What is the biggest hurdle to get around when you’re producing a Christian movie? There are a lot of them, but something that should NEVER be compromised is the acting. If someone is reading their lines, cut them from the film. If everyone in the scene are reading their lines, cut the whole scene from the movie and reshoot it. Yes, it’s that important.
Always rehearse, and if a person is reading their lines on shooting day, take a break and rehearse. Someone reading their lines distracts the viewers from the plot of the story. Too many Christian films have this fault, but it’s easy to fix.
Hollywood rarely approaches this type of acting, but we are capitalizing on it because it makes the film resonate with the viewers on a much higher level than any Hollywood film. You can see an example of this in the film, “United 93.” Ben Sliney, the National Operations Manager for the FAA, simply played himself, as well as a lot of other people in that film. The result is a movie that looks like it was filmed when the events were unfolding that day.
The primaries (main characters) in our film “Apparition,” have experience in acting, thus it’s not a huge problem of people reading their lines, but with the folks who’ve never acted before, I tell them this, “You’re not playing John Masser, you’re playing yourself, but the difference is you already know what you’re going to say.”
Do you know how much impact your film would make if people asked if it was real? That’s what happens when viewers watch a movie that has people playing themselves.
In every movie I direct, I want people, no matter how many years of acting they have, to simply be themselves. As a director, you know that a great actor will make his or her character jump off the screen. This is still achieved if the person is just playing themselves.
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