Make every role extraordinary
Natalie Portman began acting professionally at 12 and won an Oscar before she turned 30. As a self-taught actor, she uses personal techniques to create compelling, complex characters. In her first-ever acting class, Natalie shows how empathy is at the core of every great performance, how to bring real-life details into every role, and how to build your own creative process. Get ready for your breakout performance.
Introduction: The Art of Life
Meet your new instructor: Oscar-nominated filmmaker and artist David Lynch. In his first lesson, David talks about the importance of exploring deeply and encourages you to seek out thrilling ideas in the pursuit of creativity.
For David, ideas are everything. Learn how to draw from your intuition and life experience to unlock powerful sources of creative inspiration.
Creativity and the Writing Process
Writing is a way to remember ideas that come to life in your mind. Learn how to approach a blank page and find out why David thinks there is no formula for writing a good script.
David believes that the best learning is experiential and hands-on. He shares lessons from his first experiments in cinema and discusses the master filmmakers who have inspired him.
Casting for Character
Casting is an intuitive process that can result in exciting discoveries and collaborations. Learn how to identify and recognize the right performer for a part and hear David discusses working with some of his favorite actors.
Working With Actors
Rehearsals are the time to shape scenes and take risks. David teaches you how to bring out an actor’s potential in front of the camera and elicit an unforgettable performance.
On Set: Creating a Happy Family
Treat your team like a happy family and they will go the extra mile for you. Learn how David handles the pressures of the set while protecting a creative space for the cast and crew.
Production Design: Building Unique Worlds
The world on screen begins as an idea in the director’s mind. David shares several show-and-tell techniques for conveying ideas to designers, encouraging improvisation along the way.
Cinematography: Manifesting David’s Vision
Using vivid black-and-white examples from “Eraserhead” and “The Elephant Man,” David teaches you how to think cinematically.
Sound Design and Scoring
The right music can elevate every other cinematic element on screen. Learn how David collaborates with composers and sound designers to create the perfect union of sound and picture.
Breaking the Rules
Rules are great for driving, but in cinema? David doesn’t like rules. Learn to distinguish restrictions that stifle creativity from those that actually help you to think outside the box.
Make It True to the Ideas
Every artist struggles with fears of failure and the pressures of success. David encourages you to keep your creative decisions focused on one overriding goal: staying true to the idea.
Bonus Chapter: Transcendental Meditation
David practices Transcendental Meditation twice a day. Learn to approach life and work with deeper awareness through meditation and enjoy the “doing” of almost any activity.