Acting in the Million Dollar Minute: The Sequel

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Hal Leonard Corporation, 2005 - Performing Arts - 244 pages
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(Limelight). While television commercials often elicit groans from the viewer, they mean work for actors and can be the bread-and-butter backbone of an actor's career, providing a safety net of income while he or she climbs the ladder to greater success. And for those actors who achieve face-to-product recognition, commercial work can provide handsome residuals for years to come. While many books on the market include some information on commercial work, Acting in the Million Dollar Minute deals exclusively with the art and business of acting in commercials. Here the "art" is narrow: script terminology and procedure, commercial dialogue, camera staging, working the product, sample commercial scripts, and detailed analysis of how a commercial is actually shot; while the "business" side, reflecting the general industry, broadens to include training, photos, the resume, unions, actor-agency contracts, the interview, the screen test, callbacks, pay and working conditions, and a complete list of SAG and AFTRA offices. In this revised and updated edition, this book provides direction on how to: Decipher the meaning behind the commercial script; Begin and end every commercial performance; Get the auditioners' attention immediately when the camera begins rolling; Compel the auditioners, with the sheer force of your performance, to actually watch your playback tape; Take the camera from another actor (i.e. upstaging); Give the director a performance that makes his or her job easier in the editing room.
 

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Contents

The Importance of Commercials
1
The Commercial Type
2
Show Me the Money
3
Commercials Are Big Business
6
The Importance of Commercials for the Actor
7
Do I Have to Move to Los Angeles or New York?
8
The Birthing Process of a Commercial
10
Crawling Around on the Floor Acting like a Lion
14
Miming and Props
130
Eating the Product
131
Why Most MultiPerson Auditions Dont Work
135
Discussing the Scene in Advance
136
Fixing the Scene
141
MultiPerson Commercials
147
Try to Find Out in Advance Who Your Partner Is
149
Study All Parts
150

When Does the Audition Begin?
15
The Slate
17
Hitting Your Mark
19
The Frame Lines
23
What We Look For in the Slate
27
Other Things We May Ask For in the Slate
32
Should You Slate in Character?
38
Glasses and Slating
39
Tail SlateEnd Slate
40
The Top Four Complaints about Your Performance
43
No Personality
61
No Warmth
63
Making Mistakes
64
Commercial Dialogue
67
Types of Commercials
69
Analyzing the Script
77
Comedy versus Drama
80
OneLiners
81
Marking the Script
83
The Good NewsBad News Syndrome
84
Coloring the Words
85
Transitions
86
Asides
87
Accents and Dialects
90
Cue Cards versus Scripts
92
Speaking from the Script
93
Speaking from Cue Cards
95
The Teleprompter
97
The Earprompter
99
After the Dialogue
102
Basic Commercial Actina Principles
103
No More Drunken Polar Bears
104
The BangingYourHeadagainsttheWall Method
106
Frame of Reference
109
Observation
110
Research through Observation
113
Character Objective
115
Memory Substitution
116
BackstoryPrelife
119
The Hero
121
Mentioning the Product Name
122
Words That Put the Product in Its Best Light
125
Handling the Product
127
The Separation Problem
151
TwoPerson Slates
152
Slating Chemistry
153
Who Really Tells the Message in a Scene?
155
Reacting to Third Parties
161
Building a Physical Relationship
162
Give the Director an Editable Scene
163
Listening
165
The Importance of Partner Chemistry
166
Reading from Your Partners Script
167
Pacing the Scene with Another Actor
168
Anticipating Your Partner
170
Openings and Closings
173
The Closing Shot
177
Cutting Scenes Together
178
Playing the Visual Environment
183
Giving a Visual Performance
184
Season and Locale
189
Basic Camera Staging
191
Standing
194
Upstaging
197
Sitting
198
Kneeling
200
Walking
201
Crossing in Front of Another Actor
202
Head Movement
203
Eyes
205
Smiling
207
Gesturing
208
Working with the Set
209
Script Terminology
213
The Hard Sell and the Soft Sell
214
The Storyboard
219
How Commercials Are Shot
223
Character Progression
226
The Shooting Script
227
Your Relationship with the Crew
228
The Actual Shoot
231
Roll Camera
233
The Shots
235
Thats a Wrap
239
About the Author
243
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