Filmmakers often use the element of surprise to direct actors for certain scenes to get authentic emotional responses.
The directors of AJAMI based their film entirely on this principal. Unlike other forays into improvisation, AJAMI had a very precise screenplay and a well-constructed plot that demanded precise emotional responses from its actors.
The actors ended up acting out a story, without being aware that they were being directed according to a pre-written script. The film is a work of fiction which shows “real” people acting in situations that are orchestrated by the directors, but very “real” to the performers, resulting in the actors projecting emotions on camera that they actually experienced at the time.
This was achieved over specialized workshops, in which the actors were brought to each character’s emotional and psychological state as written in the script.
In these workshops, the participants didn’t learn about text, goals, mise-en-scene or acting tricks. The focus was on the psychological journey of the characters through dramatic role-playing. Eventually, each actor deeply identified with his or her character as though the character was an extension of their own personality.
When the cameras started rolling, something magical happened – the actors forgot that they were in a fictional situation and their minds believed that what was happening was real.
Throughout the 2 days-workshop, participants will learn and experience the technique that Scandar uses during the preparations of his actors as well as during the shoot.
PROFILE OF PARTICIPANT
The workshop is designed to Directors, Actors, Film Students.
ABOUT SCANDAR COPTI
Copti is an Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker born and raised in Yafa. In 2009, his first full-length feature film “Ajami” won the Camera d’Or Special Mention at the Cannes Film Festival. His film was also nominated for the 82nd Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category and won more than 15 awards worldwide. Formerly a mechanical engineer, he has also written, directed and edited several fiction, documentary and experimental short films. Copti was on the jury of the Tribeca film festival as well as at the Thessaloniki film festival in 2010 and President of the Human Rights Award in the Istanbul International film festival 2011. Copti was part of the team that launched the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and the Doha Film Institute (DFI) and he headed the DFI’s education department until November 2011. Currently Copti is developing his next feature film project.