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4.8 out of 5 stars14
4.8 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 1997
Well, got a camcorder? I'm not being funny. The Eric Kline exercises at the end of the book will teach you things, with the aid of a camcorder that no amount of talking or reading can. But first, read the book.
Economy is its keyword. Tony Barr gleans, from years of teaching since he founded The Film Actors Workshop in 1960, the most effective and easiest techniques for both the novice and the pro to truthfully "communicate ideas and emotions" through the camera.
Correctly relegating exercises to exercises rather than as a response to the director's shout for "action," Barr recounts the need for listening, sensing and learning to respond to stimuli moment to moment. He divides the book into sections. The first two, "Acting" and "Working on the Role", he tells us are enough for anyone to create a strong performance. The next, "Tools," he warns are extras, only to be approached after you have mastered the first. The last part of the book gives the never-been-on-a-set-before actor everything he/she needs for that first role, the understanding of the mechanics of movie making that directors expect from actors.
Want to be in pictures? This is a must-read for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2001
Mr. Barr's book is very informative and provides valuable information on the mechanics of acting in film or television. However, he has an obvious bias against theater. He consistently implies that theater actors are unable to create realistic performances. He refers to theater actors having to do without the "glamour" of theater when on a sound stage. Someone please tell me where this theater with all the glamour is..I've only been on the ones where there's hard work.He educates the poor shallow theater actors with such elementary concepts as that when one plays an evil character, one should not only play the character as "evil." I learned that in high school. He also devotes a whole chapter to the unrealistic notion that an untrained actor would be asked to do a stunt on film or television. Good technical information for those unfamiliar with the film process, but he has an axe to grind.
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on July 4, 2004
Overall, this is a good purchase. I got this a while ago because of my interest in branching out in my acting. I will admit that the first few chapters were slow, and I stopped reading for a while. However, after the first 1/4 I really got into it. There are excellent tips in there on how to go from theatre acting to film acting. There were also some good ideas on acting in general--from reacting to stimuli during a scene or dealing with unruly directors. It also had a few addresses for unions, which is always nice to have. There were also definitions of jobs related to film and the equipment used in film. The last chapter of the book is a compilation of exercises to practice in front of a camera. These are exercises that you will need about 2 or 3 other people for, and you will either have to improvise a scene, write a scene, or find a scene to perform while doing the exercises.
This is a very good book that gives you the basics. It can be used as an introduction or as a refresher, and it is generally an enjoyable read--Tony Barr writes with humor but also gets the point across. After the first few chapters, I devoured this book. This is definitely a good book to have for reference, one that I will have around for a while...
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on June 10, 2000
Well i enjoyed the knowlege Acting for the Camera bestowed upon me. It was enlightening and very informative. I know i will be an actor... It has been my dream sence i was 6. I found my self struggling for knowlege. Now at the age of 15 i feel like i have made many steps towards my career. This book contains many concepts some more difficult to grasp. After reading it the first time i realized that my dream was going to be harder then i thought to accomplish. Instead of giving up i read it over and over making notes on what was difficult. This book gave me and will still continue to give me acting knowelege. That knowlege will lead to skill. So make your dream come true. Hardwork, determanation, and this informative guide will help you go far.
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on January 1, 2001
This is, by far, the best guide I've ever read of acting for film and television as it compares to acting for the stage -- for the dollar, a Barr-gain of anything taught in acting school! A very descriptive reference manual to read again and again throughout one's acting career, it examines the correlation between theatrical and film acting, a principal that's often disregarded by many modern actors to the detriment of their skill. This book is a thorough technical manual for those never before the camera as well as for experts in the field. Victoria Ward, Artistic Director, Stage Forward
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on February 12, 2004
My acting teacher says that, basically, their are two types of acting. Acting for the stage (theatre, plays)and acting for the camera (movies, tv). I want to do the later one, acting in movies. We do some stage excersises in class, but they dont interest me. I want to be in front of the camera so I can use some method and other technics, that my teacher says dont work in stage acting. I know i will reach my goal and get more and more film work. If you think the stage isn't for you, either, than read this book. You learn alot.
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on January 20, 1999
The first two sections of the book alone increased my abilities in front of the camera 100%. It became that I would read it over each week on my way to acting class. Tony Barr examines all areas of acting, tools, preparation, working on set and putting what you have learned into practice. It is to the point, intelligent and easy to read. It is a book to be studied, underlined and reread. I really feel it is a must for anyone wanting to act in front of a camera, regardless of your talent level.
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on December 27, 2002
I thought this book was very valuable.
It had really great tips. If your into proactive books that give you hands on advivce you should also check out Twelve Step Plan To Becoming An Actor In LA. It gives not only good audition and in front of the camera tips. It teaches you how to survive emotionally and spiritually as an actor. Imperative, if your going to put yourself out there day after day.
Sylvia Lord
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on December 7, 1999
im 14 and am on my way to being an actress......hopefully. I just bought this book and it is very useful. It tells you a great deal on things that you need to know. it is the most brilliant book that i am reading that teaches u about acting for the camera. And if anyone here knows of any acting schools in hong kong can they leave a msg here. thanx for reading this
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on March 2, 1999
hi i'm 15 years old and i think i have what it takes to be in actress.its my dream to be one and i now one day its going to happen. i love to act like i'm acting in a movies.i hope you can help me make my dream come true.thanks for taking time out to read my letter.
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