More Acting

I finally got around to plugging my video camera into the new PC, and downloaded clips from the play. Unfortunately I only managed to grab the tape of the last night before my battery ran out, and I can’t find the power adapter anywhere. Although the acting & make-up were a lot better than on the other tape (which was from the dress rehearsal).

Becca, who filmed it, was roped in literally at the last moment (actually once the play had started – the tape doesn’t begin until about five minutes in) and I didn’t have time to show her the set-up. For the first ten minutes or so she is struggling to fix the camera onto the tripod, unaware that I still had the vital clip stuck on the bottom of my still camera. During that period there’s a bit of following people around stage, some nice close-ups, and a lot of shots of peoples bodies, legs and feet. After ten minutes or so, she gives up and pans out to the whole stage where she remains for the rest of the play, until about halfway through the second half where the jumped up assistant theatre manager spotted her and ordered her to switch the camera off. So, all in all, not a very successful night’s filming.

But there are some very worthwhile bits on it. Watching myself act is torturously painful: I’ve got some nice moves and expressions, but my voice seems completely wrong for my role. Still, I can learn a lot from it if I can only bring myself to watch it all (I haven’t yet, not even a fraction of it).

Anyways, I got around to playing with Premiere. It’s almost as much of a pig as I remember, especially trying to export web quality video. Exporting to Quicktime, Windows Media or Real Media is now fairly straightforward, there’s oodles of presets, but if you want to do an MPEG (which I would like to as it’s still the only really cross-platform solution) then you need some kind of degree in astrophysics, or something. If I live to be 300 I will never work it out. So I copped out and tried the other formats: Real I will not touch with a bargepole because every time I let a piece of that company’s shit software come near one of my machines I end up regretting it; Quicktime for some reason gave me a 5.5Mb file for my 37 seconds of video; and Windows Media, with slightly lower quality settings, gave me a file just over 1Mb which was actually hugely better in quality than the Quicktime version. So I plumped for that one. Have a look and see what you think of my acting (I’m the funny one on the right). Oh, and given the above rambling about camera work, I’m sure you can excuse the fact that I start the clip headless. Oh, and here’s another clip from slightly further away.

You can leave praise, abuse, messages for my agent, proposals of marriage, requests for insemination, etc. using the comments form below.

2 thoughts on “More Acting

  1. Hummm… it’s really weird to see you like this, Dan.
    I got to view the Hands clip a few times before I could adjust my mind to not seeing you in a “regular” environment. Like in a bar or restaurant, or in front of a PC… Weird.

    But wonderful too.
    There’s a few details in how you deal with your posture and facial expressions which make me think “Dan’s gonna be a good actor”.

    On the other hand, the first thing which sprung to my mind was Monty Python’s “Nudge nudge” sketch.

    http://www.jumpstation.ca/recroom/comedy/python/nudge.html

    Scroll down to the picture, and flip it horizontally. Know whatahmean, nudge nudge?

  2. Thanks for the comment – always interested to know what this looks like to an “outsider” (i.e. somebody outside my body). Personally, I find myself cringing when I look back at the tapes (although that “hands” clip is one of the least cringeworthy parts). I do recognise good bits – I think I have the facial expressions more or less worked out, and sometimes my body movements are good as well although I seemed to be moving about far more than necessary for a lot of the play. And my voice… I don’t think it suited the part, I could do with lowering it about and octave, there’s something a bit squeaky about it which I don’t think was authoritative enough. I don’t think this is just a “not liking the sound of one’s own voice” thing, although there’s perhaps an element of that, it just didn’t sound “in character” enough.

    And, yes, I do know what you mean. A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat. I hadn’t thought of that sketch, although we used to act it out quite a bit when I was younger (“your wife interested in… _photography_ … is she?”)

    Funnily enough, last night I was reading the next play I’ll be in, and I realised that the character I’ll play is quite like another python – more specifically, he shares a lot of traits with Basil Fawlty. Now that really _will_ be fun to do.

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