At the Moscow Art Theatre the actors had to pretend to hear the cherry trees being cut down.
In film you have real cherry trees to watch being cut down.
You’re an actor watching the trees being cut down, so what do you have to do? Nothing. Stand there and watch. The sound of the axe or saw, the chips flying, and the woodcutter cutting all tell the story.
We cut to your face. You watch. You are us watching. We see your face - a blank face - and we attribute what you’re thinking to your face.
Then we cut back to the tree being cut down. The tree is just there getting cut down. It plays its part.
Don’t do any more than the tree is doing or you’ll look silly. You won’t be believable.
In David Lean’s film: Lawrence of Arabia we see a rider on a camel against the horizon, and for two minutes they ride straight into the camera. Perhaps one of the purest examples of how cinema can capture realism in a natural setting.
Omar Sharif has the good sense to do nothing but ride the camel.