THE ACTOR’S ART AS A BUSINESS


Program 1

COURSE DURATION: 4 WEEKS
LEARNING HOURS: 160
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH WITH SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION INTO YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE
OPTION: MASTER CLASSES CONDUCTED BY HOLLYWOOD STARS ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
PRICE: $4995 APPLY FOR A COURSE

TRAINING COURSE MAIN OBJECTIVE

The program ‘Acting career as a business’ targets mostly young people, who have already acquired an actor’s education, and students of theatre schools.

The name of the program ‘Acting career as a business’ itself implies that the main objective of the offered course is teaching students the right and efficient building of a successful acting career both in Hollywood and back home. Our Program is aimed at upgrading the level of the actors’ professional skills, with an emphasis on the peculiarities of working in Hollywood.

TRAINING COURSE METHODOLOGY

The 4-week training course ‘Acting career as a business’ is focused on teaching foreign students the American approach to filmmaking, as well as the role and place of an actor in film production. The course is designed to foster an environment for students to engage in in-depth vocational training in the short period of their stay in Hollywood. For this purpose the HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL MOVIE CENTER (HIMC) in collaboration with Columbia College Hollywood (CCH), Emerson College LA (ELA) and Musicians Institute (MI) provides students access to fully equipped classrooms and sets/stages for training, and comfortable dwelling quarters not far from the Academy. This allows to achieve three essential objectives:

  • Provide aspiring actors with the opportunity to assess the level of their professional skills through creating short demo reels during their stay with the Academy;
  • Help would-be actors to acquire the skills and experience of collaborative work, essential in their occupation, that they will need despite the highly competitive environment of the labor market, and that require such qualities as flexibility, adaptability and at the same time staunchness;
  • Teach aspiring actors to represent themselves correctly in their occupation and in the film industry system, use their profession as a business tool.

These goals are achieved through daily intensive learning using an original improvisational method in modern well-equipped Academy classrooms, and directly at Universal Studios sets, where students can apply what they learn to a variety of different offered settings.

Working in collaboration with partners and representatives of other film disciplines, taking part in the joint creative search, students apply their own impressions of dramatic or comic situations they had once experienced themselves. The scenes they have thought up and acted through are filmed at a contemporary professional level in the genre of short miniatures. This enables an actor to gain an unprecedented experience of working on a film set, a realistic inner understanding of his/her abilities, his/her character type, acquire the skills and experience of collaborative work, and most importantly, hear an objective analysis of his/her professional abilities, assessed by a teacher – head of the group, or a visiting guest-professor. They can be a famous actor or film critic. All NYFA faculty – are the highest-level professionals, working in the American film industry.

ACQUIRED SKILLS

Apart from the fundamental acting skills, students also acquire accompanying skills. Upon completion of the training course the students will be able to:

  • find specific traits in their characters, that will make the images and story-telling true to life;
  • resorting to one’s own life experience, enrich the character’s image with individual traits already in the initial test audition;
  • become a part of an integral creative team, tight-knit and solid, committed to achieving a shared objective;
  • deliver a convincing performance, acting out a scene on camera, rationally assessing one’s abilities in the given conditions;
  • work and conduct oneself in a professional manner;
  • build one’s career effectively and consistently;
  • derive financial reward from their profession to the maximum;
  • have two ready demo reels in the genres of drama and comedy.

LEARNING PLAN

The comprehensive training course ‘Acting career as a Business’ embraces theoretical and hands-on training in acting skills, classes in screenwriting and directing, the art of editing and producing, with an emphasis on business as an integral part of filmmaking. Apart from that, students will be read a special course ‘Hollywood as the synthesis of art and business, and the place of an actor in it’.

In addition to the basic course, HIMC organizes master-classes conducted by famous Hollywood actors and directors.

All lectures, seminars and practical sessions are provided with simultaneous translation into your native language!

TRAINING CURRICULUM. THEORY AND PRACTICE

Program 1

In the first 2 weeks and the last fourth week students will be read introductory lectures and 2 courses: ‘Acting career as a business’ and ‘Hollywood as the synthesis of art and business, and the place of an actor in it’. The fourth concluding week will be devoted to shooting Demo Reels.

Students of the acting course will also be engaged in shooting student films of students enrolled in the program ‘Hollywood as the synthesis of art and business’.

  • INTRODUCTORY LECTURES
    • Review of the training course ‘Acting career as a business’.
    • Basic differences in the interpretation of the Stanislavsky System in Russia and in Hollywood.
  • ACTING CAREER AS A BUSINESS
    • The path from stage to screen
    • A foreign actor in Hollywood
      • Your accent - is your enemy
      • How to get rid of the accent
      • When a foreign accent helps you
      • What to start building a career in Hollywood with
    • An actor’s arsenal
      • A portfolio
      • Photo cards
      • Resume
      • Demo reels and websites
    • The actor and trade unions
      • SAG – Screen Actors Guild
      • AEA – Actors’ Equity Association
      • AFTRA – American Federation Of Television and Radio Artists
    • Actors working for Film and TV
      • Differences between work for Film and TV
      • Peculiarities of working for TV series: daytime and primetime series
      • Contemporary acting techniques
      • Actor working on a ‘green screen’
      • Computer graphics and the actor
    • Choosing an agent and working with him/her
      • What do you need an agent for
      • The role of agent in your career
      • Responsibilities of agent to actor
      • Responsibilities of actor to agent
      • Major Agencies and the possibility to collaborate with them
      • CAA, WME, UTA, Gersh, ICM Partners, Paradigm etc.
      • Boutique agencies
      • Your manager, who is he?
    • Interview with an agent
      • How to conduct yourself in an interview
      • Typical and tricky questions. How to answer them correctly
      • What is an Office Audition and how to do it correctly
      • How to choose the material for presenting
      • How to correctly enter relations with your agent
      • Developing relations with your agent
    • Casting
      • Who are those people – casting directors?
      • The role of casting directors in the Industry
      • How to successfully collaborate with a casting director
      • Audition tape tips (technique)
      • Audition photo tips
      • What is a Headshot, and how to do it the right way
    • Makeup and costume
      • Collaborating with a makeup artist
      • Collaborating with a costume designer
    • The importance of keeping abreast of things
      • Not to expect propositions, but know how to look for them
      • Why start your day with the Industry news review?
      • Knowing how to find useful information
      • What to focus on when reading the mass media?
      • The Hollywood Reporter, IMDbPro.com and other sources
  • HOLLYWOOD AS THE SYNTHESIS OF ART AND BUSINESS, AND THE PLACE OF AN ACTOR IN IT
    • SCREENWRITING CLASS
      • The ‘Hollywood standard’ format for a screenplay
      • Peculiarities of a TV screenplay
      • What an actor should pay attention to when working on the screenplay
    • DIRECTING CLASS
      • Contemporary Hollywood directing
      • Similarities and differences between directing big-screen and TV movies
      • Shot breakdown
      • Collaboration of director and actors
      • The psychology of director-actor partnership
      • A director’s principles of choosing an actor
      • Reading scenes from the screenplay and rehearsing with the director
    • PRODUCING
      • Professional ethics, Hollywood style
      • The structure of Hollywood
      • The figure of the producer and his role in the Industry
      • Producer and actor
      • The structure of a film crew and the place of an actor in it
      • How to get a part in a film
    • EDITING
      • What is a film language
      • A historical review of the cinema as an international language, from the discovery of cinematography until today
      • The capacities of modern editing
      • The actor’s work in the hands of the editor

The third week of training will culminate in the production of 2 actor’s demo reels (tragedy and comedy) created by each student. For creating a demo reel the actors break up into 3 (or more) groups, 2-4 people in each. On the 4th and 5th day they engage in the shooting process, in the course of which each group of actors acts in the demo reel, while the others assist them. Then the groups swap. This way the students acquire experience of working on the set, and end up having 2 ready demo reels of their own, that they will later be able to use as their actual presentation material.

Important information: for working on creating a Demo Reel students have to have at least 2 ready sketches (drama, comedy) in written form in English. The actual Demo Reels, at the student’s wish, can be filmed in Russian or in English.

  • PREPARING AND CREATING A DEMO REEL (4th week of training) (theory and practice of acting skills)
    • Day one. Presentation of sketches by students.
      • General review of students sketches
      • Singling out the key elements of storytelling
      • Development of separate scenes. Questions-answers (like in an interview)
      • Splitting the students up into groups, working with each group separately
      • Homework assignment summarizing the results of day one:
        *Analysis and critique of the presented sketches and choosing the most successful ones.
    • Day two. Breathing life into sketches.
      • Bringing the characters to life
      • Improving the technical applied aspects of the sketches
      • Bringing the scenes together into one story
      • Staged sketches
      • Homework assignment summarizing the results of day two:
        *Presenting the selected scenes from the sketches
    • Day three. Preparing the sketches for filming
      • Choosing location
      • Choosing costumes and props
      • Staging work with the characters
      • Rehearsing separate scenes on location
      • Preproduction and shot breakdown
      • Preproduction for the first group
      • Homework assignment summarizing the results of day three:
        *Presenting the staged sketches
    • Day four. Shooting demo reels (Drama).
      • Group 1 – production: 9.00-12.00
      • Group 2 – preproduction: 9.00-12.00
      • Group 3 – assists group 1: 9.00-12.00
      • Group 2 – production: 13.00-16.00
      • Group 1 assists group 2: 13.00-16.00
      • Group 3 – preproduction: 13.00-16.00
      • Group 3 – production: 16.00-19.00
      • Group 2 assists group 3: 16.00-19.00
      • Group 1 preproduction for the next day: 16.00-19.00
      • Homework assignment summarizing the results of day four:
        *delivering the raw unedited footage to the editor in the cutting room, and working with it.
    • Day five. Shooting demo reels (Drama).
      • Group 1 – production: 9.00-12.00
      • Group 2 – preproduction: 9.00-12.00
      • Group 3 assists group 1: 9.00-12.00
      • Group 2 – production: 13.00-16.00
      • Group 1 assists group 2: 13.00-16.00
      • Group 3 –preproduction: 13.00-16.00
      • Group 3 – production: 16.00-19.00
      • Homework assignment summarizing the results of day five (and in preparation for day six):
        *delivering the raw unedited footage to the editor in the cutting room, and working with it.
    • Day six. Analysis.
      • Analyzing and correcting blunders and technical mistakes
      • Synopsis and assessing the overall working process
      • How to assemble your own film crew for your work: the structure and sequence of work in film production
      • Feedback
      • The final screening of the created demo reels
      • Homework assignment summarizing the results of day six:
        *Review of the work with analysis and useful advice for the future on 2 pages.

Entertainment program

As an option students are offered an extensive entertainment program for the week-ends: tours of LA, visiting the legendary concert hall ‘Hollywood Bowl’, concerts, exhibitions, museums, film premiers, etc.

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