Guest: Jack Maxwell (Actor)
Recent credits include: “Lost”, “Ugly Betty”, “House M.D.”, the documentary “Salomaybe”, directed by and starring Al Pacino. He has appeared in over twenty independent films and is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio.
Tonight was a special show for me in that a really good friend was my guest. He is a good friend who is also one of the most talented and professional actors I know.
We wanted to have Jack on the show to give the actor’s perspective of how a set runs and how to get the most out of an actor’s performance. I hope I don’t start to sound too repetitive on here about the importance of ALL aspects of filmmaking. But it’s weird how some different filmmakers will neglect different aspects of making a movie. Whether it be sound, picture, set design and in many cases acting. Which is hard to believe. Not because acting or actors are “more important” then sound or make-up, but one could argue that acting is the most up front in your face aspect of filmmaking. You’re trying to create this fantasy world that people can live through and experience and no matter how well lit the scene is (and it is important to be well lit); if the acting ain’t there, you are in trouble. Big budget movies, with lots of special effects etc., can get away with it (so can porn), but most of the time, us indie filmmakers cannot. Yes bad scripts get made into movies and yes bad movies with bad acting that are marketed well do okay at the box office, but you can’t count on that. Unless you have major contacts, are independently wealthy or are really good at BSing people out of their money, everything has to be the best it can be and of course that includes acting.
If you haven’t seen the show, Jack has worked with Al Pacino, both in theater, in the play “Salome”, and the documentary “Salomaybe”. He shares some good stories about that experience and how Al worked as a director. (By the way Mr. Pacino, happy birthday!)
So we had a good talk about how to get the most out of actors on the show. We also talked about the relationship between actor and director. We showed 45 seconds and talked about a somewhat famous clip that you can see on youtube here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F86s4Vq59Ks . In it’s entirety, the clip is over two minutes and illustrates how you SHOULD NOT communicate, but believe me this stuff happens both on big and low budget movies. Warning there is a lot of four letter language. Some people find it insanely funny. Take a look and let me know what you think! How could they have handled the situation differently?
Jack is passionate about his craft and it adds to the discussion that could have lasted for hours. As it stands, Brian the producer lets us go on a little longer then normal so we must have been doing something right!
Truth is, there were quite a few topics/questions I couldn’t even get to. So maybe we’ll have another actor on in the future or maybe even have Jack back.
For directors, producers, actors who haven’t been on many film sets, or anyone interested in the behind the scenes relationships and inner workings, this show is a good watch.
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Slight correction. During the show I mention that there is another clip out on the net that I was told about but had not seen involving Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman. I found the clip for myself late last night after the show and in fact Miss Tomlin is going off on the director with Mr. Hoffman sitting next to her in a car. When Hoffman tries to intervene, Tomlin tells him he can F-off too. That clip is here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=y-4_OsaA3pE&mode=related&search=