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3 Differences Between TikTok POV and Main Screen Acting

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TikTok has become an ever-popular forum for aspiring actors to post intense monologues and play short parts in a particularly dramatic fashion.  Many users are now creatively using TikTok POV clips with music and sound effects to tell a 15-second dramatized story.  The content ranges from horror to historical to teenage romance, wacky and everything in between.  More than one video is commonly posted and multiple POVs are showcased in order to create a memorable storyline with multiple characters.

While there are some similarities between TikTok POV clips and main screen acting, such as content creation for an audience that is dramatized, fictional, and meant to gain attention and garner a reaction, understanding the differences between acting for the social media app and for the main screen is important for actors who are wondering which way to head to get their big break.

The first difference between TikTok POVs and main screen acting.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between the two is the camera angle.  The TikTok POV is meant to be viewed a phone screen and, therefore, there is usually little actual movement or action taking place.  Most of the acting relies on facial expressions and must draw the viewer in with dramatization rather than with the use of scene props or other background action.

TikTok POV

The second difference between TikTok POVs and main screen acting.

A TikTok POV is like a close-up in a mainstream film, which typically lasts just a few seconds in a feature, full-length production.  It’s similar to a small clip in which it’s important to dial in on a person’s emotional reaction before panning back out.  The entire film is essentially this small piece, and thus, the content is condensed in a way that it must quickly tell a story.

The third difference between TikTok POVs and main screen acting.

Another difference between the two is that the POV-er is usually speaking directly into the camera.  In mainstream films, this is not the case.  The actors pretends that the camera is not there at all and speaks to other actors in the scene as if the situation is happening in real life.  At the same time, if there is a response from the TikTok POV point person, it normally comes from behind the camera rather than out front where the individual is visible to the audience.  This means, viewers use their imagination to call up an image of what the behind-the-scenes person actually looks like.

TikTok POV

While there is, no doubt, some notable acting skills happening in TikTok POV clips, the character development that is required for mainstream films is more intricate, especially for those who’ve taken on featured roles.  In short, while TikTok can relief a few seconds of boredom, main screen acting is produced in a way to maintain an audience’s attention for a longer period of time.  Both can be entertaining in their own way, and since TikTok has become super popular, it can be a great way for actors to practice showcasing their craft regardless of the direction they’re hoping to head.

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