The Art of Film Acting – Acting for the Camera (200 Level Course)

The Art of Film Acting – Acting for the Camera (200 Level Course)


Subtext is what you really are saying regardless of what your lines are saying. It is the true meaning underneath dialogue, and it is what you communicate when you talk to anyone in the film.

Subtext is that unspoken communication by way of your emotions or feelings. Regardless of what your script lines are, subtext is what you really mean and what the audience is watching.

Through the subtext, the audience discovers your relationship to the other actors, and only when you are relating to each other can there be useful subtext.

You communicate subtext through your tone of voice, body language, looks and emotions. Subtext is an undercurrent that allows the audience to understand what is really going on between the actors.


The five arts of film acting are the Art of Concentration, the Art of Not Knowing, the Art of Acceptance, the Art of Giving and Receiving and the Art of Relating. Jeremiah Comey –actor/director/tutor

The Art of Concentration
Focuses your attention, not on yourself but on the emotions of the other actor. Concentration is knowing where to place your attention.

The Art of Not Knowing allows you the experience everything for the ‘first’ time. Not knowing keeps you alert and aware.

The Art of Acceptance allows you to completely believe both the other actor and the imaginary circumstances without pretending.

In the Art of Giving and Receiving you give your emotional experience to the other actor and are receptive through feedback. The art of giving and receiving stimulates genuine feelings.

The Art of Relating is responding to an actor, object or situation verbally, nonverbally or physically.


Watch the Whole Film
After watching the complete film, study the performances in selected scenes one at a time. The more times you look at a scene, the more you will see.

Listen to the dialogue.
If you have a copy of the screenplay script, read the scene.

Study each performer separately.
Determine the emotion each one is feeling. Does it Change? When? Be Specific.

Are they listening?
Are they practising the ‘Art of Knowing’? When?
Does acceptance of the other character and circumstances colour the actor’s performance?

Are both actors Giving & Receiving? How? Are they physical with each other?
Does giving and Receiving add to the relationship?

Are they Relating?
Now, with the sound turned off, view the selected scene. Notice what is really happening between the actors, not what the dialogue says is happening.
View the selected scene again with the sound turned on.