SURPRISES - Stanislavski got it RIGHT
Here’s a short video clip that illustrates the phases of a surprise really well. It’s captured a REAL-LIFE surprise.
During the shoot for the TV Presenters Workshop in March 2011 we were just setting up for a Co-Presenting piece to camera when outside the park, behind trees so we couldn’t see it, a car accident occurred. Its not a major one. You can just hear the two cars thump together in the back ground of the sound track.
WHAT’S INTERESTING is to watch the response from Tim Plumb and Natalie Bond who are in front of the camera.
Stanislavski says that surprises have four phases –
In this clip you will see that initially their centre of gravity rises A LOT (that’s the 1st surprise phase as Stanislavski describes it). And in the time that follows you can see both of them continuing to assess how bad the accident might have been. This is less clear with Tim because he is talking, but it’s really clear with Natalie. She continues to assess the limited information available to her for quite some time.
The identification phase is there, too. But it is pretty quick because its not hard to recognize that is the sound of two cars colliding. The complicated issue is the third phase. That’s when the assessment is being made as to how bad this accident might be. The choice to get on with the job in hand and to ignore the accident takes sometime and I haven’t let the clip run long enough to see that.
The clearest elements illustrated here are …
THE VIDEO IS HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2X6fitqYuE&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
There’s another thought about surprises at http://www.rehearsalroom.com/directornotes/ardnshocking.html
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