Friday, March 25, 2011

Your Future in the Current Scene

Another aspect of your playing a scene is what happens next? What happens ultimately? There are a couple different elements to this process of seeing the future and several different lengths to which you can go.

The first thing I'd like to address is the SUPEROBJECTIVE. Superobjective is basically what your character is trying to accomplish throughout the whole film. All objectives should build toward this superobjective. With a dayplayer role the objective and superobjective are easily married. The FIRST thing you should do in script analysis after reading through the pages a few times is to determine what your character's overall goal for the story is. What are they working toward? With that in mind, it's easier to determine goals (objectives) for individual scenes.

Another aspect of storytelling is foreshadowing, basically hints at what is coming next. You are an important part of this in any film etc. where you have more than one scene. Heck, even within a scene, you can build toward what's going to happen at the end of the scene. It's important that YOU know what's going to happen next and keep that in mind, even though it is uncertain for your character. At the same time, while providing the right elements of foreshadowing (and seeing those opportunities in dialogue and action), you have to play that uncertainty. It can be tricky, but definitely a rewarding part of the character building process.

Another fun exercise is what happens to you AFTER the story? This can be a great way to find little nuances in your character as well. If you die, you might think this is easy, but you can still ponder things like "Who misses my character?" or "Is there a funeral?" or "What changes happened in the world because of my death?". Also, where would you have ended up if you hadn't died? What was your ideal end? Where did you think it was going?

I suggest a paragraph, similar to the on your did for your back story to examine where you are headed once the credits role. It's fun and, again, can help you find something interesting to play on in your scenes. Say, in a crime drama, it's nice to have fantasies of how you are going to blow all that loot!

In the film "Cut!", I play a sheriff's deputy in the north east. Though it's never spelled out in the script, my character aspires to get a job with the FBI one day and work big cases. It completely affected the way my character looked at evidence and the events unfolding in the film. I was after the big case and saw this as my break. When I talked to the director about my thoughts, it was a spark that brought Holt Boggs into the midst and gave us a great scene together. I had only about 5 scenes in the film, but this little exercise helped mold much of my performance.

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