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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Theatre, Movies & Acting

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Sipping a cup of green tea, PETER is thinking.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Quorans like to pose questions to me about the creative industry: theatre, movies and acting.

  6. Recalling.

  7. PETER (V.O.): Some are historical, some are subjective and some are objective, requiring different intellectual responses.

  8. Checking his phone notifications.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Here's one: "This may sound a stupid question, but is fantasy a common genre in theatre too just as it is in movies?"

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There're lots of fantasy movies. Fantasy in theatres are less common.

  12. Recalling.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But could it because I seldom go to theatres?

  14. Act 2


  16. Peter surfs the web.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There was an academic research regarding fantasy in theatres.

  18. Reading.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There were historical data of theatrical plays. People liked to be entertained too, before the advent of movies.

  20. Pausing.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Staging a fantasy genre in theatre should be hard. The audience have to dissociate from the reality to divert and immerse in fantasy. It requires imagination.

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To produce and screen a fantasy genre in cinema should be easier and better than in theatre as the movie is unreal. The audience can assimilate moving images and immerse into fantasy easily.

  24. Pausing.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If one art form has the inherent advantage over another, the simpler and modern option would prevail.

  26. Having typed on his phone, Peter sees another notification.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What is the most brutal film based on a real war that I've ever seen, and why?

  28. Recalling.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's the Green Berets (1970). It depicts that some combatants during the Vietnam War are killed not by conventional weapons but by sharpened bamboo stakes. The dying pain and suffering would be torturous.

  30. Pausing.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Brutality can be mental too. The death scenes of the Grave of Fireflies (1988) have been resonating in my mind. I just hate to see and feel civilians suffering and dying unnecessarily during World War II.

  32. Having typed on his phone, Peter sees another notification.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This one is difficult:"Copying a performance you see from TV or a movie is easy to do even if you do it convincingly, but real acting is a different story, not an impression. Does my drama teacher really know what he's talking about?'

  34. Pausing.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I haven't taken any drama lesson before. I shouldn't be commenting.

  36. EXT. ROAD - DAY

  37. Peter thinks as he walks.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What is the criteria in determining good acting?

  39. Recalling.

  40. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I think Tom Hanks acts very well. He brings the characters he acts to live. Realistic and believable.

  41. Thinking.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He does leave with the audience an impression of his. Should learner actors imitate his performing mannerisms?

  43. Pausing.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And even if they can imitate convincingly, they're just copies of Tom Hanks - an impersonation.

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While the Quoran's drama teacher's premise sounds good from the originality perspective, but his "not an impression" remark doesn't follow. That's the gist of the query.

  47. Pausing.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Isn't acting about leaving an impression?

  49. Peter enters a mall, looking puzzled.

  50. Act 3

  51. NT. STUDY - DAY

  52. After researching with his phone, Peter looks enlightened.

  53. PETER (V.O.): Ha! Ha! I've found something interestingly documented by someone in the acting industry.

  54. Pausing.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He says that "I'm often asked by clients to do an impersonation of a character and the problem is that they are confused by what they think they want. Most are asking for an IMPRESSION but what they really want is an IMPERSONATION."

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's precisely the Quoran's drama teacher's remarks. He was using the industry's "impression"to mean "impersonation".

  58. Pausing.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Everything makes sense now. The mystery is solved.

  60. Peter types his answer on the phone.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've also learnt to allow one's own history to bring the drama character to life should be the most believable performance.

  62. Reflecting.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): With twists and turns, life is like a drama in theatre or movie. And we, as actors, should act authentically.

  64. Peter smiles naturally.

  65. FADE OUT.

  66. THE END

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