6-Month Acting for Film Workshop with China Film Group
July 15th, 2013
The New York Film Academy is proud to announce that it is holding a special 6-Month Acting for Film Workshop in Beijing in conjunction with China Film Group Corporation.
China Film Group CorporationChina Film Group Corporation, abbreviated as CFGC, is the largest and most influential state-run film enterprise in China. The predecessor China Film Corporation was established in 1949. In 1999, it became the conglomerate China Film Group Corporation built to develop and distribute films in the Chinese industry. It is also the only importer of foreign films in China and a major exporter of Chinese films.
BEIJINGBeijing is an exciting and bustling city with a history of culture and power that extends back thousands of years. Visitors to Beijing will be inspired by the Forbidden City and Summer Palace which were homes of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Near Beijing, the Great Wall of China can be visited, one of the world's wonders and also other attractions such as Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs, Hutongs, Tian'anmen Square, Beijing Opera, Panda House among many great places to visit. Modern Beijing is a city with a vibrant night-life and world-class restuarants. It is the center of a burgeoning entertainment industry where hundreds of films and television shows are produced.
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 warm-ups. 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.
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.
VOICE AND MOVEMENT
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.
Students need 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 Stanislavsky'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.
ACTING FOR THE CAMERA
Refining the skills and techniques necessary to master the specific needs of daytime drama and situation comedy. We look at the history and evolution to current style, structure and function, as well as the particular demands both of these television formats makes of actors. We establish a technique for analyzing text and a method to approach characterization. The student will learn the stylistic differences between one soap opera and another or one sitcom and another. We discuss the differences of under-fives, day players, and contract roles, as well as learning on set decorum, contract and union issues, and functions of creative and technical staff.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.