28 Apr 2017

Breaking down the walls between actors and film makers

The nature of both the acting and film industries is highly collaborative.


These skills to negotiate projects amongst a group of creatives, all having their own specific skill sets, defines the way actors and film makers work. Neither of these jobs are “solo sports” and in every case, no matter how good an individual, the end product is only ever as good as the team that create it. 

There are very few professions that require this level of collaboration, and it is vital that from the commencement of training, this value is instilled into AFTT’s students and incorporated into their projects from day one.  

A creative process – particularly one that requires a strong personal investment such as acting, brings with it some unique factors to consider, as head of Acting Glen Hamilton discusses. 

“The film maker needs to be able to illicit from the actor what she or he needs to create the form and aesthetic of the film. For the actor to be most artistically available and free requires them to work openly and without tension. Some of this is the responsible of the actor in having a robust and defined process, but much of it rests with how the film maker interacts with the actor and works with them to create their overall needs in the film.”

The film makers job is to develop a language that the actor understands but one that also allows the actor some freedom to find what the film maker wants organically. The first step to allowing this process to occur is to ensure that the actor feels respected in their abilities – so even if the film maker isn’t getting what they want from the actor – this isn’t necessarily the fault of the actor but a fault in the communication channel.


Little bit of green screen fun in the studio because why not! 🎥😍📷 @jvo_julie  #FilmSchool #FilmStudent #FilmSet #GreenScreen #Camera

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Similarly, the actor throughout the process needs to stay patient and understanding. There are lots of people and processes that go into making a film, so the actor needs to allow the crew to do their job and in return the crew allow the actor to theirs. The actor should of course be well prepared – understanding the script, knowing the lines (obviously) and being ready to work.

AFTT prides itself on the collaborations between actors and filmmakers both within the course and through the community of students past and present. Within the course, film makers are given the opportunity to audit acting classes in order to gain a greater understanding of the actor’s process, while actors enjoy similar involvement in developing script and storylines.

Find out more about studying Film Making or Acting at AFTT.