The Schizophrenic Nature of Generation X
16 hours ago
This is the former location of the blog of the Mother of Invention Acting School in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The blog is now located at http://utteracting.com/blog. This old location has been left in place as an archive.
Scott Cooper, who after working in TV and film for more than a decade as an actor has suddenly made a splash as the rookie writer-director of "Crazy Heart."
For years, thousands of young Hollywood wannabes have been paying top dollar to get a film school education, figuring that it is the best way to break into the movie business. But it turns out that if you want a career as an admired filmmaker, one of the shortest lines to success is to put in some time working as an actor. If you study the Oscar history books, it is nothing short of remarkable how many great films over the last few decades have been made by directors who began their careers as actors.
Having often spent years working out scenes in acting classes and observing great filmmakers on movie sets, actors have a keen eye and ear for the right rhythm and tone that help form the creative architecture of a good movie.
"I think actors make good directors because they understand behavior," says Cooper, 39...
During filming, Cooper was a sponge, listening to anyone with a good idea, especially one that lent more grit to the story. In the opening of the movie, we see Bridges pull into town in his woebegone '78 Chevy Suburban, emptying a Sparkletts bottle full of urine in a parking lot. "That came from Stephen Bruton," says Cooper, referring to the recently deceased country singer -- a mainstay in Kristofferson's band -- who worked on much of the film's music with Burnett. "He said he'd often drive 300 miles between gigs and he needed to find a way so he never had to stop to take a [leak]. So, man, that felt so perfect. It went right into the movie."
Amen, brother. Hallway actors at auditions drive me nuts. They're also the ones who'll pepper everyone with questions about 'How'd it go', 'Did you (= 'Should I') use an accent?' ( or do people talk just like I normally do in a hallway in 21st c NYC, in a play set in 18th century Georgia? But they didn't read the play, so how would they know?), 'I'm just gonna do it funny, you know?', 'Were they nice?', etc. before going in and shouting their way through, mistaking volume for intention and insouciant disregard of craft for presence, operating as if they can find some loophole in the process that will compensate for their lack of preparation so as to hold the process accountable when they inevitably don't book it.