A huge hello to whoever is reading this post. My name is Sam Burn, and I am an aspiring actor currently studying Theatre and Drama at the University of Essex. I’ve just turned twenty years of age, and with my teenage years left behind me comes the yearning for new challenges and experiences. Working with Manuel de Teffé has been one of those new experiences, and acting under his direction has been an uttermost pleasure.
I’m guessing you’re wondering how I came to meet and work with Manuel, I was actually very lucky in my honest opinion. My old friend Roseanna Brown, who I’m sure you have heard of if you follow this blog, contacted me asking if I would like to act in a music video for one of her songs that of which Manuel was directing. I had just returned home after finishing my first year of University, and naturally the idea of acting in a music video interested me as it was something I had never done before. I accepted the offer and was given the times and dates of filming, and that was that. I didn’t know that Manuel was directing, or what I was expected to do upon set, but I was still excited and eager to start the process.
In the past I had not done much film acting and the majority stage, so my initial thoughts dwelled upon how to act in front of a camera, and how different it would be compared to stage acting. From these thoughts I prepared myself mentally, as I would do if I were acting in the theatre. My character as I later found out was the boyfriend of Roseanna’s character who had split up with her. The song is all about remembering a better time when the two of them were together, and showing how the break up happened. The way I imagined my character was as a calm, chilled individual, who just floats around on a breeze, a sort of free spirit if you will. Manuel gave me the direction I needed to shape the character, and from this I flourished. There was really no explanation on how the break up actually came to be, so in my mind I just imagined a situation: Keeping a calm and cool demeanour, my character just got bored and decided to move on to another girl, just telling Roseanna’s character outright, not caring about her emotions. I feel I played it well, and was shocked when Manuel stated in a certain scene I looked just like James Dean or Tom Cruise in Top Gun, a very flattering compliment indeed!
The process of filming the video seemed to go quite quickly. It only took place over two days for me, and although they were long days filled with location changes, travelling, and waiting for the sun to show its face, it was still very enjoyable. Shooting in London for me on the second day was a personal highlight, as spirits among everyone were high due to the location and positive reaction of the general public. I feel filming could not have been better, and was brilliant the way it was, apart from when I got a rash on my legs from wading around in a wheat field for an hour. Oh well, you must suffer for your art.
As an actor, I have been under the command of many directors, and I can safely say that Manuel falls under the rare category of directors that are both good at what they do, but also have a sense of humour. Again, he is one of the few directors I have worked with who I truly respect, a pro who knows what he wants, and knows what he is doing. I would very much like to work with him again in the future, and would encourage anyone else to do so. You will not find a nicer guy so focused on his work, I’m guessing it’s because he’s Italian.
If you’re still with me and are reading this, I thank you. You’ve managed to sit through and read my shambolic sentence structure and grammar without closing the page. I would like to thank Manuel once again for putting up with me for two days, and hope he enjoyed himself as much as I did.
So for now my friends, Arrivederci.