1 YEAR ACTING FOR FILM. One of the things about acting is it allows you to live other people s lives without having to pay the price.

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1 1 YEAR ACTING FOR FILM One of the things about acting is it allows you to live other people s lives without having to pay the price. Robert De Niro 78

2 What makes our Acting Programs unique? Practical Hands-On Experience The best way to learn how to act in films is to actually act in films. Our students begin acting in front of the camera from the first week of the program. Every week, students get the opportunity to practice the techniques and skills they have gained in class with exercises that are shot and reviewed. Professional Faculty Our instructors are working veterans of Hollywood and independent film, Broadway and Off-Broadway. Film Productions Many of our programs feature the production of short films or scenes that are created by and star our acting students. These are shot and edited together and may be used for students own reels. Filmmaking Resources Our Acting for Film and Filmmaking programs work hand-in-hand, providing all of our students with resources such as film equipment, live film shoots, and a network of filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, and editors that is developed before entering the real world. Reel Materials We provide all of our students with shot and edited materials that are suitable to put on an actor s reel. The New York Film Academy acting programs are unlike any other actor training programs in the world cutting-edge explorations into the art and practice of acting for the screen. The One-Year program runs on an eight-month calendar, divided into two 16-week semesters. Each of the 16- week semesters requires intensive time demands and a complete commitment on the part of the student. A standard week of study involves additional time in the evenings and on weekends for classes, rehearsals, and shoots. SEMESTER ONE OVERVIEW The first semester concentrates on building a foundation in the craft of acting, using training techniques rooted in the theater but applicable to screen acting. Students participate in a broad array of core classes that introduce them to finding the actor within, while simultaneously training their instrument to do the kind of technical, emotional, and physical work necessary for film acting. Since we believe that film actors also benefit immeasurably from working in front of a live audience, in addition to work in front of the camera, training in the first semester builds towards a live performance. Learning Goals Explore and learn the principles of acting technique. Learn the vocabulary of filmmaking for actors. LOCATIONS TUITION AVAILABLE IN NEW YORK CITY $12,500 PER SEMESTER UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, HOLLYWOOD Become familiarized with the logistics of performance on a film set. Recognize the differences between film acting and stage performance. Understand how to break down a scene and analyze a character. Performance Goals Rehearse and tape film scenes to be analyzed and critiqued in class. Break down, analyze, and rehearse a selected monologue and perform it in front of a live audience. 79

3 One-Year Acting for Film SEMESTER ONE CLASSES In the first part of the semester, students begin to build the foundation of their craft through a broad array of classes that incorporate both traditional stage performance, as well as film performance techniques and concepts. Acting Technique This class is an introduction to the various well-known acting techniques of the Master Acting Teachers. The classes begin with basic ensemble acting games and warmups. Students first explore the work of Konstantin Stanislavski, then move to the Method, briefly discussing the role of Sanford Meisner, then continue to the work of Lee Strasberg (sense and emotional memory), Stella Adler (absolute belief in given circumstances), Michael Chekhov (the psychological gesture), Jerzy Grotowski (physical approach/ outside in ), Anne Bogart (viewpoints) and Tadashi Suzuki. The classes also include a brief historical background of each of the Masters, as well as a discussion of the development of each of his/her techniques. Students are introduced to specific exercises attributed to each Master and asked to work on them outside of class and to perform them in class. Students progress to Open Scenes and monologue work to begin to utilize the different concepts learned. A final Presentation of monologue (or open scene work) is performed at the end of the semester. Acting for Film I The basic tenets of acting translate from stage to screen, but there are skills and knowledge that are specific to the craft of acting for the camera. While the Film Academy explores with students the necessary acting techniques and elements that must be practiced and understood to give a good performance in general, each student is introduced to acting for the camera in the very first week of the program. Students learn the basics of film acting: calibrating performances based upon shot size and angle, hitting marks, emotional and physical continuity, and strength and imagination in acting choices. Over the course of the year, classes devote a majority of time applying skills taught in other classes to acting on a film set specifically. Film Craft In this series of classes, students learn directing, producing, screenwriting, etc. from the actor s perspective. Learning the roles of all the players on a film set dramatically increases the actor s ability to collaborate with the filmmakers in developing dynamic performances. Voice and Movement I In both film and theatre, a character s objective is often illuminated by the playing of strong physical actions. In other words, what a character does, more than what he or she says, is what defines his or her true desire. Movement, in addition to strengthening body posture and contributing to an actor s ability to relax and prepare to play a role, also focuses on breaking down inhibitions, building ensemble spirit, and giving the necessary tools to bring depth to the physical dimension of assigned roles from dramatic texts. Additionally, in the Voice portion of this class, students gain insight into using their voices safely and effectively by freeing themselves of tension, maximizing vocal resonance, and discovering the extent of their playable pitch range. This vocal freedom leads to emotional freedom, complete character development, effective storytelling and powerful presence. 80

4 Improvisation The ability to improvise can never be underestimated when it comes to acting, especially on camera where there is usually very little rehearsal. Whether in comedy or drama, actors improvise well when they are fully engaged, listening to their partners, and releasing their inhibitions about failing. Through games and exercises, students learn how to let their imaginations run wild, how to play well with others, and how to live in the moment free from anticipating or planning what to do next. Shakespeare Some people say that if you can play Shakespeare truthfully, you can play anything. Students learn how to speak, physicalize and bring strong subtextual insights to Shakespeare s classical language, but with a modern approach that assimilates the actor s personal experiences. New York Film Academy students shooting on location in Paris, France. Meisner I Sanford Meisner s teachings had a seminal impact on the acting craft. Students deeply immerse themselves in the Meisner Technique, which enables them to discover their voice of intuition and to inhabit a role spontaneously, from moment to moment as well as to build a character arc that is both specific and inspired by the actor s own responses. Speech An extension of the Voice work, Speech focuses on the elimination of foreign accents and regional dialects by developing Standard American Speech. Using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the actor learns to correct habitual speech problems and prepare for future dialect study. The results include greater ease, clarity, and expression with text, and the ability to undertake a wide variety of roles. Text Analysis Actors learn the history and development of seminal dramatic texts from the 20th Century to the present. Both stage and screenplays are studied. Often the same script is read in both formats: e.g. Tennessee Williams; A Streetcar Named Desire; Eugene O Neill s, Long Day s Journey into Night. Introductory Audition Technique Right from the start of the program, our acting students will have opportunities to audition and work on student film projects. This class is designed to help students make the most of these early opportunities through quick and rudimentary approaches to text and technique with a focus on the actor s instinct; ultimately leading to strong, personality-informed choices. In addition, students will take inventory of monologues they have used in the past for auditions and/or they will learn a new short monologue and workshop it for future use. Performance Analysis: American Cinema It is essential that the smart, contemporary film actor uses key film performances of the past as a tool to inform his/her craft and develops a working vocabulary of historically important films. As the student works on honing the craft of acting in performance classes, this course offers a supplement: a film screening series, each component of which will become a common reference point and teaching example of significant and quality work. Following each screening, there will be a class devoted to discussion and analysis. Performances that are looked at include Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence, Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, and Tom Hanks in Big. First Semester Performance Students do a live performance of monologues that are developed and rehearsed in their Acting Technique classes of the first semester. The performances are staged for a live audience comprised of classmates, faculty, staff and invited guests. The live performances during the year allow students to gain valuable experience and opportunities to compare and contrast their stage acting work with their work in front of the camera. 81

5 One-Year Acting for Film SEMESTER TWO OVERVIEW In the second semester, the core classes continue as the students focus intensifies on applying the techniques they have learned to more elaborate scene work, on camera exercises, and film shoots all designed to develop and hone their screen-acting ability. All students perform in film or video shoots, oftentimes, original work that was created and developed by the students in collaboration with their instructors. In addition, a variety of classes are given to broaden students knowledge of acting techniques, the film business, and the many different aspects of filmmaking that impact the actor s ability to perform on set. The second semester culminates in four public presentations of student work and one honors presentation. These include a live Improvisation performance, a Meisner technique open demonstration, a Scene Study showcase performance, and a screening of student film productions. In addition, our top students have the opportunity to audition for our honors theatre troupe: NYFA Ensemble, which performs a series of short plays at the historic Players Club in Gramercy Park, New York s worldfamous theatrical institution founded by Edwin Booth and Mark Twain in the 1800 s with current members such as Tommy Lee Jones, Ethan Hawke, Angela Lansbury and many other legends of the stage and screen. Learning Goals Learn to work for directors with varying styles on live film sets. Gain knowledge of the differences between demands upon the actor on film productions versus television productions. Learn how to prepare for and present yourself for auditions. Understand the business of the acting craft. PERFORMANCE Goals Perform scenes and workshop exercises developed and rehearsed through instruction in the Meisner Technique. Develop, rehearse, and perform in a fully-realized film scene shot in the studio or on location. This project is presented to an invited audience at the end of the semester. Break down, analyze, and rehearse stage scenes and perform in these scenes for an invited audience. Shooting a scene in central park in New York City. SEMESTER TWO CLASSES Acting For Film II In semester two, students assimilate a range of highly demanding physical, vocal, and psychological acting techniques for the analysis, rehearsal, and blocking of scenes to be filmed in the studio or on location. These scenes are digitally shot and edited. They are screened for an invited audience of classmates, crew, family and friends. All acting students are also required to serve in other crew capacities. Critiques focus on the techniques of calibrating energy for various shot sizes as well as on the strength and imagination of acting choices. Scene Study Students use the techniques they learned in the first semester Acting Technique class to break down scenes into beats (i.e. moments of emotional transition) and then assign specific psychological actions, physical actions, and obstacles to each beat. They incorporate various acting techniques including Stanislavski s System and Strasberg s Method, as well as the skills learned in the Meisner Technique class. Additionally, students learn how to build a comprehensive scored script that includes: a lengthy character biography, description of the dramatic arc, as well as how environment impacts the character s overall objective. Scene Study class culminates with a showcase presentation for classmates, faculty, and an invited audience at the end of the semester. 82

6 Acting for Film Production Workshop (Optional) Students are cast in short scenes that are produced by the One-Year Filmmaking students with the supervision of the faculty and staff. These are full day productions shot on either film or DV and are an excellent opportunity for acting students to get more experience acting on a film set. The completed scenes may also provide material for the acting student s reel. Meisner II A continuation of Meisner I, students learn how to apply the moment to moment work to characters outside of their own experience. This culminates in a Meisner scene presentation in front of a live audience. Business of Acting and Audition Skills Acting is as much of a business as it is a craft. In addition to training, successful actors must develop strong marketing skills to build a career. These classes focus on such topics as feeling comfortable at cold readings, preparing a resume, choosing a head-shot photographer, and developing a career strategy. Additionally, actors have the opportunity to get live auditioning experience in class. Combat for Film Students learn how to safely portray choreographed violence for the screen. Elements of various martial arts are employed to create convincing fight sequences that keep the actor safe from injury. Acting for Television There are many ways to record a performance. The object of this course is to explore the differences between shooting film style (one camera) and the world of a multi-camera set. Students are assigned scenes from either sitcoms or soap operas, which are rehearsed and staged over the course of several weeks culminating in a multi-camera taping that is analyzed by the instructor and class. Voice & Movement II Actors continue with more demanding physical work designed to heighten performances. Elements of movement are addressed for specific works that require specific character and/or historical accuracy. Improvisation II Building on the skills of Improvisation I, students move on to more advanced exercises and long-form improvisation styles. Students learn to connect scenes together to build a complete story arc, as well as to develop more complex characters and relationships within the improvisational structure. At mid-term, students perform a live improvisation show for family and friends. Lastly, students work to bring the skills gained from live format improvisation to faster spontaneity and organic behavior in their film work. One-Year Final Performance In addition to a screening of students work in front of the camera, students perform live scenes that have been analyzed and rehearsed throughout the semester in Scene Study class. Students are also required to commit additional time outside of class to rehearse. The chosen material can range from classic stage plays to contemporary films. The scenes are fully-realized with costumes, props, lighting and sound effects and are performed for classmates, faculty, staff and invited guests. This performance is an exciting event that allows students to showcase their abilities and celebrate the completion of their year s study. Diane Keaton studied the technical aspects of news casting to prepare for her role in Morning Glory. On Ms. Keaton s left is Anna Garcia (NBC anchor-local) and New York Film Academy Universal Studios Director, Dan Mackler, and on her right, Tim Greenwood (NYFA Instructor). 83

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