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Changing Direction: A Practical Approach to Directing Actors in Film and Theatre: Foreword by Ang Lee Paperback – February 7, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0240806648 ISBN-10: 0240806646 Edition: 1st

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Changing Direction: A Practical Approach to Directing Actors in Film and Theatre: Foreword by Ang Lee + Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television + On Directing Film
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240806646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240806648
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is a difficult book to describe, but a fascinating one to read - essentially the author manages to explain how a director must capture and portray human behaviour." - Image Technology

"The essence of Lenore's distinctive methods, developed over many years, can be found in the pages of this excellent, clearly written book.”
-Ang Lee, Director, Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

"Lenore DeKoven says in her introduction to her book, Changing Direction, that 'everyone wants to be in show business'. Well I am, but I've never wanted to direct. After reading Lenore's book, I may reconsider my career choice."
-Edward Asner, Actor/Producer

"I was one of the many people who over the years, asked Lenore to write her book, and finally she has. It's a thrill to read, as well as a reminder of her great gift -- her deep understanding of drama, directing, actors, everyday life, and most importantly her wealth of experience and huge heart. I will draw from this every time I work.”
--Kimberly Peirce, writer/director of Boys Don't Cry, Stop-Loss, student of Lenore's

"Lenore DeKoven has written a great book for the director searching for practical advice on the techniques of directing actors. Her work as a teacher has already affected a generation of young filmmakers, including Kim Peirce (Boys Don't Cry). One would be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive and clear approach to working with actors.”
--Bette Gordon, Director and Acting Chair of Film Division, School of the Arts, Columbia University

"This book is much needed on the shelves for students and individuals interested in directing actors for film and theatre. Very few books offer this approach with such specific and practical steps laid out in detail, step by step."
-Sheldon Schiffer, Georgia State University

Book Description

Written and endorsed by well-known theater and film professionals who know how well this unique, time-tested approach works!

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Stop reading this review and start reading the book!
E. L. Ross
Changing Direction is a great intro to the Directing world for anyone unfamiliar with just what a director does.
J. Evert
The name of the book is called " Changing Direction " by Lenore DeKoven.
Rolando Sanchez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By M. Ajello on April 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have been a filmmaker for over ten years, directing my own films as well as working as an assistant director on numerous indie productions during that period, and I have to say that anyone who is remotely interested in directing and filmmmaking must read this book.

Both from my own experience, and from my close observation of directors I have assisted in the past, there is no doubt that directing actors is the most challenging aspect in the panoply of arduous tasks that await the film director. Some shy away from it, hiding behind the monitor, some stumble through it hoping to arrive at a performance through trial and error, but very, very few actually know how to constructively and efficiently collaborate with actors to create truthful and compelling performances. I think it's because, unlike the creative process of writing a script or generating shot-lists and storyboards, actors are mutable, unpredictable - in a word, human - and somewhat like jazz improvisation, you can't completely plan the performances in a film. Instead, you are forced to observe them develop organically in real time and respond immediately. That's difficult, and the problem is most directors (even seasoned veterans) just don't know how to talk to actors - they don't speak a language that is useful to them. This is where DeKoven's book is immensely valuable and, in my experince, unique.

It provides a real step-by-step approach to learning a new language, which enables the director to give the actor a point of departure for a performance, and allows them to quickly communicate adjustments as that performance evolves. Although the process it describes is very complex, the writin is clear and the approach is very accessible.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Max the Maven on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lenore DeKoven, doyenne of Columbia University's graduate film department has here, in "Changing Directions," documented the pragmatic approach to film direction that she has passed onto generations of film students. This year's Best Director, Ang Lee, figures prominently amongst her many successful disciples and he has provided a rather inspiring introduction to both the book and to the challenges of film directing.

Suffice it to say, this work is essential reading and reference for the dedicated filmmaker and it belongs on the shelf alongside other nuts-and-bolts film books like Robert McKee's "Story" and Mascelli's "The Five C's of Cinematography."

Written in no-nonsense prose, DeKoven teaches a directorial process that begins by articulating a "through-line" - a concise statement that captures a director's interpretation of the script. These critical 'one-or-two-sentences' serve as a reference point against which all the subsequent production decisions can be made, from design to casting. She then takes you onto the set and details how the director translates the "through-line" into language that will help the actors build their performances. DeKoven's best text is saved for a thorough and practical discussion of this relationship between actor and director.

The best, most useful, least mysterious book on directing I have ever read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rolando Sanchez on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always been fascinated by a breathtaking emotional performance on film or on stage. I decided one day to take the leap of faith and venture into the world of a Motion Picture Film Director a few years ago. Little did I know that it's not as easy as it seems. There is actually a craft or an art form. I had the opportunity to realize my mistakes as a Director on my short film 2 years ago. The only problem was now that I identified the issue. I had to bring the attention to it.
Where and What book could teach me an approach or short hand form of communication to speak with my actors and help me bring out the performance I want in them.

Well my friends Your journey is over. The name of the book is called " Changing Direction " by Lenore DeKoven. GO BUY THIS BOOK NOW !!

After reading this book it has made my "Dreams become a reality". I am a firm believer that if you are honest with your self and realize your weakness in what ever it is that you do then Life will reward you with the answers. This is the answer you need to help you on your journey as Film/Theater Director.

I know what you maybe thinking there are many books out there. why should I purchase this one ? The only answer I can give you is " Lenore DeKoven's approach works all the time, A technique that really works. She gives you examples, exercises & It is a very well paced and structured book.

It has brought my game as a Director to a whole other level.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Ross on April 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lenore DeKoven's book on directing should be required reading for all directors. She preaches a straight forward and artistically rewarding process. Her book gives us all access to this process in a clear, concise way. As a director, you can really use her process as a shorthand to get the results you want from your actors, designers, your entire team. Stop reading this review and start reading the book! You won't regret it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Evert on June 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Changing Direction is a great intro to the Directing world for anyone unfamiliar with just what a director does. Describing the many "hats" the director needs to wear, this book guides you from the day you first get the script, until it's "in the can".
I work in a "one man show" broadcast studio, producing educational-type videos. I have never been to film school, so as a self-taught "everything-guy", this book allowed me to have an insight into an area of production that I needed help with.
Anyone trying to make sense of this multi-faceted job is definitely advised to break this book open. You should not try to read cover-to-cover in one sitting: you'll miss too much, if you do! And believe me, you don't WANT to miss anything!
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