Student Blog: Short Films

Don’t be afraid to let yourself shine through during filming, while still proving you are a reliable, hard worker

Student Blog: Short Films

I have been fortunate enough to be involved as an actor for two student led short films this semester. Faculty and fellow students heavily emphasized at the beginning of last semester that Film students will always need actors for their projects and I am really seeing the truth to this now, with many of my peers and myself being used for short films. Due to a class the first year Film majors are taking, they are in need of actors for short films every week and I am so thankful I have been able to accept these opportunities and share my experiences now!

There was one day of shooting for each film that lasted approximately six hours. Both films had three scenes with varying numbers of shots. Six people worked on the film crew with differing jobs and they were all very courteous, specifically in making sure I had a good understanding of what we were doing and how everything would work. There were breaks integrated in the schedule for everyone, but I was encouraged to take my own breaks when the crew was setting up for the next shot. This is generally how the structure was maintained for both shoots.

One thing I learned- of which I was told prior to the first shoot by the director- is that the actors have a good amount of downtime. The film crew has to spend a good amount of time setting up, having to readjust every little thing when moving from shot to shot. Though they have their own specific jobs, they all have many tasks to fulfill before, during, and after filming. The actor's job lies solely after they hear, "Action!" Another thing I learned is that the professor for the class these students are filming for, as I was told by one of the Film students, says that the actors should be having fun while shooting. That means in any "behind the scenes" footage the crew captures, he likes to see the actors involved just being themselves, messing around, etc. while still being professional and getting the job done. Don't be afraid to let yourself shine through during filming, while still proving you are a reliable, hard worker.

If you have only ever worked on the stage and never the camera, don't be intimidated by it! I didn't have much experience or training with it prior to this semester, but I am so glad I was a part of these short films. Due to the way my courses are structured throughout my four years, I will eventually take an Acting for the Camera class, but I will not receive that in depth training until later. Being involved in these films has helped me to expand my comfort levels with film acting and to learn more about how the film process works. Along with that, the importance of connections is common knowledge. It doesn't hurt to make connections with other people, especially if your experience working with them on a project was a positive one (which was fortunately what my experiences were). It was an opportunity that seemingly popped up out of nowhere and opportunities are always important to seize when they are in your grasp!



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