As filmmakers, we've always sympathized with the actors we know -- especially those new to the filmmaking process -- who find themselves on set, in what seems like a confusing, arbitrary, alien world that nevertheless has decades' worth of customs and rules and acceptable behaviors. Filmmaking is a highly technical craft, yet there's little information readily available to actors about what happens on set and off, or how all of that meshes with their creative work.
Years ago, actors who came up through the studio system were given in-depth training in how camera, lighting, editing and all the other aspects of production would impact their performances; nowadays, it's very hard for actors to get that kind of training, even in Los Angeles, New York or conservatory acting programs. This forces actors to learn it by the seat of their pants in the stressful, high-stakes environment of actual film sets.
We've been working on ways to make that knowledge more available to actors in a relaxed, safe situation. Over the years, we've presented workshops that have addressed bits and pieces of this, but with this new venture, we're assembling a much more comprehensive look at production, with the goal of creating a curriculum and knowledge base that we can share freely with anyone who wants to use it.
We have two main goals:
Even more broadly, we hope to use this workshop and the resulting curriculum to start a conversation among all the filmmaking crafts about how we can help each other more. In the often high-pressure situation of production, it's hard to find time to ask anyone else, "What do you do? And how can we work together better?" This is one attempt to begin asking those sorts of questions.
Our work as writer/directors includes the feature film The Red Machine, the short film Gandhi at the Bat, and the ongoing detective adventure A Person Known to Me, which is made up of many different forms of storytelling, including movies, prose and illustrations, all integrated together in the form of apps. Steph got her start in the editing room, then after getting an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, spent many years writing about the art and technology of movie production; Alec worked his way up through the camera department on movies such as THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, THE HAUNTED MANSION and several projects with Wim Wenders; he is also a composer and sound designer. Our movies have won numerous awards all over the world, but we are proudest of the awards that our actors have won for their performances.
Stephanie Argy & Alec Boehm