By Dezmin Humphryis, Film & Photography Student
With an intense gaze, warm presence, and bellowing laugh, actor Ditch Davey popped into the Academy today. Known for his roles in Australian TV such as Blue Heelers and Sea Patrol, along with his international fame in Spartacus and Black Box, he gave a talk to the students in Filmmaking and Photography 4; discussing filmmaking and directing from an actor’s point of view.
Addressing topics from good vs. bad directing, to character ownership (by an actor), to politics behind the scenes and how that can affect the project. Ditch explained that filmmaking is a push and pull process; that you need to accept input from those around you but still maintain your authentic creative voice. He gave the students advice on how to bring out subtleties with actor performances; rather than telling them to say it faster, suggest some character motivation; what would motivate those words to be said faster?
The discussion finished with Ditch reading a segment of script, written by tutor Andrew McKenzie, and giving his immediate thoughts on how he would bring these characters to life. The students, who had already read the script, compared it to their own ideas and it began the communication of push and pull, of allowing the actor to have their own input, and also bringing different rhythms to the scene, whilst adjusting and maintaining your own vision.
The students of Filmmaking and Photography 4, as well as The Academy, would like to thank Ditch for his visit. His insight will help the students bring the best out of their actors in their upcoming short-film assignments.