Taking Acting Classes as a Director/Writer - Your Opinion

Hey everybody, Jamie from Film Empire here.
For a video I'll be making for the channel I'd like people's opnions on the following thing:

Is it better for a director/writer to take acting classes so that he/she knows how it is to be in front of a camera?

I myself have been taking acting classes for over 3 years now and I definitely think it's helpful.

What is you guy's opinion on that? I will be covering your answers in the episode of 11 November.

Happy filmmaking and thanks already, Jamie


  • Is it better for a director/writer to take acting classes so that he/she knows how it is to be in front of a camera?

    "Better" is subjective.  A director doesn't need to know how it feels to be in front of a camera, any more than they need to know what it's like to be a DP, or a boom operator, or an effects technician, etc.  Could some experience in those areas help?  Perhaps, but remember that just as every actor is different, every director is also different.  What may feel helpful for you may feel completely useless for another director.  Some may feel that a broader base of experience helps them. Others may feel that it's just too much added clutter, and prefer to simply hire a talented cast and crew and trust them to do their respective jobs in the best way.

  • My argument is learn all you can, and fill every position you can. As the director, if you have acting experience it will help you talk to your actors. If you've done production audio, it will help you communicate with them, etc. 

  • I agree with @Triem23. A director doesn't have to be able to DO the other jobs, but knowing what they are is a big help when collaborating with them.

    Think of what it's like as a cinematographer working with a director who has no idea what "cinematography" means and you end up with a lot of complaining about how long it takes to set up lights and flags...

  • @WhiteCranePhoto heck, knowing their jargon helps... A D.P. will inwardly smirk a a director who says "pan up."

    Yeah, basically any position you can fill, whether lights, camera, audio, art design, costumes, makeup, prop wrangling, acting, etc will give you a taste of what those people do. It will help you communicate and understand what's done. It can even help understand what positions can be doubled up or combined. Example: on a small production makeup and costumes might fold together, but makeup and camera don't... If there's a touch up before a shot you'd lose 30 seconds on every take as makeup powders, puts down the kit and gets on camera.

    It's an odd example, but it actually happened to me. 

  • @jsbarrett ;@Triem23 @WhiteCranePhote

    Thanks for all the replies! Some nice insights!

  • I do also think that having some exposure to being in front of the camera helps, since it would enable the director to have an idea as to what it's like to act while also hitting marks, for example. Or acting while under a 1000 watt light, with a 2K Joker blasting them from behind at the same time. :)


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