January 29, 2016

'Room' Director Lenny Abrahamson: When Something's Not Working, Don't Freak Out

In another terrific Bafta Guru video, we get some great directing advice from Lenny Abrahamson, who was recently nominated for an Academy Award along with his newest film Room:

Abrahamson has some interesting notes on casting, that after the actors are in place, he starts to rewrite based on the way they are speaking the dialogue. This is probably a good reason not to cling to every single word in the script, because it may be that an actor finds a much better way to say something naturally in their own words. 

As for his advice on directing, Abrahamson says that it's important to be able to turn off all of the noise of a film set and really find what's working, and what's interesting about what the actors are doing just as a human being in the room. He also mentions that when something isn't working, you can't freak out — it should be calmly noted, and then you need to start asking questions about why it's not working with those around you — the actors, DP, etc.

Abrahamson likes to feel out the blocking on set, and concern himself more with performance first, rather than what the camera and the lens are doing. Those things are important, but Abrahamson notes that we shouldn't let camera directions ruin what it is we're trying to get on set: authentically believable performances. 

For more Bafta Guru, check out their YouTube channel.     

Your Comment

2 Comments

gotta love this guy!

January 30, 2016 at 3:38AM

0
Reply
avatar
Markus Koepke
Director of Photography
161

Great stuff here. Good to hear Lenny get so passionate in his responses rather than phone it in like I've seen with some directors. Great, honest insight.

February 22, 2016 at 11:16PM

0
Reply
Tony Clifford
Director/Screenwriter
180