The Craft of Film Acting

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The Craft of Film Acting. color. 109 min. Public performance rights included. Library Journal August 20, 2010 You don't know how they do it, but you know it when you see it. Great film acting takes talent, but it also needs practical skills. Professional actor McNamara walks us through 13 "scenes" in lecture format, covering everything from the audition and the callback to matching shots, finding your mark, shooting the master and coverage, recording sound, and translating director-speak. His emphasis is on the craft, not on the art, and he uses entertaining anecdotes and examples (some of them clips from his movies) to make his points. Students will be armed with the real-life, useful knowledge needed to handle the demanding days and last-minute calls in this competitive field. You'll never watch movies the same way again.-Ellen Druda, Half Hollow Hills Community Lib., Dix Hills, NY

Product Details

  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G General Audience
  • Run Time: 109.00 minutes
  • ASIN: B0031KLW2Q

Customer Reviews

A Must for Film and TV Acting

9 people found this helpful.
 on February 8, 2010
By Marylouise Wilson
This DVD should be available to acting students in every college library in the country. Today most of an actor’s work is on television or film, and J. Patrick McNamara’s advice is invaluable. As an actor myself who has had hundreds of camera auditions over the years, I can testify that he knows what he is talking about. His tips are particularly valuable for reading on tape. He lays out each step in the process and shows you how to give your best shot.


7 people found this helpful.
 on March 10, 2010
By Debby Gaudet
It was an answer to my prayer to find this incredible tool. After 6 years intense training and 2 years of searching, I finally found something NEW I can learn from. This DVD is absolutely indispensable. J Patrick McNamara covers everything with such clarity. His delivery is professional, yet endearing and with just the right element of humor. He allows the actor to get a full understanding of every aspect of film acting… from the audition process to what to expect working on set. There’s no doubt “THE CRAFT of FILM ACTING” is a TREASURE. From a selfish point of view, I’m reluctant to share it with the competition!

A Must Have…

6 people found this helpful.
 on February 12, 2010
By Lynn Taylor
Brilliant! I hope you get this DVD to every theater, acting school and theater department in high schools and colleges in the USA and beyond. Wow. I am so impressed. Not being an actor but a lover of both film and stage it was really an eye opener as far as the realities of the craft. It also made me aware of what goes in to the actor’s process. I learned so much about the little things that matter in a performance. It also gave me a greater appreciation of film making. I was totally enthralled. All the best of luck to you in getting this out there.


6 people found this helpful.
 on March 9, 2010
By Charles L. Miller Jr.
A brilliant DVD which promises to make anyone who watches it a better actor. J. Patrick McNamara is detailed in his instructions without talking over your head. Fun and insightful, it’s definetly a “must see” and “must keep”. It should be in every performers’ library.

Essential – Time and Money Well Spent

5 people found this helpful.
 on April 21, 2011
By Daniel B. Truman
Originally skeptical of the sticker price, this efficient, entertaining and invaluable two hours of instruction was well worth the price, and much cheaper than the several hundred dollars and several months you might spend on a similar class if you’re lucky enough to live where one is offered. McNamera is not interested in hearing himself talk, he’s interested in making you a better actor. And he does. And he’s good at it.

A lesson well taught

4 people found this helpful.
 on November 16, 2010
By Vernel Bagneris
This DVD offers a lifetime of experience and advice brought down to a concise and entertaining 99 minutes. My initial intention was to sit back and casually be informed, which I was. But, I soon found myself “pausing” and penciling down notes. It’s a worthwhile investment for anyone wanting to know about the actor’s role in filmmaking and the responsibilities of preparation. McNamara has put together a legacy of his personal experiences, found an interesting way to examine these challenges, and then offered possible solutions to his students. Highly recommended.

This DVD is worth at least $500 for anyone interested in film Acting.

4 people found this helpful.
 on February 5, 2011
By Adam Mckeith
I learned more from the first 25 minutes of watching this DVD than most of my acting classes combined.

Great tips and insights

4 people found this helpful.
 on January 29, 2010
By Amazon Customer
J. Patrick gives practical tips for every working actor such as how to scale your performance to the frame and hit your mark, uses great exercises and clips from past films to show what it takes to be truthful on screen, and does it all with charm and funny anecdotes from his own experience working with such directors as Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma. He has a great passion and knowledge, loves sharing it, and this DVD could be helpful for actors in every stage of their career.

A breath of clear, fresh air. . . .

4 people found this helpful.
 on April 13, 2011
By Cincinnati Kid
At last, an Acting tool that eschews complexity and mumbo-jumbo in favor of simplicity and clarity. J Patrick McNamara offers a concise overview of the craft of film acting with practical instruction and advice, humor, and anecdotes from his career that bring his thoughts into sharper focus. It is a wonderful introduction for beginners and a relaxed, friendly reminder for pros who want a refresher. I find it to be a great addition to my teaching and work as an actor as well.

Must see!

3 people found this helpful.
 on January 27, 2010
By Fredi
This is an incredibly succinct, insightful and logical exploration of the tricks and techniques an actor must learn in order to give a truthful film performance.

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