ARTIFICE the film

A Delirium Productions Film

The Happy Accidents

One of the most wonderful things about this film project is that the actors who are on board are trained in a very particular school of acting: Practical Aesthetics (PA). Developed by David Mamet, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, PA is an acting approach that eliminates bullshit and really strives to get to the core of creating moment-to-moment connections between the actors in a given scenario. Both Tom and Cat are acting coaches at Acting Coach Scotland (ACS), which is run by Atlantic Theater Company alumnus, Mark Westbrook. Westbrook’s approach is very much shaped by his time spent at Atlantic, but he has also expanded in some important respects in his years since starting ACS. Tom and Cat have helped to shape much of this expansion, and have in many ways mastered much of the essentials of PA – granting of course that PA is a processual acting approach, one that never settles in its own dogma.


The beauty of all this for Artifice is manifold. First, Tom and Cat are very familiar with each other. There is a chemistry there that will flow right into every engagement. Second, they know each other so well that when one is doing something, the other is able to read it with a high degree of specificity and therefore respond and create accordingly. Third, there is a freshness in every take, in every scene, in every moment that will create a bundle of ‘happy accidents’ for this film. There will be a sense of novelty in the overall piece as well as in each scene… I can’t wait to edit it!!!! And finally, there is a bit of mystery about how the project will actually come together. The saying goes that there are 3 films: the film in pre-production, the film in principal photography and the film in and after post-production. With this project… there will be dozens of films. For even in principal photography there will be new creations each day, and each take. It will provide enough material to make for a potentially masterful piece of art in the editing room. The key is to just not get in the way of the flows of accident. The end goal is not one that is already predetermined. Yes, there is a scope, but there is an openness that will allow for something magical to arise. Finding the right connections, choosing the right paths, and putting the right pieces together – those are the challenges for the final cut. But what a joy to have to deal with!


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