glimpses behind the scenes at what creates the magic we experience of film & tv- & other!

Actors often not into mythos, cont.

Shooting a movie or TV episode isn’t at all like acting in a play. In a play, the actor reads the script, gets into the character’s skin. Once the play starts, scenes go in sequence for the full arc of each characters’ development. If an actor drops a cue or flubs a line, the other actors know the whole scene well enough to improvise.

how a script is divided

how a script is divided

In movie or TV production scenes are rarely shot in sequence. A scene itself is rarely shot as a whole; what is one page in the script may be divided into several different shots, each with different set-ups and camera angles. The page of a Star Trek script shown here has been divided into 8 parts, each line – even each look –  to be shot separately.  The actor has no continuity.

In Star Trek 2009 we see Spock walk past Kirk in a hallway and enter and enter an elevator. He has a pensive look on his face.  Is he wondering if that was Kirk he saw?  No! Quinto says he was thinking of Spock’s world having been destroyed.  When the elevator scene was shot, Quinto would have no way of knowing that the corridor scene would end up just before it. That was done in the editing.

Given this choppiness, many actors see their job as simply showing up, reading their line or putting on their expression.  They may not read the full script.  They may know only their part.

This isn’t true of all actors.  Some like Robert Picardo seemed to study the whole script and get involved with his character. At the Voyager panel at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention in 2010,   Garrett Wang teased Robert Picardo for often contacting the writers about his character, the Emergency Medical Hologram, and how he could fit into the episode.

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