With little acting experience, you can make unnecessary mistakes on action. Follow these tips for acting on camera and you will improve immediately;
- Relax and don’t obsess
- Less is always more
- Imagine that the camera is your best friend
- Do vocalization exercises
- Learn how to be aware of your own body language
Just keep moving forward and don’t give a shit about what anybody thinks. Do what you have to do, for you.Johnny Depp
Talking in front of a camera can be a stressful and complicated experience. Ahead of the goal, some people feel so much pressure that forgets basic social skills to the point that they notice how nothing they do is spontaneous. It seems that they have to take “manual” control over every single movement of their body without getting to everything.
Our ability to adapt to the demands of the environment does not depend only on what we have come to dominate in the past, nor on what we know in a theoretical, intellectual way. An example of this is that someone who, in most cases, is very confident and extroverted can completely block himself on stage or in front of a camera.
In other words, our ability to reach our goals effectively depends both on us and on the context in which we find ourselves. Something as simple as putting a person to observe us can completely transform our way of acting.
And the same is true in the world of audiovisual media with recordings using a camera, regardless of whether the content generated is for television, cinema, or the Internet.
The best acting for the camera exercises for audiovisual productions
You may have some problems if you have never faced an experience based on speaking in front of a camera. Fortunately, these are easy to polish with a little practice and some patience. For this reason, we bring you some acting for the camera exercises that will be very useful to you.
Imagine that the camera is your best friend
To make it easier for you to go to the camera, you can use what I call “friend technique.” What does it consist of? Very easy. Speak in front of the target as if you were telling everything to someone close to you.
Imagine that the camera is a friend and look into its eyes. This will help you say things more naturally and will keep you from getting nervous. You can think that it is anyone you trust: your mother, brother, cousin, a colleague, whoever you want.
Imagine that a camera is a person. Now it is not, but when you publish your video, it will be, when you convince yourself that you are not talking to a camera but someone in the flesh, the message comes naturally.
It will help you think that only one person sees you at a time and not tens, hundreds, or thousands of people. If you’re having trouble doing this exercise, invite someone you trust to come with you during the recording. It will be easier for you to feel that you are talking to a real person.
As actors, we train our bodies and minds to get the best out of our peripheral vision, the plant of movement, tensions, emotion management, etc. The cameras, as well as the lights and all the technical instruments, are elements that are our art disposal. Therefore the camera is our best friend, and there is nothing to fear.
Another trick that can help you is to take a potato (yes, a potato), put it in front of you, and rehearse the text saying it to it. Then, when you are ready to record it, place the potato next to the camera lens. This way, as you have done several times before, it is more comfortable and familiar.
Go ahead and enjoy filming that the camera loves you and will capture the best of you. Over time you will get used to all the technical gadgets that can make the set a little intimidating.
Do vocalization exercises
In front of a camera, it is essential to vocalize since the people who are going to see you are not going to be able to ask you to repeat things. On the other hand, the nerves may contribute to you not doing much, either due to problems muscle control or dry mouth.
To do this acting for the camera exercises, stand in front of a mirror and train the vocalization, slightly exaggerating the movements of the mouth to get used to that greater mobility. After the first training sessions, record yourself doing it, to get used to the new context.
If you talk to the camera quickly, all followed, linking one phrase to another and using the same tone all the time; two things will happen: it will give the feeling that you want to “get rid of it” as soon as possible and also it will be difficult to follow you.
That’s why I recommend that you pause, use silences (brief, obviously) from time to time, emphasize the most important ideas (increase or decrease the volume of your voice) and use different rhythms (or speeds when speaking).
Learn how to be aware of your own body language
Don’t be afraid to be expressive and make gestures. Use your body to communicate as you would in any conversation. That is preferable to being stiff as a stake without moving or blinking. The total lack of movement transmits rigidity, while the gestures with the arms or the face provide naturalness and make you seem more human.
Of course, try not to go flat or move your feet compulsively as if you are dancing tap. This can make the viewer quite nervous and lose attention to the message. You have to control excess movement (both head and back) as it can ruin a shot. A simple gesture or a drop in the eyes may not seem convincing, but they are powerful under the camera’s gaze.
Less is always more
It’s good to rehearse facial expressions in the mirror before recording the shots. With a close-up, less is more, and the internal quality is critical, since expressing feelings in exaggerated facial expressions can give a sense of falsehood.
Facial expressions should be kept limited. The hardest part of acting for the camera is to be credible; to be credible, you have to act exactly as you would do daily. (They say that the best compliment they can throw at you in this cinematographic thing, is to tell you that you are not acting, that you are “yourself”)
On the other hand, many people tend to make exaggerated movements because they are in front of an inanimate object. To avoid this, imagine the people who are seeing you or who will see you.
By common sense, you will do it realistically, faithful to what will inevitably happen or will happen when the video is broadcast. This way, you will have constant feedback that will make it easier for you to know what tone to use, what rhythm to print in your words, etc.
Relax and don’t obsess
When it is your turn to hit the record button, chances are you’re nervous and tense. Before putting yourself in front of the camera, you have to try to remove all that tension since it will be noticed in your body position.
Have you never seen a person who looked like he had swallowed a broomstick? That is what to avoid. Try these acting for the camera exercises:
- Record the videos alone. At first, you will even be ashamed to be seen by your family.
- Drink water regularly, your nerves will dry your mouth.
- Do a series of stretches to relax your muscles.
It’s okay to want to do a good job. But what is not right is to impair your effectiveness just by polishing small details sometimes unimportant.
If you repeat and repeat it because you mispronounce a syllable or don’t do it all at once, your morale will drop, you will get tired, and that will be noticed in the video. Accept that with practice, you will improve and that taking great care in looking at the target is counterproductive because it distracts you from other more basic tasks when speaking in front of a camera. Try not to stray your gaze from the area in the center of which is the part you should look at.
Don’t pretend to make the perfect video. This does not exist. However, it does always give you the best of you, although remembering that people are not expressly looking for your mistakes but the value you can bring them with your message.
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