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LinkedIn Learning

Creating a Short Film: 04 Working with Actors

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn how to direct actors and get the best performances for your short film.

Creating a Short Film is a 13-part training series that shows the actual struggles and challenges filmmakers have to overcome to get films made. Chad Perkins and his team made a short film,The Assurance, and documented the process: from writing and directing to editing and screening the film. This installment helps you understand how to direct actors and get the best performances for your own short film.

Learn about finding and auditioning actors for different roles and get a deep dive into the theory of acting: being vs. pretending, understanding character motivation, and interpreting the script. From theory, we segue into application, with some acting exercises to keep actors focused and in the zone. Chad also touches on the importance of rehearsals, and provides tips for directing actors on set and getting great voiceover in post. The course closes with an interview with Eva Jane, the lead in The Assurance, and her thoughts on getting into character and working with directors.


  • Welcome to this series
  • The importance of acting
  • Previewing our short film
1. Auditions
  • About the casting process
  • Finding actors
  • Conducting a successful audition
  • Evaluating auditions
  • Casting our actors
2. Acting (Theory)
  • Pretending vs. being
  • Exploring acting methods
  • Understanding character motivation
  • Using scene obstacles
  • Finding the stakes
  • Interpreting the script
3. Acting (Application)
  • Warming up the body
  • Acting exercises
  • Changing the action verb
  • Listening to your scene partner
4. Conducting Rehearsals
  • Should you have rehearsals?
  • Holding a table read
  • Allowing mistakes
  • Recreating the scene
  • Discovering the characters
5. Directing Actors
  • What makes a good director?
  • Supporting the actors
  • Blocking actors
  • Giving notes
  • Directing emotional scenes
  • Maintaining emotional consistency
  • Directing a voice-over performance
  • Directing child actors
  • Directing nonactors
6. Interview with Eva Jane
  • How did you prepare to play Ta'ani?
  • Identifying with your character
  • What was your favorite scene to perform?
  • What would've made Ta'ani a stronger character?
  • How do you feel about rehearsals?
  • How can directors support actors?

Taught by

Chad Perkins

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