Lastly, a secret weapon I picked up from a Scorcese interview that really works: the “fuck-around” take. When you’ve got a good version of the scene, let the actors know that you’re happy to move on, that they’ve done everything they need to do but, if they fancy doing it one more time with the pressure off and the chance to fuck around, they can have it. That’s almost always the take you end up using in the edit.
All most actors crave is a relaxed, fun environment where they are comfortable trying things out without being made to feel foolish; an atmosphere, in other words, created by friends working together.
Julian Simpson at Julian’s Brain