Dir-Acting Exercise

For one of my Directing classes I have to write a short 1-2 minute piece that will be workshopped in class using fellow Directing students as our Actors. We're then going to film the piece. There was no way I was going to write a highly emotive piece and hope one of my fellow students could pull a tear out. I think that's asking a little too much.

You can read what I came up with below; but first, enjoy a little inspiration.


Charlie the Gent
Polite Gentleman
Large Gentleman


Charlie walks past a sign that says, ‘Gentleman’s Club’. He considers for a moment and enters the Club.


Charlie walks into the bar where the Large Gentleman and Polite Gentleman, who unlike Charlie both wear hats, sit at the bar. Charlie sits down at the bar on the far side of them. A beer is put in front of Charlie.

Charlie is about to take a sip when the Polite Gentleman clears his throat, taps Charlie on the shoulder and points to a sign above them that says, ‘All Gentlemen MUST wear Hat to be Served’.

Charlie feels the top of his hatless head. He looks longingly at his beer. The Polite Gentleman waggles his finger, ‘no’ and points to the sign. Charlie gets up and begins to leave. As he passes the Large Gentleman he swats the hat off his head. The Large Gentleman does not notice. Charlie picks up the hat and offers it back to the Large Gentleman who, without seeing Charlie has his hat, shoves Charlie away. Charlie turns to leave when he realises he has a hat. He puts it on and goes back to his seat at the bar.

The Large Gentleman goes to sip his beer and the Polite Gentleman clears his throat, taps the Large Gentleman on the shoulder and points to a sign above them that says, ‘All Gentlemen MUST wear Hat to be Served’. The Large Gentleman feels the top of his head, looks over at Charlie and realises Charlie is wearing his hat. He starts to reach over the top of the Polite Gentleman in an attempt to fight Charlie for the hat. Charlie cowers away while offering the hat to the Large Gentleman. The Large Gentleman takes it, puts it back on his head and sits down at his chair.

The Polite Gentleman mollifies the Large Gentleman by brushing off the shoulders of his jacket. Charlie, seeing the Polite Gentleman’s back is turned, sees his opportunity and sneakily takes the Polite Gentleman’s hat and puts it on his head.

All three settle back in to drink. Both Charlie and the Large Gentleman clear their throats, tap The Polite Gentleman on the shoulder and point to the sign above them that says, ‘All Gentlemen MUST wear Hat to be Served’.

The Polite Gentleman feels the top of his head and tries to fight both Charlie and the Large Gentleman to get one of the hats back. The Polite Gentleman realises this wasn’t wise as both Charlie and the Large Gentleman swing a single blow that knocks him off his feet.

Charlie and the Large Gentleman sit down to enjoy their beers. The Polite Gentleman gets unsteadily to his feet and leaves. They go to sip their beer. Charlie suddenly jumps up and points in the direction the Polite Gentleman has left. The Large Gentleman stands up looking for another fight from the Polite Gentleman. Charlie sneakily puts his hat under his shirt, takes off the Large Gentleman’s Hat and puts it on his head.

They sit back down. Charlie clears his throat, taps the Large Gentleman on the shoulder and points to the sign above them that says, ‘All Gentlemen MUST wear Hat to be Served’. While the Large Gentleman scratches his head looking towards the direction of the Polite Gentleman’s exit, Charlie draws all three beers in front of him.


Take: 32

Blogger Ruela mused...

I love Charlie, fantastic artist!

Fri Mar 13, 12:03:00 pm

Blogger T S Munty mused...

Charlie's smarter than the average gent. What do they have to wear to get a meat pie?

Fri Mar 13, 12:37:00 pm

Blogger G3T Films mused...

No arguments here, Ruela.

Fri Mar 13, 12:53:00 pm

Blogger G3T Films mused...

They have to wear a bright pink kilt and effect a Scottish brogue.

Fri Mar 13, 12:54:00 pm

Blogger T S Munty mused...

I imagine you have no problem getting meat pies then.

I hope the film goes well, are the gents wearing anything else apart from hats?

Fri Mar 13, 01:12:00 pm

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Haha, oh TS, how you make me laugh. Nothing but hats... now I see some motivation as why you'd want one. Gives a whole new meaning to, 'Gentleman's Club'.

It's not really a film as such, but rather a Directing exercise to help acclimatise Directors to working with Actors while still managing the rest of their departments work schedules.

Fri Mar 13, 02:09:00 pm

Blogger Ces mused...

Wow, I was actually imagining the scene and I had this black and white movie that moves so fast. You are very clever to present that video first. This is interesting. I have never read a script before.

Fri Mar 13, 03:38:00 pm

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Hey Ces, I'm glad the video helped you to imagine the action of the screen. My intention was to play it for the class before we start workshopping the scene.

This is actually a very simply written script. I think it took me about a half hour to put it together. As such, there's all types of little no-no's evident in the writing. Like saying, 'he takes the hat sneakily'. That's for the workshop to describe. The actor may feel it's more appropriate for the character to take it boldly... as the Director, I'd probably disagree on that one though... but I'm sure you get my meaning.

Fri Mar 13, 04:21:00 pm

Blogger Ruela mused...

this is the only film I have from

Sat Mar 14, 12:01:00 am

Anonymous rita mused...

Simple but brilliant. How can one lose with Charlie Chaplin?

Sat Mar 14, 03:51:00 am

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Yeah, Modern Times is the only film of his I have too, Ruela. Luckily, it's the one film that encapsulates so much of his talent and ability. Makes it a fun watch.

Sat Mar 14, 10:09:00 am

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Hahaha, I hope you're not talking about my script Rita. I'm not going to touch the word brilliant with a barge pole. Let's say, it will do nicely.

For me though, the simplicity of the piece allows all those things I need to do with this exercise to be completely accessible. There are emotions that need portraying, there's different motivations that need to be explained and fit into the performance. There's particular camera setup that will and wont work for it. All of them are easy to understand for the Actors and the crew. It will make my job a LOT easier. And as the first person to do the exercise this semester, I think that's appropriate.

Sat Mar 14, 10:15:00 am

Anonymous Anonymous mused...

would be
fun to see...

maybe you can you-tube it


Sat Mar 14, 03:28:00 pm

Blogger G3T Films mused...

If I can get a copy of the tape, /t., that's exactly what I intend to do.

Sat Mar 14, 05:01:00 pm

Blogger Rita mused...

Well, it sounds like a winning situation for you. Is it advantageous to be first up or not?

Sun Mar 15, 02:32:00 am

Blogger laughingwolf mused...

love it, but does it fit your time frame?

Sun Mar 15, 01:11:00 pm

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Actually Rita, I think the only advantage is that because the piece came out, was writing, so quickly it's taken the pressure off me in completing a number of other assignments. And it gives me a chance to show my understanding of putting a scene together when people are choosing crew for the upcoming films.

Sun Mar 15, 04:03:00 pm

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Hey Laughing Wolf, what an interesting question...

There's two time frames involved, I guess, one is how long the final piece will be and the other is the amount of time in class we get to workshop it.

The pieces need to be between one and two minutes in length. I think it'll should be within that time frame, depending on how it's acted. There's plenty of points in the script that could be drawn out to convey the emotion though. I'm sure they'll be kinda flexible with that.

The other time frame is the amount of time in class we have to workshop it. We could definitely run short of that time. At least I've given the script to the Actors so they wont be starting from scratch. That'll help.

Sun Mar 15, 04:09:00 pm

Blogger willynillywaterlily mused...

Oh, I just love the piece you've written! Very Chaplin-esque, for sure!

Will you be filming it and revealing it here? I would love to see it come to fruition!

Best of luck with it! :)

Mon Mar 16, 08:12:00 am

Blogger Ticharu mused...

I think they could have worked out an amicable arrangment by which they shared hats and everyone could have had a beer while they networked and helped to insure a more prosperous future for all three gentlemen.

Mon Mar 16, 10:32:00 am

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Hey Ms Waterlily, thanks. I'm glad you like it.

I will certainly be filming it and hopefully, maybe, I'll put it up on the web. It might just depend on what the others in the group think.

Mon Mar 16, 12:09:00 pm

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Ticharu, you're such a Commie! :)

One of my friends comment after reading it was, 'I don't understand. Why didn't he just go to a NORMAL pub?'

Other than that I can assure you that the polite gentleman is too caught up in his enjoyment of the letter of the law to think to share a hat AND the large gentleman has had such a bad day the last thing he wants is to interact with other people.

Maybe, maybe if they'd taken your approach they would have ended up with a beer rather than deservingly missing out.

Mon Mar 16, 12:15:00 pm

Blogger Ticharu mused...

Ha ha! Well if they took my approach it would be a rather dull film! Although Charlie could 'become' the polite gentleman when he wears his hat, though that would be less a comedy and more a sci-fi mystery thriller.

Mon Mar 16, 10:37:00 pm

Blogger Bimbimbie mused...

Loved the Charlie clip and your idea for the class exercise sounds like a winner, look forward to seeing the end result*!*

Tue Mar 17, 08:27:00 am

Blogger G3T Films mused...

Tich, I guess it depends on what type of little man lives in the hat, as to whether or not it's a sci-fi mystery thriller or a horror mystery thriller. Although I do agree, either way, it's a pretty weird hat when seen from your story point of view.

Tue Mar 17, 11:55:00 am

Blogger G3T Films mused...

You're right Bimbimbie, it sounds like a winner. But there's a loooot of work to do in a relatively short class. The end result could be less than charming. :)

Tue Mar 17, 11:56:00 am

Blogger The Phosgene Kid mused...

I think the Marx Brothers had a hat routine similar to that in Duck Soup

Sun Mar 22, 04:32:00 pm

Blogger Gyrobo mused...

The two men, of course, would need outrageously 1920s-style facial hair.

I'm talkin' twirled moustaches. I'm talkin' pointy beards here.

And don't underestimate the value of a fine tie!

Wed Mar 25, 10:25:00 am

Blogger G3T Films mused...

I just went over to youtube and watched that Phos. That's was great. The strange stuff they were doing with their legs in between the hat stuff really made it work.

That's what physical comedy is all about, timing!

Wed Mar 25, 11:59:00 am

Blogger G3T Films mused...

I wish I'd thought of that Gyrobo. Fake moustaches would have been the icing on the cake!

Bow Tie?

Wed Mar 25, 12:00:00 pm

Blogger Gyrobo mused...

Never bow to a tie. You must curtsy.

Thu Mar 26, 02:02:00 am

Blogger Lapin Poulain mused...

Your story is good, very Charliesque! Hheheh I love the tiny movie of Charlie in Prison too!!! HOP!

Fri May 08, 12:11:00 am


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