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New York Film Academy in Shanghai, China

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Cinematography school student filming with a Red One camera Film school student shoots scene on Panaflex camera Students work hands-on with a digital camera

Overview of New York Film Academy Shanghai


The Four-Week Acting for Film Workshop allows students to participate in a short training program that demands full immersion into learning the craft. Students who find the training beneficial are encouraged to join the second half of the Eight-Week Workshop, intensifying their studies and gaining more experience in front of the camera. Many of our Four-Week students have gone on to enroll in our popular One-Year Acting for Film Program. In select locations a special three-Week session is also available.

Shanghai Chenghuang Temple


The Four-Week Workshop provides students with a thorough foundation of acting skills with a specific focus on acting for film. Many students find the one-month length fits conveniently into their yearly schedules. The workshop is a full-time program. Students must be prepared to make a serious commitment to its completion.

Classes emphasize the basic elements of the craft of acting using Stanislavsky's System, scene study, and monologue work as starting points. In conjunction with these classes, students participate in courses aimed specifically at training the actor for the technical requirements of acting on a film set.


Acting For Film
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. The class covers how actors must maintain a consistent emotional through-line from scene to scene, even while shooting out of sequence. Other topics addressed include imaginary eye lines, the actor's business in the film world, and understanding the responsibilities and challenges of the crew on set. Exercises on video help students develop techniques for rehearsing, reading, auditioning, and creating a meaningful performance before the camera.

Audition Technique
This class prepares actors for handling the often nerve-wracking experience of the audition. 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. While theater actors also seek to deliver realistic and moving performances, the demands of film on absolute authenticity are so great that most theater actors find it necessary to hone their craft specifically for the demands of modern filmmaking to deliver good performances in this medium. The New York Film Academy seeks to give acting students a thorough foundation in traditional acting techniques, yet allow them to have a true understanding of the differences between acting on the stage and performing for the camera.

Film Craft
This class introduces acting students to the language and grammar of filmmaking. This includes an understanding of shot language, eye lines, screen direction, camera movement, and lighting. Film Craft aims to help the actor communicate more effectively with directors and increase their understanding of the film medium.

Students film by the water in Shanghai, China Voice and Movement
In this class, students are taught a repertoire of exercises that increase mental and physical awareness, improve body alignment, and stimulate natural, reflexive breathing. Students study how to open channels in the body that control the vibrations, resonance, and range of the human voice.

The class directs the actor's attention towards the body as an instrument of expression. Students train in uncovering and developing natural movement, and learn how to overcome inhibitions.

Scene Study
This class seeks to build a foundation in acting technique with immediate application to scripted material. It starts at a most basic level, usually with silent scenes or short dialogue scenes, before longer dramatic or comedic scenes are explored. All scenes are studied from the vantage point of what specifically makes a successful film performance versus the attributes of a successful stage performance. Working on scenes from published plays and screenplays give actors the opportunity to apply their skills to well-structured stories with authentic dialogue. Actors will become adept at breaking the scene down into beats, defining and pursuing objectives, understanding the character's arc, thinking character thoughts, playing actions, and working hard to overcome obstacles.

In Monologues, students learn the skills necessary to hone and focus their acting skills when they cannot rely on a scene partner to carry them through. Students work on monologues from theatre and film sources that help them learn how to command attention with their acting.

This course covers comic character development, sit-com material, sketch comedy, scripted and improvised material taught through monologues, exercises, improvisations, and theatre games. Students learn to distinguish different styles of comedy to create characters for sitcoms as well as sketch comedy and develop audition techniques for comedic film roles. Students screen comedic material for the purposes of analysis.

A representative of the New York Film Academy will meet with applicants in Shanghai to discuss the program, explain the curriculum and answer any questions. Students who apply to the program will be contacted about this visit and other local opportunities to learn more about the program.

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