in theatre. Daniel needs to set the camera and focus before he'll want you to start acting. Daniel will prep you for the next take, but always remember to wait for "action!" - even if you're jumping into the scene half way or re-doing a bit.
4. Try not to talk over each other or overlap dialogue during a take. This is a difficult one to remember and implement, especially if there is an interruption written into the script. Basically what this means is making sure you don't say or do anything in the background of a take whilst someone else is talking. Daniel needs clean dialogue and may point this out to you on the day. Daniel can edit in the interruption, but needs clean sound to make the best possible scene.
5. Daniel needs time to set up his equipment. Because he works alone, this means Daniel has a lot of kit to unpack at the beginning of the day. We know you're going to have loads of questions, but it's best if you give Daniel this time to work out what you're going to be doing - this will save time in the long run, and he can answer your questions once he is finished setting up.
6. Bring food and water for yourself. We probably won't have time to pop to the shops unless in a complete emergency. So we ask that you have your food/lunch prepared before we start filming. Daniel will have his packed lunch ready, and will only need a bathroom or coffee break.
7. Watch back your takes. Daniel won't mind if you ask him to watch your previous take - assuming you're allowed to move from your position. This is an important part of the process because it will allow you the opportunity to take any changes you're not happy with. If you don't do this on the day, you won't be able to change it in the edit.
8. Run your lines with your scene partners. The more you run your lines, the more natural the performance will likely be once a camera is pointed at you. Don't feel nervous about working with the other actor. The likelihood is that they'll be expecting to do this, and it will make for a better scene and performance.
9. If you're going to turn up with someone not part of the showreel, please let us know. Organising the day can be quite a difficult task, and whilst Daniel is happy to do it and lend an experienced hand to the project, you must inform us if something changes or if you want to bring someone along. There might not be enough room in Daniel's car if you need to move between locations.
10. Don't be nervous! As difficult as this may be, there is really nothing for you to worry about. Daniel is friendly and helpful, and once you get going, everything will be fine. Just worry about your performance and what you want to achieve from your showreel. It's important you know and remain focused. It should be a fun day!