MDA3300: Michael Pearce Talk

At first I was apprehensive about getting talks from directors, or anyone in the film industry. As what can they tell you that you don’t already know.

Thankfully, my fears were put to rest. Pearce talked about how he directors actors, giving a few pieces of advice I really really hope to remember.

  • tell the actors to LISTEN to each other, essentially they are just reacting off each other
  • if the actors are in an uncomfortable position, try your best to make them feel more comfortable i.e embarrass yourself, make the environment more fun and jokey
  • each actor works differently
  • bring all the notes you have on set, it’ll save time (though Michael always forgets)
  • Think about the physicality of the actors and how this will add to their performance.
  • Be open to others ideas, whether it be your producer, DoP or actor.
  • using the characters backstory doesn’t always help: with Keeping Up With The Joneses, he directed the actress by telling her she’s an alien in a human costume and is terrified she’ll be discovered at any moment. This made her character even more uptight and added to the performance. 
  • If you’re the type of director who likes to do rehearsals, then do the hardest scenes – either for blocking, lighting, sound etc.

All in all, the talk he gave reminded me of how wonderful directing is and will greatly help in my own direction (which I’ve always worried I’ve being doing wrong).

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