I’ve had the pleasure to work with Damien Giglietta and Peter R. McIntosh countless times in the past, so when they offered for me to come on board and direct showreels for their new shingle 88 to 1 Productions, I was thrilled.
The team has partnered with New Faces Talent Academy – a huge entertainment and performance academy developing the biggest stars of tomorrow. I’ve worked in the past with this organization, so I was interested to see what it would be like to work for them. I’ve done ‘one off’ course work before, but I’ve never directed traditional showreel material.
It’s an interesting process, as you are primarily working with younger performers and you have to work very quickly to ascertain the motivations of a scene and what each character wants. I’ve been able to cheat when I’ve directed my own projects, as I already have a relationship with both the performer AND the character. This however, is very different as you go in ‘cold’ and have to find the truth of the piece as you workshop it.
Luckily, the talent I’ve had the chance to work with has been really great. I normally have the performers run through the piece once for me, as this informs be on their approach – as well as it provides a ‘block through’ for our Cinematographer and Sound Recordist. I then discuss what notes I have for the performers and then send them away to run through it without me.
I find I won’t give a lot of notes when we start to cover the scene in the master wide, as I don’t want the performers to expend their energy on a shot that is mostly used for setup, coverage or tailing out the scene. It’s when we hit the close ups, that we’ll start to really work. I personally like to listen to the delivery of the dialogue a few times, and then provide notes on pace, pitch and tone. Pace is especially important to me, as I feel the viewer can bore or tire of a scene if the pace isn’t perfect.
However, I’m finding that I’ve been really lucky, as our clients are very switched on and driven. It’s always refreshing working with younger performers, as they haven’t developed the usual set of behaviors that can sometimes restrict what we can achieve in a scene.
I can’t wait to see what this new role brings on next!