If you’re watching a movie or television show, do you ever stop and wonder how the actors manage to remember all of their lines? Below we’ll take a look at techniques that allow people without incredible memories to become actors.
Television production isn’t like theatre. The entire plot isn’t performed in sequential order from start to finish for a camera to capture. Instead small pieces are captured time after time and edited together to build the seamless visual experience that you are used to watching.
Not all actors learn their lines!
I have been on Sullivan Entertainment movie set before where a teleprompter was present. Dialogue would run up on the screen and the actor would simply read along – trying to avoid having their eyeline give away that they are reading.
The Beauty of Takes
Each scene is shot from different angles. Different camera setups allow tighter or looser framing and put different characters as the focus. When a show is cut together, all the different takes are assembled to give the best performance. Therefore, if an actor messes up a line, they can shake it off and start over – leaving it to the editor to clean up the performance. With such freedom, actors can sometimes enjoy their moments of failure.
The video below is just one take where James Caroll (Max Sutton from Wind at my Back) stumbles over his line – note his reaction.