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Date Posted: 21:31:10 01/25/06 Wed
Subject: Re: eye of the beholder
In reply to:
's message, "Re: eye of the beholder" on 19:23:09 01/25/06 Wed
In a commercial play, as opposed to a short term play usually found in school and community theater, once the show opens, the actors are really in charge and it becomes an actor's medium. Perhaps a good, but satirical, view of this is in The Producers in which the producers are trying to make a complete flop, but the lead actor takes over and it becomes a great success, much to the disappointment of the producers because they needed a flop to get away with there fraudulent scheme.
In a play run of several months or years, there is a lot of opportunity for the actors to explore various aspects of their characters, so that usually going to a play the closing night is not the same experience as going to the opening night.
Obviously, a TV series can explore the fictional characters much more than can either plays or film, simply because of the greater time available for the story. However, the real art in both TV and film, and Buffy was basically an hour long movie each week what with all the film editing and special effects, is in putting together all of the bits and pieces which make up the story as shown. The actors, the special effects, the music and the editing are all elements of this. The actors themselves are doing scenes which may have little to do with other scenes being shot on the same set. Think of an opening of Buffy which takes place with Buffy and mom in the kitchen, and an ending scene of the same ep which takes place in the same set. It is very likely that those two scenes would be shot back to back to utilize the set, since it is the same set, and thus save some money. So the actors may have to jump from before some traumatic event happens to way after the event without going through the event itself. Of course, they will know from reading the script what the event is, and that is useful in how they act.
At the same time, the director will be giving detailed instructions as to how the scene is to be acted. Watch some of the Once More with Feeling behind the scenes feature on the DVD to see just how detailed some of these instructions are.
Buffy was fortunate in having a great cast with great actors who could nail their parts, and there is great art and accomplishment in that, and I don't in anyway mean that TV and film actors are not artists. I only mean that the real creative force behind the show was not the actors, but was the writers and the directors. Again, Buffy had great writers and directors too. If you read the CHUD interview with Joss which Ann referenced above, you might see how, even though the actors, in this case SMG, may have thought the direction of the character was wrong, none the less, it was the writer and director who made the decision and it was the job of the actor to portray the character as the writer and director saw it, now as they saw it. SMG, even though she didn't like all of the darkness of S6 much, portrayed a depressed and dark Buffy brilliantly.
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