· Directing Notes Notes

Directing Actors & Editing

Notes from a directing class by Jorge Paixao da Costa.

Actor's Studio

Stanislavsky. Actor Studio, Meril Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Nicholas Cage, Sean Penn - Exteriorization of emotion. mental actors: John Malchovich. Actors are often chosen by they personality. Actors Studio was created by Elia Kazan, Chery Crawford, Robert Lewis -> replaced by Lee Strassberg in 1948 school reformed and Stanislavsjy system introduced.

Theater Laboratory

Rchard Bilevski. Maria Ouspenskaia. 1926 - Group Theatre. Poetic vision, symbolic object. Excercise of the animal - trying to find new forms of expression. How to be an ant, bear, dog etc in various mental states and situatuons. Ex a frughtened cat. Look up on youtube.

Finding the particular emotions of the personagem and express them. You receive a bad message and feel like a heavy hipopottamos. Seduction like a cat trying to ask for food. Rich cobtent for inspiration. Preparation of the actor in Cinema Menorization, concentratuon, affective memory, reading, cincentratuon of the character. Biography of the character. Where is the character, contextualizatuon of the scene. Contextualizing thetime. 1920s? 90s? What is the backstory? What happened before the scene? What is the motivation of the character? Needs. Wants. Emotional state. Hurting feet? Euphoria? Director must know this. What happens in the scene explicitly / implicitly? Formalism vs Spontanity?

Elia Kazan

Strong motivation constructs the character what how why? James Dean. Dialogues are secondary / faces, looks etc tell the story. Take time for looks.-- Reactions of one character to the behaviour of the other character. Interior contradictions of the character. -- Give life to ibhects and to their interaction with the characters.-- Usage of What if? to contentxualize the character. Actor shouldnt think about what the text should say but listen to the opposite person and respond naturally to have coherence in the dialogue. Never start wirh word but with action.-- find subtexts. Poetic vision stilization of the personality. East of Eden 1954 James Dean notice looks, symbols, subtext.

Directing Actors

12 points of objectivity of the actor. A director leads the characters (not the actors). Objectives of the character in the scene / in the film. Director manages the objectives of characters. Cause and effect. Nuclear objective. What does the character want more than anything? Found while reading the script. Objective of the scene. What is the need of the character during the scene?

-- dia 30 mayo 9-13 and 14-18

Analysis of the principal objective nuclear


Formalism tries to deceive the viewer through acting, while in realism the actor is himself with his real emotions.

Subconcious lets unconcious pass to conciousness. Like memory / dreams.

System - Stsnislsvsky

Nonetheless, the actor should never lose himself snd enter into a catharsis.

Adapation. Dialogue between people. The actor should concentrate on the inner space of the partner not his physical appearance. This changes everything.

The director should always be an actor. This enriches his ability to direct.

Narrativa classica. Stanislavsky: an action is always the result of another action that creatd the appropriate feeling. Cause and effect.

Exterior / interior. Contrary: the actor starts with his inside and expresses it to the outside world.

Stanislavsky: interpretaion is the vehicle of identification between the personagem and the viewer. How to regognize a realistic action? The identification is emotional through empathy.

Stanislavsky: poetic vision. Stiling of the direction. Accentuate the specificity of every character. Realism is a subjective interpretation. This is not naturalism - an objective representation.

Poesia - stilistic writing.

Use of subtext. Suggesting something without completely revealing it. It is not obvious in the scene. It's always ambiguous. Adds richness to scene, very often used. Stanislavsky uses 'symbolic objects' for the same end.


Ivanna Chibbuck. 12 points of Objectivity of the actor.

Eritrean music videos

Ecologic clothes

Actor performace is influenced greatly by editing.

Soviet Formalism

Notes from an editing theory class by Ines Gil on December 22, 2008.


The editing must be visible. Editing is a tool to connect one thing to another, it is not expressive. Narrative continuity.Realism is about the ambiguity of the world.
Soviet Cinematographic Formalism

Contrary to realism. Was born at the time of the Russian revolution 1917. It’s the editing that makes the film. Lev Kuleshov, Kuleshov effect. Filmed a close-up of a man with a neutral expression. Filmed other things and edited the neutral expression together with the other objects. The film was shown to a group of people. Depending of the editing and the other objects the viewers understood the man’s expression in different ways and each time congratulated him on his perfect acting abilities.

Sergei Eisenstein

Editing for attracting (symbolic editing). Editing for conflict. Predefined meaning: The associations created in the viewer are planned by the writer of the film. Contrary to realism. Perfect for propaganda. Collision between shots. Visual conflict. The writer creates the film as a series of images not as the reality. Desynchronization of space and time in editing. Associated shots may have different totally times.

Causal function of the editing. Cause and effect. Association between two shots creates an effect. Narrative discontinuity of space and time. In Philosophy the dialectics of Hegel. Thesis + antithesis = synthesis.

Three principal functions. Augments or creates drama. Association between various points of views. Dialectic function. Different types of light. Argumentative function. Ideas and values. The methodology of image analysis is the to know the basic forms.

When I understand I tend to understand everything. When I don’t understand I tend to understand so little I can’t even make a question.

The story is created by the text and the music. No hero to guide us trough the film. In Soviet editing instead of showing or associating meaning with shots, the meaning is directly suggested with objects. See Battleship Potemkin.

Walter Benjamin

When the photograph appear it brought about a big change in art of theater, it was no longer alone. Before. Every work was unique. Authentic (existence of the original). Material. Divine intervention (dependence on god). Aura (atmosphere, something that make the work transcendental). It allows the work to be special and hold a certain distance from the viewer and creates respect and mystery. Authority of the social differentiation (who owned or created a work was part of a selected elite). Direct perception. The esthetics of ‘beautiful’.  After. Multiple and reproducible. Cannot make a difference between the original and the copy. Immaterial. Esthetic autonomy, human hand (image created by a machine). Transformation of the aura. Close to the viewer, usual, common, does not create respect. Emancipation. Fruition of the masses. Everybody can create and own photographs with facility. Indirect reproduced perception. The esthetics of shock (started with Durchamps work of art Fountain with the urinal). At the end of the day we are talking about technological change. Leaving a hungry dog to die in a public place to show the idea of how Africa is being treated.

Andy Warhol

1963. Stenographic like a commercial idea. Aura of immortality. There’s only one work this way. Using technology created a new aura for the image. Mass production degrades the aura. Despecification of the image. The image is no longer unique. Degradation. Fall. Image analysis contextualizes the image. Look at videos that analyze paintings. Andy Warhol is an example of superficiality. Total neutrality.

Back to Index