COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 17:
SCRIPT READ-THROUGH (Table Read)
“If the script is right and the cast is right, there’s not much else that can go wrong.” — William Goldman
The read-through (also known as a table read) is a stage in pre-production when the film’s script is read aloud around a table by the full cast of actors, and is also attended by producers, writers, heads of departments and directors.
The read-through is a major milestone in the production process, giving the core filmmaking team an early insight into the project’s potential and also highlighting any problem areas hidden in the script, such as wooden dialogue or a lack of chemistry between cast members.
As read-throughs normally happen before any rehearsals, actors are not expected to give polished performances but simply to read their dialogue, as written on the page. However this process can be extremely beneficial for an actor, giving them the chance to find their character and begin building relationships with their fellow cast members.
For the writers and directors, the read-through is not only useful but one of the most exciting parts of the filmmaking process — after months, sometimes years of development, it’s exhilarating to finally see a project come to life and the characters burst off the written page into living, breathing people.
The two videos below give a rare and fascinating insight into the production of Kingdom of Heaven and how Ridley Scott works with his actors at the read-through stage.
“The actors find out who they’re gonna be.” — Ridley Scott
The Casting Process for COSMOS took the best part of 2014, auditioning many actors for the three main characters in the film — Harry Knight, Roy Kennedy and Mike Webster, finally casting Josh Ford, Arjun Singh Panam and Tom England.
After introducing these guys to one another and discussing the project at a few social meetings, it was finally time to arrange our script read-through.
We hired a room at a local arts-centre and in an exhilarating 4-hour session, read the 102 page script (second/final draft) from cover to cover.
The video below is a short vlog giving a glimpse into the COSMOS read-through and a few of our thoughts on how valuable the process was (… not as fascinating or insightful as Ridley’s, of course!).
We’re planning a second read-through in a month’s time after the guys have had a chance to learn some of their lines and mull over a few thoughts – after the success of the first read-though, we can only expect exciting results.
Once again, thanks for stopping by. We hope this insight into the production of COSMOS, our first feature film, is both entertaining and informative. We only want to share the fun and experiences with other filmmakers. You can follow more day-to-day progress via our twitter @CosmosMovie