One take wonders almost never happen in my world.
I mean, even if someone gets a line right and everything seems to be all well and dandy, I’ll always try and do it multiple times, changing things every take.
I don’t always ask my actors to change what they’re doing because I don’t like it; but rather because I want to see what else they can do. Even if an actor pulls off a line perfectly, I’ll work with them to try delivering it a few different ways, and see whether the original still holds up as my favourite take. It’s always important to reassure your actors that they’re doing a great job, because without those compliments, some may begin to feel like they aren’t hitting the mark.
With my latest film, Inconceivable, I was able to work very one-on-one with Joseph to get the best possible performance out of him. Joseph had already worked with me a few times, first for I Believe You Can Fly (which actually served almost solely as a screen test for both boys), then later in After Tracy, and most recently in It Takes Two to Tango. He knew the drill, and was a good sport when it came to my pursuit for perfection. Due to the minimal crew, and relatively docile plot, it was easy for me to shoot multiple takes of each line and still be on schedule. (Yes, I had actually accounted for running overtime this time).
I always make sure my actors know in advance that I like to try things many different ways, and even if they manage a one take wonder – where possible – I’ll always roll for at least another take.