WHAT WE THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.
I had a blast a couple of weeks ago. Two days of shooting real people for a campaign that launched today. I have always enjoyed working with real people, because they're ... well ... real. But there are two inviolable rules you have to follow:
1. Do not ask them to act. A non-actor acting is a disaster. Instead, feed them their lines, the way you want them to say them. And let them reflect them back to you. It will be bigger than life, and you will get the performance you're looking for. But their personalities will come through.
2. If they start to try to act, turn off the camera.
The best part of this sort of production is the spontaneity of the product. The two best performances we got were takes in which the folks were certain they had messed up the line. The humor, sincerity, and vulnerability of those takes was simply wonderful.