Frankly, it's very hard. You don't have complete, 100% control of your actors like you do in stop motion. For example, a couple hours ago I worked on some new shots, and my actor, Gavin, wouldn't stop giggling and didn't always do what I wanted for the shot (didn't mean it wasn't good footage, though. Gavin is still a good actor).
Today, I learned some things shooting live action. Here's what I learned:
1. You need to describe exactly what you want with your actors (unless it's a silent film, then you can be lazy and tell them as your filming). You don't have the same mind as your actor does, and he might have a different vision from you.
2. Your actors must memorize their lines. I already knew this, Gavin barely speaks at all in the film. But still, you can't just expect to give them long complex dialouge on the set them expect them to say it 20 seconds later. You need to write it down them let them practice. This will make your film seem much better.
3. Try to keep continuity. If you're shooting more than one day, try to keep your actors wearing the same wardrobe. Unless the film's shots shift in time between day 1 and day 2, it will look like they magically changed clothes. I made this mistake, when earlier in the movie Gavin's shirt changes from purple to yellow.
4. Try to keep authenticity. Unless the characters in your world live in the modern day, try to give them realistic wardrobes and sets. If they're spelunkers, give them climbing ropes and headlamps. If
they're victorians, give them steampunk-ish 18th century attire. If they're cavemen, give them fake fur
robes and rubber prosthetic foreheads. I know it's hard to get this kind of stuff, but you can ask family members, learn on websites how to make them yourself, or even search your attic for old clothing. For sets, try to look for good, realistic locations (Gavin was doing a castaway-style film for the silent film festival, so he was lucky to get his shots done on a vacation to Maui. Made
a fantastic film. I also did a silent film about Mothman, and luckily had a really creepy chicken shack, which helped the creepy factor). If not, use a green screen and green screen programs, and legally upload photos from the internet.
5. Be nice, but have a limit. You may want it to be perfect, but you just can't do that. Be nice to your actors, and accept their ideas. But if they give you the lip and complain, have a limit.
6. NEVER, EVER, EVER FILM, if your actors have the giggles.
They won't be able to function if they just laugh. Unless you want an impossibly long out takes reel full of the giggle fits of actors and curse words of directors, just don't film if they keep laughing.
So, any way, except for GIGGLING FITS (I told you), acting on set has been okay. Gavin had to survive by setting some mushrooms in the script, so I got some raw mushrooms from Mom, who's a cook. Gavin ate the mushrooms, then promptly ran into the bathroom to spit them up.
Antediluvian is currently going well and filming is almost complete!
Antediluvian, coming to a prehistoric, dinosaur-infested cave near you