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New York Film Academy Acting for Film

1-Year Hands-on Acting Conservatory Program

NYFA acting school students with wine glasses on set Student in suit acting for the camera Students acting for film at NYFA acting school NYFA acting school student films scene at table

Overview of our 1-Year Acting Program

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 Acting Conservatory runs on an eight-month calendar, divided into two sixteen-week semesters. Each of the sixteen-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.

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.

SEMESTER ONE OVERVIEW

Please note that the learning and performance goals are subject to change depending on location. The below goals are for the Academy’s NYC campus. Students should consult their catalogs for any differences in the LA curriculum.

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:
  • Understand the fundamental principles of acting for film.
  • Grounding in classical scene study and acting techniques.
  • Fundamentals of script and text analysis.
  • Survey and examination of film studies from a film actor’s perspective.
  • Exposure and practice in a variety of vocal techniques.
PRODUCTION GOALS:
  • Perform in a live monologue presentation.
  • Shoot in-class on camera scenes for critique.
  • Participate in a Film Craft shoot.

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.

LEARNING GOALS:
  • Intermediate training in acting principles.
  • Grounding in intermediate scene study and acting for film.
  • Intermediate training in Vocal, Movement and Improvisation work.
PRODUCTION GOALS:
  • Perform in a short film.
  • Perform in a taped Improvisation presentation.
  • Perform in a taped, year-end, scene study presentation.
  • Meisner technique open demonstration.



Course Description

Acting Technique I
Acting for Film I
Meisner I
Voice and Movement I
Speech I
Film Craft
Improvisation I
Intro to Audition Technique
Shakespeare
Text in Action
Dialect Training (Year-Round)
Performance Analysis I
Scene Study
Acting for Film II
Meisner II
Voice and Movement II
Improvisation II
Combat for Film
Performance Analysis II
The Business of Acting
Acting for Television

Acting Technique I

Students will be introduced to and practice the tools necessary to hone and focus their acting skills when they do not have a scene partner on which to rely. Students will work on monologues from theatre and film sources that will help them learn how to command attention at auditions and professional performances.
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Acting for Film I

Acting for Film provides students with an environment to facilitate confidence and familiarity with acting in front of the camera. The primary emphasis of the class is the technical requirements and practice of film acting, including learning to adjust the performance for specific shot size, finding the arc of the character and learning to maintain the integrity of the script while shooting out of sequence. Film set terminology and etiquette will also be addressed.
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Meisner I

This class is an introduction to the acting approach formulated by the late Sanford Meisner. Largely based on listening and observation, the Meisner technique helps actors to act and react truthfully by being grounded in the reality of the moment.
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Voice and Movement I

In the “Voice” segment of this course, students learn to access the natural voice through relaxation exercises designed to improve alignment and alleviate habitual tension. During the “Movement” portion, students increase the access and involvement of their body in acting work and experiment with different ways of becoming physically “present” in their work. Elements of various approaches are taught, including Modern Dance, Yoga, Alexander Technique, and Laban Movement.
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Speech I

In this introductory class, students work with basic elements of speech, such as anatomical awareness, use of the articulators, and operative words in text according to the principles of Skinner and Knight-Thompson speech work. Students will be introduced to the history and context of the General American Dialect as well as the International Phonetic Alphabet.
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Film Craft

An exploration of filmmaking that includes classes in: directing, cinematography, producing, screenwriting, and editing. Learning the roles of all the players on a film set dramatically increases the actor’s ability to collaborate with filmmakers in developing dynamic performances. Students will participate in an in-class shoot, utilizing skills gained in the course.
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Improvisation I

In order to truly be effective actors, students must learn how to skillfully nurture their instincts and freely release their creative impulses. Through a variety of exercises designed to help cast off inhibitions, actors experiment with the group dynamics and individual expression vital to vibrant and truthful performances.
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Intro to Audition Technique

Students will learn about the etiquette, practice, and procedure of the audition structure along with techniques to effectively deliver successful audition performances. Students will work with variety of sides from commercial to TV Series Regular.
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Shakespeare

Students are exposed to a historical perspective of the writings of William Shakespeare to better understand these classic works of theatre. In order to gain a better appreciation of this master playwright, text analysis will be done using a variety of approaches including sounding and poetic and rhetorical devices.
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Text in Action

This course teaches the core skills necessary for maintaining the integrity of a performance while shooting out of sequence. Students examine contemporary playwrights and screenwriters, examining plot structure and extracting given circumstances, and learn to utilize these fundamental tools for rehearsal and performance.
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Dialect Training (Year-Round)

In year-round optional work sessions, actors can study a General American Dialect, practice IPA work, and delve into the art of dialects.
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Performance Analysis I

Students will view and participate in discussion of pivotal film performances to develop an appreciation and technical understanding of the methods, choices, and the effects of various styles of acting. This course seeks to develop the ability to assess and draw key lessons from viewing the work of master actors in key film performances.
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Scene Study

Students learn to break scenes down into units or “beats”, identify and develop the arc of the scenes, and develop awareness of the evolution of scenes from moment to moment. Students will have the chance to incorporate the skills learned in this class, as well as the various disciplines covered in the first semester, into a taped live presentation of a scene at the end of the semester.
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Acting for Film II

Students apply the training learned in semester one to in-class exercises. On a weekly basis, they will prepare a script and digitally tape the scene. Scenes will be screened for critique in class looking at what worked and what did not. The class culminates in a four-day shoot on location with a five-member production team.
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Meisner II

A continuation of Meisner I, students learn to apply “moment-to-moment” work to characters outside of their own experience. Through further practice of acting techniques developed in semester one, students continue to refine their toolbox of choices available to them for their work on increasingly complex material in other classes. The class culminates in a public demonstration of Meisner work in scenes.
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Voice and Movement II

In this continuation of their work during first semester, students will focus on using the techniques learned in Voice and Movement I and continue with ever more demanding physical work designed to heighten performances.
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Improvisation II

Following the semester one course, Improvisation II encourages students to skillfully nurture their instincts and freely release their creative impulses through a variety of individual and group exercises. Students work through the evolution of short form improvisational exercises into long form scenes. The class culminates in a public performance at the end of the second semester.
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Combat for Film

This course covers the fundamental principals of unarmed film combat. With emphasis on safety, students will learn a basic vocabulary of slaps, punches, kicks, hair pulls, rolls, and other fight related illusions. Angles for camera viability are learned, allowing each student to know how best to enact a safe and effective moment of physical violence for screen. Exercises are filmed and critiqued in class.
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Performance Analysis II

A continuation of Performance Analysis I, students view and participate in discussion of pivotal film performances and develop an appreciation and technical understanding of the methods, choices, and effects of various styles of acting. This course offers an in-depth look at a series of film performances, each of which is viewed and becomes a common reference point and teaching example of significant and quality work.
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The Business of Acting

Instructors assist students in understanding current trends in headshots, resumes, representation, reels, and casting. Students learn about the different unions and their respective histories. Students are exposed to marketing skills, tools necessary for securing interviews with casting directors and agents, and proper etiquette for dealing with industry professionals during the audition and interview process.
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Acting for Television

Introduces students to skills and techniques necessary for translating performance from single-camera production to multi-camera production. Students focus on performing two basic three-camera television genres, Daytime Dramas and Sitcoms, and study an overview of the histories of the two formats. They learn the preproduction process including individual preparation, rehearsal, and last minute script or blocking changes, and experience the speed that is part of television production. Each student will perform in at least two scenes from each genre, supplement the technical crew in production duties, and act as background extras or under-fives.
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Dates & Tuition

Fees Per Year

Tuition: $31,500 (USD)

Number of Semesters: 2




Location & Available Dates

For New York City:
September 2016 - May 2017
January 2017 - September 2017
May 2017 - January 2018
September 2017 - May 2018

For Los Angeles:
September 2016 - May 2017
January 2017 - September 2017
May 2017 - January 2018
September 2017 - May 2018

For Sydney Australia:
October 2016 - June 2017
February 2017 - September 2017
July 2017 - March 2018
September 2017 - May 2018

For Gold Coast Australia:
October 2016 - June 2017
February 2017 - September 2017
July 2017 - March 2018
September 2017 - May 2018

QUICK FACTS
START DATES FOR:
NUMBER OF SEMESTERS: 2
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