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Film & TV

Demo: Working With the Set, Props, and Camera

Natalie Portman

Lesson time 05:49 min

Natalie walks you through a sample scene, pointing out important questions to ask the production designer and director. She also shows you how to work with the set, props, and camera.

Natalie Portman
Teaches Acting
Oscar-winning actor Natalie Portman shares the techniques at the heart of her acting process—and teaches you how to tackle your next role.
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Make every role extraordinary

Natalie Portman began acting professionally at 12 and won an Oscar before she turned 30. As a self-taught actor, she uses personal techniques to create compelling, complex characters. In her first-ever acting class, Natalie shows how empathy is at the core of every great performance, how to bring real-life details into every role, and how to build your own creative process. Get ready for your breakout performance.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

It's going wood me think outside the box as an actor. Stopped me from thinking in a cliché way. Also enjoyed the golden nuggets of information.

To certain extend understand the technicality of how film is made along with how the actors act and what goes behind it...

I loved Natalies class , I learned so much about how to develop a character and overall I think her videos were extremely informative!

I loved this class! It was so creative and really kept me engaged. I learned so much! Even if I'm not going to act, I have a new appreciation for what actors do. I loved how hands on it was.


A fellow student

I really appreciated Natalie modeling her communication with the other people before her destruction of property, Lighting and distance from the camera, and movement through the space. We now know what she was teaching and she narrated as she progressed


One of my criticisms of Masterclass in general is that there are not enough of these practical lessons throughout the classes. They can be such a great learning tool as evidenced by Natalie's teaching here and all the positive responses to it.


Awesome! So generous and insightful! Amazing to be a fly on the wall and watch the collaboration of creatives on set.

Stuart G.

Improvisation on set is so important. You get a good idea on what's going just through the body language.

Frank B.

I like the more practical lessons but the director should have used a steadycam.

Cecilia R.

Natalie Portman did a fantastic job mapping the scene for the actor's performance. She guides the student through each step and possibilities that YOU as, an actor, can face in the Theatre stage of the film set. Get inspired and do it!

Natalia K.

This is so odd. She didn't ask the set decorator is it ok to spill coffee all over the bed, or mess with the papers. She knew she can break the flower vase. Yet she broke it in a corner where the camera couldn't catch it. Not the best example.

Lydia P.

What a fun lesson! The only thing I'd ask for is more! I'd love to see her get to do another take or two, just to show us what else she might have done and what she might have kept the same. This was an incredibly helpful lesson and gives me more perspective on what my limits or freedoms can potentially be. Yes yes yes!

Katie M.

Laughing so much at boxers being thrown over balcony. This just shows how much of a genius Natalie Portman is. So creative! This has inspired me to push myself further!

Donna W.

When I'm not acting, I'm often working crew; Art Dept, Set Dec, and Props. I, for one, was very nervous when she poured the cold press coffee on the bed because no one said a word about the mattress having waterproof covering ... and I would have never put water in a vase that might be thrown. To each their own. I loved every minute. Excellent information for those new to set.