a director friend and myself were talking about actors, and what it was like to work with them. shortly we started talking about what the actor means to us, as directors. the conversation was really good and it got me thinking about vancouver and this industry and the people i've worked with. it's phenomenal some of the talent i've gotten to direct. the people who have believed in the story i was trying to tell and how they would do anything for the part.
on the flip side though, working with people - you learn really quickly whether or not you'd work with someone ever again. the casting process shows you the character and the character only. you rarely get to look at someone as a human being, who they are when the camera cuts. casting is a dangerous game. you have to base your decision on someone based on three minutes of meeting them and maybe a call back. for the most part it worked out. but, sometimes it doesn't. i've had the pleasure of directing 27 actors across my films, and to be fair the line is drawn at 17. that means 18-27 i'd never work with ever again for one reason or another.
#1 - the best actor i've ever worked with brought everything to the table. pre production, production, casting - they were completely professional. and more than anything else - they wanted it more than anyone else. they knew when to be in character, and how to shut off real life and get in the zone at the snap of a finger. it was truly amazing to watch and direct.
#2 - at a close second, the other actor oozed potential when we first met after casting. i genuinely felt they were going to be the next biggest thing out of vancouver. when you go into casting, or, when i go into casting, your resume means nothing to me. i don't give a shit if you've been on tv shows, or big movies, i care about what you bring to the character. and this person wanted to be everything this character was meant to be. they did homework going into shooting, called me all the time, really developed the character outside of the film and brought it on set, 200% invested. it's a shame their career hasn't taken off as i had predicted, they could have been one of the greats. i have my own ideas as to why it never worked out for them, but regardless, it's sad they're not killing it right now.
#3 - finally, i'm only going to do a top 3. this actor was the most experienced and professional i had ever gotten to work with, and i'd love to work with them again, and i will, i'm sure of it. no one has understood a character more than this actor. when the camera rolled, we didn't have to burn takes, we didn't have to waste time, it was strictly business, and they nailed the character. i got the pleasure of directing this performance and it was the least director i've had to be.
#25 - this actor was cast because they were the best option. not because they brought anything to the character or anything like that. they were okay on set but didn't have the range in performance i was hoping for. i dont think they're acting anymore.
#26 - when i met this actor before production it was clear we were going to have a problem. they weren't cast as the lead and were grudgingly on board as a different character. the time we met up they spent the entire meeting trying to tell me why i was wrong about casting someone else.
#27 - this one saddens me a bit because you'd never guess who this was. the experience with this actor was painful. they never understood their character, and frequently flew off the handle and performance varied take after take despite my notes and adjustments to keep everything the same except one thing. my patience was tested heavily working with this actor, and sadly i'll never work with them again. i'll go out of my way to avoid working with this person.