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Date Posted: 19:38:35 01/23/06 Mon
Author: fidhle
Subject: Re: eye of the beholder
In reply to: Kevin 's message, "Re: eye of the beholder" on 11:59:31 01/23/06 Mon

TV is a writer's and director's medium and the actors are there basically to serve the vision of the writer and director. The nature of the medium doesn't allow the actors to necessarily grow into a part, unlike plays, where, of necessity, the actor not only does the entire play in the proper order, but does it often and can make changes on their own, within limits.

Television and film, on the other hand, usually involve doing small scenes over and over until a satisfactory take is completed, and then moving on to the next scene to be filmed, which may have little to do with what is happening in the scene just filmed. That is, the order in which scenes are filmed is often dependent on factors such as which set, or which actors are available, and not where the scene fits in the overall story. It is not unusual for the last scene in a film to be the first filmed, which makes it difficult for an actor to necessarily know what the overall story actually is. I have heard in the commentary where actors have come to the set unaware that their character was to be killed in that day's shoot

I have generally been very disappointed in the actor's commentary on the Buffy DVD. In general, they don't really seem to say much of interest to me. What I do appreciate is the director's and writer's commentary, and the special features on the general making of the series. In that sense, I don't really miss commentary by SMG or any other actor.

The making of the commentary is after-the-fact to the creation of the show. The commentaries are often done much later, and much is dependent on whether a given actor, writer or director is available for commentary. SMG, in particular, has been fairly busy with other projects since leaving the show, which, in fact, did start the day after the final shoot on the show, so she was unavailable for the final party.

While SMG hasn't done any formal commentary on the DVD's, she has given lots of interviews which discuss various aspects of the show and acting. Many of those interviews, whether print on filmed, can be accessed through SMG fan sites, such as SMGfan.com. She did a fairly lengthy interview with a British interviewer named Blackwood which is available for download. He came to LA and visited the set while she was shooting "As You Were." I think it's called "Blackwood meets Buffy" and is in about 3 parts.

From what I've been able to discern from various sources, SMG is not a method actor. I've often read of her cracking jokes up until the command to start shooting is made, and then being in character for the shoot instantly. Perhaps her thoughts on acting would best be explored if she were to appear on something like the Actor's Studio show.

A final point. SMG was the main character in the show. As such, she had considerably more work to perform than the other actors. I saw a site that counted the lines spoken by each character during the run of the show, alas I can't find that site now. When I saw it, shortly after the end of the series, it showed that SMG had almost twice as many lines as the next busiest actor, which was AH as Willow. Twice as many lines would generally mean twice as much screen time and twice as much preparation, and SMG is noted for doing through preparation and being very consistent in her acting.

I, for one, am very grateful that Joss and Sarah and all the others in the cast and crew gave us such a wonderful little show for seven exciting years and I wish all of them the best in the future.

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