Categories: Adult,Blog,Teen

by Michael Chasin


You are the guiding force—and decision maker—of your film.

You have written—or obtained—a masterful screenplay.

That screenplay is the reason why a great actor agrees to do your film.

And after the actor affirms that the script is powerful—concerns arise:

  • Why must my character do this?
  • Is it really necessary for my character to have short hair?
  • This line of dialog doesn’t feel right.
  • Can’t we imply this instead of overtly showing it?

As a collaborator in a highly collaborative endeavor—it is vital that you be open to different interpretations of the script.

Yet you must also understand that an intricately constructed screenplay—cannot be changed on an ad hoc basis.

So the need arises for that special skill and cultivated art—of balancing competing needs.

That balance should be driven by—the greater good of the film.

If the blocking of a scene will not affect a plot point—be willing to change.

If hair length will not affect the essence of the character—be willing to change.

If altered dialog will not affect character arc—be willing to change.

But anything that will compromise a character’s motivation—if it will weaken the core of the story—or if it diminishes the theme of the story—must not be changed.

In this give and take—inform the actor that all decisions are in the service of the story—and provide that specific story-related rationale to the actor.

The communicative, flexible filmmaker will breed—the flexible actor—which will breed—a great film.

Michael Chasin
Author: Michael Chasin

Michael Chasin is an award-winning filmmaker with experience ranging from writing, directing, editing, and producing to screenplay consulting.  He founded and currently serves as Director of the ArtServe Film Maker Festival Series.  He’s also been a valued contributor to other festivals where he has presented screenwriting seminars and served as a Best Screenplay judge.  Michael has a boundless passion for filmmaking that he communicates avidly to his IAFT students in his classes on screenwriting, film finance, marketing, and distribution, film festival success, and career development. In addition to his Diploma in Filmmaking, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Masters in Human Resources Management, and a Masters in Business Administration. It's just been announced that Jordan Wall of The Glades will be making his directorial debut with Michael's short script, Greater Goode.