Production: 6 Tips for Directing Non-Professionals

If you opt for directing films as your career, then be prepared for a lot of work and decision making. One of the vital decisions is when to use a professional and when to use a non-professional.

  1. Rehearsals Till you are satisfied: When directing a non-professional, you have to take the time to have many rehearsals. This should be your foremost priority. Without a lot of rehearsing, you may find yourself losing an actor partway through the film because the actor becomes either frightened or disillusioned. You have to keep after the non-professional to see just how much they can give to a performance.
  2. Reassurare the Talent: The non-professional should be made aware that the job can be a matter of sitting around waiting for their lines to be up, to doing a scene over and over again exactly as before, until it becomes so redundant it loses its meaning, yet the emotion for the scene must seem fresh. In order to keep the interest and self esteem of the non-professional, you have to assure them they are acting well and perhaps will someday be a star.
  3. Have Patience: You have to be patient and understanding when directing a non-professional and if you are, you may get the delivery and emotion that the scene asks for. Your non-professional is not used to the kind of hard work and should therefore, have more breaks than a professional would need. The most important thing a good director can do for a non-professional is to give him space and keep the talent motivated.
  4. Have Character Artists: Most often, your non-professional will have a supportive part in the story to add a more realistic touch. Some of the great directors will cast a butcher in the role of a butcher and a military person in the part of a soldier. This helps to make your direction easier as the non-professional understands the character he or she is playing. In case you are hiring someone who doesn't have a first hand experience of the character the person will be playing, then you as a director will need to make them understand the character sufficiently. If possible, make them meet a similar character so that the talent has a better understanding of the role.
  5. Change Script: When you are directing the non-professional, it is time consuming but it does not have to be an unpleasant situation if you plan it well. The script in the part that the non-professional will play should be broken down into small parts. You may need to emote every gesture to get the perfect replica of what you are looking for. And if required, change the cript a bit, without damaging its message.
  6. Be Professional: You should maintain your professional status with confidence in your non-professional's talent. You have to believe that the person has the talent to give you the performance you are looking for. You will need to explain things more in detail, but at the same time do not over pamper them and maintain a professional attitude. After all, you want them to take your words seriously.