Film Education

Acting Tips

1. Feel truthfully

2. Don’t pretend but actually perform activities on screen like actually reading a

newspaper not pretending to read one.

3. Connect and respond to your co-actor

4. Know your Character Arc and the Super Objective

5. Break down a scene into smaller simpler parts

6. Developing your own instrument – observation, imagination, memory

7. Being in control of your Emotions

8. Knowing your true self

9. Creating as an Artist should be the high in acting

10. The Clothes you wear make you feel the charcter

11. The props can help you comment on your character or an emotion

12. The difference between stage and film acting

– toned down, the camera as audience, the filmmaking process shapes the performance

13.  Character movement expresses emotion

14. The camera is not just a black hole but your silent lover

15. The Body and Mind are connected. Use the connection


Filmmaking Tips

1. Do you have anything to say

2. How are you saying it

3. What is the one central thing your film is about in one line

4. Do the characters develop the plot

5. Limiting yourself to a genre could help as a creative tool to begin with

6. What is the opening value and closing value of your scene

7. What information is the image giving

8. What do you want to include and exclude in your frame and why

9. Study paintings and still photography to understand the key aspects of a still image

10. Understand the difference between a still image and a movie image

11. Every camera movement should have a purpose

12. Try using a tripod or a support to keep the camera steady otherwise its makes the  audience giddy

13. Observe the sun during different times of the day and the effect it produces

14. When using artificial lights ask yourself what is the role each light is playing

15. Select locations carefully they add character to the film

15. What information is the soundtrack giving

16. Use external mikes for a professional soundtrack

17. Close electrical devices like Tv, Ac, fan, while recording sound to avoid the hum

18. What is the Rhythm of your film

19. Concentrate on developing your skills to get a great performance out of your actor

20. Why is your film unique

Filmmaker playing God

Film is a very powerful medium and in turn empowering. In film the potential lies latent for a new reality to exist which is parallel with our ordinary daily existence. A reality that is so close to what we live yet so far beyond.

No other artform in the history of mankind is as complete to replicate the experience of life in flesh and blood and involve us completely in its flow.

The language of film can play subtle notes of your soul, pleasure your senses, stimulate your grey cells and above all make you part of a reality unknown before its creation.

We the filmmaker have a magic wand to create this new world, this experience for individuals to live another life. A life which can – help understand our existing reality – take us beyond our limited self.

So a filmmaker plays God but let’s not have the God complex!

Oorvazi Irani

Exclusive Interview with acting guru Kishore Namit Kapoor

Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Institute

1 Month Course – Educating Actors

3 Month Course – Craft of Acting

4 ½ Month Course – Art of Acting

Alumni includes:  Hritik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Imran Khan and many more.

Hritik’s  quote:

Kishore Namit Kapoor’s own words: “ I don’t teach acting, I train actors,” is a very simple statement but it defines a lot. And, that’s what he kept on telling me- that he can’t teach me acting, he can only train me. And, training is the tough part because while training you have to push yourself, you have to understand, receive from the teacher, and then train yourself to be better and better. His insights into little details of acting were mind-boggling. To give an example, when I used to think of something and give an expression he used to stop me and say, “Cut, cut, are you thinking of this? ” and obviously surprised I used to reply “Yes” and then he used to say, “ Don’t do that! Think of this because that is the right emotion.” So at times he used to shock me by actually looking into my mind and telling me what I was thinking about! And I used to love that, because I love analysing thoughts and expressions. This really proved to me beyond doubt that his insight into acting is amazing.

Q. How would you define acting?

A. If you ask me I would say – ‘Your soul gives birth to a new soul through art’ that is how I would define acting.

Q. What would you consider to be the unique feature of your acting institute?

A. My approach is unique in the sense its not limited to the profession of acting. The logo of our institute says Know Thyself and Realize your Potentials. As an actor and as a person you learn how to have detached involvement, you witness. You witness your life, your own creativity. If you are hurt you can watch your tears and laughter. As an actor and in life you become aware of your unconscious super competence. You become aware that in life you are not a victim of circumstances thus you create them in reel and real life.

Q. You believe that Discipline is very important in acting training and are also called a lovable Hitler could you kindly elaborate on that point.

A. I use a surgeon’s knife not a butcher’s knife and am called ‘loveable’ Hitler. The institute is known in the Indian film industry for its discipline and we pride ourselves for that. I believe that for everything you require discipline be it in meditation or for a soldier. Actors need soldier’s discipline. We also take special care to maintain an almost equal number of boys and girls in class so that parents don’t feel hesitant to send their daughters to class. Also many parents have asked me to specially start ‘one month’ batches so that they can send their children here and channelize their energy keeping them away from the drug culture and other such destructive youth cultures.

Q. According to you what is the most important criteria that an actor should possess.

A. Besides talent, passion followed by action. But above all they should be risk takers, ready to experiment or rather to explore with themselves. Acting being an emotive art, in day to day life we qualify emotions. We like some and don’t like some. But as an actor you have to be ready to experience emotions even you did not know existed or you have desensitized. You should be ready to sensitize your emotions.

Behind the scenes

By Sorab Irani – Chairman/Managing Director, SBI Impresario Pvt. Ltd.

Films are seen on the big screen, but they have to be made. The process of film-making is most interesting. In this space I will share my ‘Behind The Scenes’ experiences as a documentary and feature film-maker, my role as Producer/ Director and share insights of my association for the past thirty years with the Indian Film Industry and the International film-making scene. At the centre of this writing will be the three ‘E’s’ – Educate – Entertain – Enlighten.

Let me start with a poem on memories


Tears are the showers that fertilize this world;

And memory of things precious keepth warm

The heart that once did hold them.

They are poor

That have lost nothing; they are poor far

Who, losing, have forgotten; they most poor

Of all who lose and wish they might forget.

For life is one, and in its warp and woof

There runs a thread of gold that glitters fair,

And sometimes in the pattern shows most sweet

When there are somber colours. It is true

That we have wept. But oh! this thread of gold:

we would not have it tarnished; let us turn

Oft and look back upon the wondrous web,

And when it shineth sometimes we shall know

That memory is possession.

In this my first post I will like to talk about “The Clap Trap” – A 52 minute Documentary on the Extras of the Bombay Film Industry, produced by me for Channel Four Television Corp. London.

Let me start by saying that while I did actually produce this documentary in the traditional sense the original idea for the film was my brain child. The inspiration interestingly was triggered by a location. Here then is the story of how this film got born.

One day in the year 1993 I went along with an assistant director friend – Barot to select Extras for a Hindi feature film he was involved in as I had never known how this was done. I was only aware that Extras had a strong union and hated being called by that nomenclature – they believed they were Junior Artists.

I was wondering where my friend Barot was taking me as we were entering a very crowded area in one of the many lanes that branched off from the main Jacob circle – junction at Mahalaxmi.

I was further intrigued when we entered a slum and walked past todi (liquor made from coconuts) shops and scrap dealers and shanties down a path with multi-coloured hanging drying cloths and the perennial khatiyas with groups of slum dwellers squatting on them, just hanging out killing time and shooting the breeze.

The final destination suddenly came in view – a huge tin shed. It has only one entry gate and a sign which announced – The Bombay Cine Junior Artist Association.

I was amazed at what I encountered inside. The place was like a amphitheatre with a tin roof.  A u-shaped cement 4 tier sitting area facing a raised kind of improvised cramped stage – this was where the President of the association sat at a desk and next to him to his right was a jutting out precarious small balcony from where the AD’s could see all the assembled Extras or Junior artists – if you may- and then point and select them. The place was like a hot oven owing to the tin construction and fans were far and in between circulating hot stale air. Over all, to my mind, it was a very stiflingly depressing, repressing and a rather inhuman place to be in. This was exactly what was reflected in the faces of the hundred odd aspirants assembled there for work that afternoon. The process of selection was about to begin.

The story carries on in my next post

Interview with Taaha Badusha, New York Film School

a) Some basic info like fees, duration, date of commencement, hostel etc.  

I have done the acting course and the fees for that is 12000 dollars. Date of commencement varies. I did the course in Abu Dhabi so I started in feb. It also starts in September. They provide you with a great hostel and a great environment to live in. They don’t take care of food and travel though.

b) Faculty interaction and style of teaching  

Faculty is very very helpful. They are always there to listen to you and help you out in a mature way. Their style is I guess American. They give you the freedom to learn your own way.

c) Topics covered 

Ummm improvisation, theatre, how to deliver dialogues and monologues, film acting. Etc.

d) Unique feature of the training  

Its all hands on training. Best thing you are always in front of the camera and you stay in a surrounding of aspiring actors and filmmakers.

e) Why did you choose New York Film school from the other options  

I chose it cause it was hands on training. And I guess it marketed itself well to make it seem the best choice.

f)  Any special experience or exercise you would like to share with us that would be enriching 

We got to act in short movies of other film makers so I got to know different styles of directing.

g) Cultural difference and your thoughts  

Well in Abu Dhabi it was Arab culture. We had our freedom and I guess the teachers were more open with us. And less restriction on girl issues.

h) How does that training help in India. The universal aspect which can be used and aspects which require Indian input  

That training gives you the confidence infront of the camera. Which gives you the upper hand here in India. Since you are with foreigners there you can mingle easier with people here.