Interview with Amber Benson
Dec 7, 2003, Offenbach
Being in control
1. Magic, Multitasking and Motivation
2. Movies, television and the family
4. "Chance", Sex and Power
5. The Technicalities of Being Inspired
6. Reading, Collaborating, Watching & Listening
Professionalism and/or/versus Inspiration. From what I hear about Sarah Michelle Gellar, shes about as professional as you can get very Jodie Foster. Is that a role model for you, what do you think about professionalism?
Look at Sarah, shes very analytical, and she admits it. She walks into a set and she knows where her light is, she knows her lines, she has them down cold. She knows where everything is in relation to her, she knows how to get it done so you dont have to do ten takes. You do two takes and thats it. Some actors, they dont know their lines, they dont know what theyre doing, theyre searching for their marks and it takes forever. Sarah always is on top of things and Im so respectful of that. Thats how I try to be in a working environment, because you have too many people depending, relying on what youre doing to goof off. Sarahs professionalism can be very intimidating to some people. But if they looked at it realistically and would think about why people are that way because theyre trying to do their job, so theyre not there for twenty hours, which sometimes you could be at "Buffy". We could be there all day.
Non-actors probably cant imagine what several takes can do to your motiviation. When its emotionally wrenching, you dont whant to be on the verge of tears for hours.
Sarahs amazing, Im in awe of her. She comes, does good work and then she goes home. I think thats wonderful, I respect that so much. For me, Im an amalgamation, I have a little bit of both: I always know my lines, but sometimes I also get lost in the creative side. If you get sucked into the moment, you dont think analytically. But that can be when people start the journey with you.
When you dont think of the audience that might be the moment when youre giving them the most. So whats artistic control to you how do you achieve it, how much do you value it?
Well, being an actor you have absolutely no control. The only control you have is over your performance. And even then you dont, because an editor comes in and can totally change everything youve done. As a writer, you have more control because youre creating the product that everybody else is using, but then again someone can come in and change that: editors, directors, producers. If you are, say, someone whos producing and writing and directing and also acting in what you re doing, the buck stops there. Actually, the buck stops at my mother. She was making sure that I was not going too over budget. We did extensive post production. Everybody was helpful, we edited, we debated, but it always was my vision. We tried to make it what I had seen in my head. That takes time. Obviously, you need post-sound and post-effects, music and everything, its very expensive. It was cheaper getting it into the can. The post added so much. We did DAT-tapes. So you have to go and cut and edit the sound. We ended up using a lot of Buffys hardware. David Solomon, whos one of the producers for the show, gave us access to that. Hes fantastic.
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