Monday, November 28, 2005

You Want Me to Look Where?

I had an audition today for a public service announcement. The training I got from my commercial workshop with Boise Thomas was to look in the camera because I have to make a connection with my viewer. When they replay the tape at the end of the day, they've got to feel that you made a connection with the viewer. Most of the commercial auditions I've attended have been with the casting folks watching me on a monitor, so the camera was the communication line to my audience. Everything was delivered to camera or with the camera in mind.

I slated to the camera, then the session director asked me a question. I answered to camera, even though his face was about a foot above camera. He then asked me to deliver the copy to a gal who was right of the camera. Her face was at least two feet away from the lens, which really cuts the connection to the viewer through the monitor. The casting director was out of the room for most of my audition, so I really needed to make that connection that would be viewable in playback. But I also didn't want to violate the session director's request and make it seem like I couldn't take direction. Crappola. This is the second time this has happened in an audition for me in the past two weeks (session director asking me to look somewhere other than the lens). And the copy was on the opposite side of the camera. I heard from the casting assistant out front that I didn't need to know the copy. Yeah, I should've gotten it down cold anyway.

So what did I decide to do? I looked at the gal, looked at the lens, glanced at the copy, looked at the lens, looked at the gal, and so on. My first shot, the story, will be totally connected to the viewer. But in the scripted shot I'll look like I have shifty eyes.

What's the right answer in a situation like this? Follow the session director's instructions or look into the lens? I'll have to ask Boise.

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