Drama without a script!! ?? Any views?

IAC General Discussions
Post Reply
Peter
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:17 am
Location: London
Contact:

Drama without a script!! ?? Any views?

Post by Peter » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:15 pm

Seeing as we have a new forum I thought it might be a good idea to get it going with a bit of controversy ... (Well, not really) :lol:

Has anyone made a drama (or comedy) - but not used a script? I mean by this that you give the actors something (a subject, an idea, or statement) to bounce off, and they make it up as they go along! (A bit like Coronation Street, Emerdale and the Archers ...)

(Just realised that there is no spelling check on here - and that's what I really neeeeeeeee :twisted: eeed).

It would be difficult to do, make them ad-lib, and I imagine there would be a need to shoot a lot of footage and have lots of editing to do afterwards, and it could go somewhere like a dark alley, and end up in the bin, but it could be worth a try. I know that actors would love to do this. Just need to find a director with a lot of patience, and a place booked into the nearest looney bin.

But it could be quite exciting! :lol: :twisted:
Peter

Michael Slowe
Posts: 626
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Post by Michael Slowe » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:49 pm

Peter, they most certainly do not make the soaps up as they go, my daughter has been in Emmerdale for a year now and spends all her time learning scripts! No rehearsal time but certainly no ad libbing allowed.

Peter
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:17 am
Location: London
Contact:

Post by Peter » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:02 pm

Peter, they most certainly do not make the soaps up as they go, my daughter has been in Emmerdale for a year now and spends all her time learning scripts! No rehearsal time but certainly no ad libbing allowed.
I know, I was only joking, but I'm sure the Archers is made up, it's such crap!
Peter

User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Drama without a script

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:54 pm

I like the way Ken Loach prepares his movies, even if I do not always enjoy the results.

Starting with a story outline, he and his actors improvise and discuss their characters for a week or two and the best lines are written down. The written version becomes the script and is used when shooting.

I know that's not quite was being suggested.

Part of my joy in fiction movies is precisely that you can have everything worked out in advance and shot so as to enhance the dialogue and actions. I could see the total improv approach being fun to do and dreadful to watch!

Dave

ned c
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Post by ned c » Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:21 am

This is not new as John Cassavetes made most of his personal films this way with a group of friends (including Peter Falk and his wife Gena Rowlands). Mike Leigh uses a version of this, very similare to that described by Dave for Ken Loach. The essential ingredient is GOOD actors and it would be interesting as a watchable disaster made with amateur actors.

Ned C

Peter
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:17 am
Location: London
Contact:

Post by Peter » Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:29 am

ned c wrote:This is not new as John Cassavetes made most of his personal films this way with a group of friends (including Peter Falk and his wife Gena Rowlands). Mike Leigh uses a version of this, very similare to that described by Dave for Ken Loach. The essential ingredient is GOOD actors and it would be interesting as a watchable disaster made with amateur actors.

Ned C
Yes, it would be difficult to do with amateur actors. Mostly I would always try and use professional actors, as its dificult enough to make films even with very good ones. I've seen many amateur productions ruined by lack of quality acting. Of course there have been exceptions, but not many. :oops:

The examples by Dave of Ken Loach and also Mike Leigh has been mentioned, and are good ones. These directors do end up with a script, so the actor's ad lib part has been processed or even refined. I think my idea would be more like the film equivalent of Jazz music, where the players have worked together as a team a lot, but in the end everything is down to the moment. This could result in some creative film making, but the opposite as well. If I still belonged to a club I might suggest it and try it, but other people might like to do this instead. :D
Peter

ned c
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Post by ned c » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:33 pm

You don't have to belong to a club to make films, Peter. All you need are a few chums and a willingness to approach the local theatre group and you are in business. Basic miniDV cameras are now inexpensive and produce amazing results, tape is cheap and if you have a recent computer, Mac has iMovies and Windows comes with a basic editing program both of which will do most of what we need. How about a competition for cameras under $300 results edited on iMovie or the Windows program?

Ned C

tom hardwick
Posts: 828
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Post by tom hardwick » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:34 am

[quote="Peter"]I know, I was only joking, but I'm sure the Archers is made up, it's such crap![/quote]

Yup. The Archers sure is made up. It's certailnly not real.

Peter
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:17 am
Location: London
Contact:

Post by Peter » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:56 am

ned c wrote:You don't have to belong to a club to make films, Peter. All you need are a few chums and a willingness to approach the local theatre group and you are in business. Basic miniDV cameras are now inexpensive and produce amazing results, tape is cheap .... etc etc
Ned C
But it is much easier if you have the support of a club. Doing it alone is much more difficult and I prefer to use professional actors and not theatre groups, even though some may be very good.

I do have the equipment to shoot and edit, but I was thinking of someone who does not and is either very young and/or very poor in financial terms. A camera and edit suite is still going to cost £1000 ($US 2000) and some people cannot afford that. One of the problems I see with some established film makers, is that they are reasonably affluent, but they forget the reality of life where many people are not in the same position of having spare cash.

Some of us forget how lucky we are in having a little surplus income. This is sometimes the reason why retired or mature people take up film making, due to some spare cash and more time. Younger people are often too busy surviving or just living to have the money or motivation to make films, and there are too many other distractions and opportunities out there to attract their time and interest. Film makers can be a bit narrow and blinkered in this respect, and I wish more would come down to earth.

One answer to this would be to have a club that had a lot of equipment which could be hired out very cheaply, (or for free) - but there are problems with this, and there would need to be a large grant applied on a regular basis to enable equipment to be purchsed and repaired and/or replaced. Obviously these and other problems make this fairly impractible.
Peter

ned c
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Post by ned c » Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:59 pm

For young or beginning film makers who want access to equipment I don't think a club will help as my memory of clubs is that they are made up of individuals who own and use their own equipment. Club productions are done by those with the equipment and they don't loan it out to newcomers. I agree that some form of community centre with the equipment is an answer and I remember that there were such places in the UK. Obviously they need good management and funding.

Ned C

Post Reply