- Series: Language of the Face (Book 1)
- Paperback: 138 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 15, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781490561196
- ISBN-13: 978-1490561196
- ASIN: 1490561196
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Acting Face to Face: The Actor's Guide to Understanding how Your Face Communicates Emotion for TV and Film (Language of the Face) (Volume 1) Paperback – May 15, 2013
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Here's what you'll get from this book. It discusses the 7 universal emotions (surprise, fear, anger, disgust, sadness, happiness and contempt) and says that all emotions are made up combinations and varying degrees of these. Fair enough. It describes why an actor's face may not accurately reflect his/her inner emotions (facial structure, cultural/familial emotional idiosyncrasies, etc.). It breaks down common misconceptions about on-camera acting ("it's all in the eyes" -- no, obviously emotions are not literally contained in your eyeballs, "just think the thought and the camera will see it" -- no, if there's no emotional attachment to a thought, the camera won't register anything). All of this is ok information, although it's mostly common sense. There is nothing here that you will be surprised by.
This book contains two exercises. Yes. Two. The first: make an angry face by jutting your chin and squeezing your lips. The second: make a disgusted face and shake your head "no." Why aren't there more exercises? Why no practical advice? Because, like I said, the author has left all of that in his second book -- the final chapter of this book is just a long advertisement for it.
There are a lot of 5 star ratings here. I assume they are from his students or friends, who've been encouraged to leave glowing reviews. Or they are from people interested in acting, looking for a fun, easy read. It is a fun, easy read. But if you are looking to become a better actor, this book will not help you.
The closer I got to the end, the more I began to suspect I'd been had... and I was. The author extended a ten-page essay into a (supposedly) instructive book that merely set the reader up to buy book two. It's akin to offering a sneak preview of a new film and then showing the audience the trailer for 90 minutes.
Rather than providing any useful or practical instruction, it simply painted and propped the set, getting it ready for the actors to enter. Except they never did. It was all foreplay and no sex.
And, no, after this experience, I'm not buying book two.
The current Amazon book description says it includes exercises, however. Not so much. I was looking forward to those in particular, but at the end of the book, it simply explains what exercises will be covered in the NEXT book, which isn't out yet. And then the book ends. Those promised exercises were why I was so interested in the book!
I'm still giving it 4 stars, however, because for the very low price currently available, the information is worthwhile. The author clearly knows his subject extremely well. I look forward to that next book. I hope it is released soon.