Shaping the SceneWhile analyzing the script, the director should have an image of the emotional structure of the scene as well as the physical structure. Along with the central emotional event of the scene, the director should have envisioned: the hand gestures of the characters, where the furniture in the room will be placed and the position of the characters and location of the props. The director should be analyzing this as he reads the script and be actively aware of what he thinks.

The script gives suggestions of how the scene should play out in the form of stage directions and some details on the character’s actions, but the director should be the one to make the final decision on how the physical structure of the scene will look.

Physical details create the texture of life, and help carry the emotional weight. The physical structure helps convey, and flesh out the subtext of the story the filmmaker is trying to convey. These physical details hook down the emotional aspect of a scene and give the actors the directions no intellectual discussion could give.

When the director’s vision and the actor’s vision conflict, it should be addressed during rehearsal. The actor will have the chance to try out his own idea and the director the chance to try to incorporate it. The director will be better prepared to handle the disagreement if anticipated ahead of time. If however, a further idea, opposite to theirs is presented, in a persuasive and emotional manner with great detail, they may forget it wasn’t their idea to begin with.

The props on set should not necessarily be seen as props so much as an extension of the character’s lives. They should reflect the character and their actions. The director should imagine the props – furniture and such – to be a function of its emotional life.