Directing Actors – Directing Techniques from Clint Eastwood

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles directing actors is something you never really come across of film based websites, it’s all about the latest gadgets and gizmos that have just come out and the capabilities of them all.

I’m trying to steer clear of that here at FilmFaculty and offer more articles on directing, acting and simple story telling.

This brings me to directing actors and techniques we can learn off the pros in making our on set experiences and collaboration with actors seem a breeze.

As a filmmaker we all need to respect our actors foremost because they are the ones that everyone will be looking at on screen, they will deliver that performance that will help tell your story and also the actor most of the time will be the one that sells your film.  Simple as that.

If we have a look at the directing style of Clint Eastwood we may just be able to pin point why he gets great performances out of the actors he works with in his movies who go onto gaining acclaim for their work.

For one we know Clint Eastwood trusts his actors and makes them feel safe on set, the environment is welcoming where actors are more likely to take risks.  Take this another step and if you let your actors convey what they feel about the story and their character, collaborate, you are going to find their performances to be rich and risky instead of safe and standard.

Apparently Clint Eastwood has a reputation for doing a maximum of three takes per shot.  Better still he is know for using the very first take in the final cut.  Again it’s the trust thing.  An actor would know this and seeing it is Clint with his high profile you would want to nail it first shot no sweat.  So there’s a little bit of trust and pressure thrown in the mix here.

Lastly, another great technique that Clint Eastwood uses on set and something I personally do at times is not start a take off with “Action!” and not finish it with “Cut!”  Interesting…He does this by easing into a take “When you’re ready..” and letting the take just roll until the actors have take themselves off the script and start eating into a back story and making up stuff.  This is a very good technique that would not jolt or disrupt actors who are in the zone and ready to perform.  Highly recommend this as movie sets can get rowdy at times and put off actors.

If you would like anymore information on Clint Eastwood’s directing technique please take a look at the following article which I have sourced the above information from:


I think we can all learn from these simple tips and create a great space for all of us to work on set with.

Until next time…

Keep shooting!


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