Greetings, Advanced Ones!

So we did it! We filmed our This Is Us scenes. We started an hour earlier than usual, and finished a little later than normal, but we got all six scenes in the can. I’m super proud of each of you. The performances ranged from super-solid to downright awesome. There wasn’t a sub-par performance in the bunch.

I brought in a ringer – my friend Travis the Wonder-DP, and together we ran a 2-camera set-up, putting our monopods to full use. We used supplemental LED lighting as needed, but had to use in-camera audio, since my sound guy was unable to join us with his field audio gear.

Now all that remains is the cutting. We’ll need a few days to put the scenes together – I hope to have them finished and added to the end of this blog post within a week. When we meet on the 29th, we’ll hopefully be able to review the footage together in class, and see how we did, what worked, and what didn’t quite work. That’s what this is all about – learning the craft, putting it into action, watching the results, and learning what to tweak as we move forward.

With these scenes, most of you had up to 3 weeks time to prepare, which made a big difference. All of the scenes were robust and emotional. Honorable mention to Kent, who finished his scene with Alexandra (great work, by the way), then stepped in to take on an additional scene when we had a no-show for class. In short order, he absorbed a brand new (to him) scene and nailed it.

Travis the Wonder-DP had nothing but positive things to say about the whole experience. He was likewise impressed with the way you all carried yourselves throughout the evening, both on and off camera. I had a blast as well, though I admit to being quite exhausted by the end of the evening. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything!


The Verdict Is In!

Next class, we’ll be filming again, but taking the opposite approach. I pulled a 5-page scene from the film “12 Angry Men (1957 dir. S. Lumet). The 12 roles will be given out randomly – and I’ll give you all the better part of the first hour to prepare. Then the second two hours of class, we’ll film it together, similar to the “Group Therapy” sequence we filmed a few weeks back. I’ll then take the footage home and cut it together for our edification and amusement.

We’ll also be joined on the 29th by the Illustrious Yolanda Franklin, who will be grabbing the Advanced Reins, moving into September and beyond. She is an accomplished, award-winning actress and director, and she has a lot to share with you all. She will also be preparing you for the upcoming Agent Showcase! More details on that event to come soon.


My Time: A Review

I’ve had a remarkably good time these past four months in the Advanced Class. It’s been a grand experiment, and I’ve learned a lot, not just from the weekly research and preparation, but also from each of you. Many of you have made strong impressions upon me, and as I move forward and new projects surface, you’ll be hearing from me, with audition opportunities.

I won’t be disappearing, though. You’ll be in great hands with Yolanda, but I will still be associated strongly with AWS, in various capacities, including this blog, which I will continue to update frequently. They won’t be “Class Recap” posts, per se, but there’s plenty more I have to share with you, on craft techniques, on individual actors/actresses, on memorable movie scenes and roles, on great moments in Hollywood history, and Q&A posts with local industry figures on both sides of the camera, who will share their accumulated wisdom with you all, for your continued benefit.

And more!

So come next class ready to tackle 12 Angry Men, and we’ll make it happen. And look for the This Is Us scenes here soon.

Great days ahead!

David Wagner

AWS Staff

Here is the first of 6 scenes, this one features Mike and Brice. Good work gents. Sorry about the sound. I wanted to link to the same scene from the show, but THIS IS THE BEST I can find at the moment. I’ll keep digging.

Here is clip #2, with Kent and Alexandra. Again, the sound is uneven. But the performances are solid! HERE IS THE SAME SCENE from the actual show.

Here is clip #3, with Grant and Christina and Gilson. I experimented with adding music, but it made it sound melodramatic, so I pulled it out. I can’t find the scene from the actual show yet, but I’m still looking.

Here is clip #4, with Julian and Kent. I tried adding some background music to this one, to help off-set the buzz in the room tone, to mixed results. HERE IS THE SCENE from the actual show, if you’d like to watch it.

Here is clip #5, with Moises and myself.

One more scene to come… the Big One!

OK, here is the final scene, with Sarah, Jonny, Arianna and Gilson. Took me a while to cut it. Great work, all. I look forward to discussing it in class. HERE IS THE LINK to the scene from the show itself, if you’re interested.