Monday, July 01, 2019

Shooting a Scene for My Own Reel

Yesterday, shot a short :30 scene for my reel. We used a script that's very 'on the nose' for tv procedural but tried to warm it up and keep the story more interesting by leaning into the personal relationship more than the plot, without stating what the personal relationship was. Lighting put us behind schedule, and as the crew's worry about time infected me, I tightened up/stopped breathing in shots I wanted to retain my character's warmth; I had a few restarts/pickups to make sure I breathed and refocused on relationship. When rehearsing the scene on my own, I'd imagined more humor and playfulness than we achieved, but I realize this was a product of changing the blocking: as I originally conceived the scene, we would have started in a physically static place, at a desk, so the moment before could have been anything. The way we shot it, we came through a door--having just left a critical meeting--and had to keep that plot point foremost in mind (while still tending to the relationship); this urgency--the story told by the blocking--made 'humor' inappropriate, at least in the time I had to get it in my body. So, even though this performance is not 'ideal' for me for my reel--i.e., I may have been more varied in performance if I'd had more time to prepare the storytelling shift--it does represent what I can do on the job, now, if sent to set and given last minute changes, under pressure to get a shot before having to move on. This makes the scene an honest sell of my current skill level in performing this kind of scene under conditions not far removed from a fast prime time tv shooting schedule, which I've done.
The director tells me the warmth I wanted did come through. We'll see! In the next couple of weeks I'll be shooting two more, very different scenes for the reel.

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