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Friday January 11, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 5:23:54 PM
by yuen meikeng
PETALING JAYA: An American director who has worked with the producers of popular TV show Ally McBeal is hoping to inspire local filmmakers to deliver compelling stories of their own.
Mark W. Travis, who was a directorial consultant on films like Men Of Honor and Barbershop, said too many filmmakers tried to emulate movies that had already been made.
“Tell a story that you are passionate about and keep it simple. It doesn't have to be complicated like a big action adventure with computer graphics,” the 69-year-old said during an interview in Menara Star here yesterday.
Travis is in the country to conduct a workshop for filmmakers titled “3-Day Film Directing Masterclass” from today to Sunday at the PJ Live Arts centre in Jaya One.
He said the focus of his workshop would be on a film's script and story as well as a director's skill in working with actors and developing scenes.
He will also be introducing the Travis Technique, which is his method of helping actors bring their characters to life.
“I've trained directors such as George Tillman and Cyrus Nowrasteh who directed The Day Reagan Was Shot to apply this technique. At times, it was also applied in Ally McBeal,” Travis said.
He said Robert De Niro was one of his favourite stars to work with as the actor was very humble and did not let fame get in the way of professionalism.
A big ego has nothing to do with why some actors are difficult to work with, said Travis, who has been involved in over 60 productions in TV, film and the theatre.
“Most of the time, they are afraid that the director is unable to develop their roles well and this will affect their careers,” he added.
Travis also advises directors to always remember the reason why the story is being told in the first place.
“You must know what impact you want to give to the audience,” he said, adding that a director must be decisive but also open to suggestions from others.
Travis said the most important component of a good movie was a dynamic main character who undergoes changes as the story unfolds.
“One of my favourite movies is Shakespeare In Love. The main character, namely Shake-speare, had to experience falling in love before he could write love scenes,” said Travis, who expressed an interest in watching a Malaysian film.
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