Acting For the Camera – Class Curriculum
The Advanced On-Camera Class is a comprehensive, step by step course to develop the skills today’s actors need to work in the fast-paced world of Film & Television. Like all of our classes we believe strongly in building a base of solid fundamentals in both acting and camera technique. Each week of this 6-week course builds on the skills developed in the previous weeks. This class has two teachers: Penny Templeton acts as your on set Coach, working on your acting choices in each scene. Hank Schob is your Director and Technical Director both teaching camera technique and also directing all of the scenes. ZOOM technology allows the actors to “PIN” their scene partner so they can do the scene, The rest of the class uses “SPEAKER VIEW” which switches between the two characters as each one speaks. This allows the class to see a “Live-Edited” scene as it is recorded. Each week the actors are assigned a new scene that they must have fully structured and memorized and prepared for filming. All the scenes are double cast so the actors get to see other actors making different choices with their roles.
Week 1 – An Overview of Camera Technique:
During this class we get to know one another. The class starts with Penny interviewing the actors. This is followed by a “demonstration lecture” on Camera Technique by Hank Schob. He gets the actors on set and demonstrates the different camera shots and the techniques the great actors use to get the most out of every shot. The last part of this class is putting these new camera skills to use as the actors are filmed doing the short scenes they have been given to prepare. All of the following classes expand and build on the foundation laid in this first class. Taught by Penny Templeton & Hank Schob
Week 2 – Cars and Bars & Piggy Backs:
Allowing the camera to capture the full impact of a scene through the eyes, thoughts and reactions is the biggest separation between leading actors and everyone else. By doing scenes set in cars & bars the focus becomes you as the shots are all head & Shoulders or Close-ups. Piggy Back Shots are a staple of scenes that take place seated at a bar or in a car. The hidden thoughts each character can reveal to the audience while keeping them secret to the other character is the key to making these shots work. The “PiggyBack” is one of the most important shots in all of film and television and also one of the hardest for actors new to the medium to get comfortable with. The actors both learn the technical skills and acting skills necessary to master this shot and the reasons these shots are used. This in turn affects the acting choices the actor makes in preparing the scene.
Week 3 – Specific Techniques; Continuity, Eye line, Props, Eating & Drinking:
For week 3 the actors are all given the same 3 short scenes. These scenes are used to develop a knowledge of the importance of Continuity in film making as well as learning how to use props including food & drink to emphasize the acting of the scenes. One scene is used exclusively to develop the awareness of the importance of the actor’s eye-line and focus. Many an actor’s best work has ended up on the cutting room floor because the continuity did not match up or the “Eye-Line” was wrong. Taught by Hank Schob.
Week 4 – Green Screen
Hank Schob teaches this classes. You might spend the night in outer space, a roof top, or a war zone. Being specific in your choices, strong substitutions and eyelines are critical for a successful green screen scene. All the scenes will be shot using Green screen and then edited and special effects added for playback during the final class.
Week 5 – Audition Technique
Penny Templeton teaches this class on Auditioning for Film. The actors take turns playing Casting Director, Producer, Writer, etc. as the actors each audition on-camera for that scary group of strangers on the other side of “the table”. In this class the actors learn how to maximize their acting skills and their use of their camera skills to look like the star they need to be to book the job. Taught by Penny Templeton
Week 6 – Final Exam:
For this class we bring in a leading Industry Professional to give a final critique of your work. This may be a Casting Director, Agent or Manager. They are brought in to give the actors an honest critique and assessment of the level of their work. The class starts with a Q&A with the guest, followed by a Dress Rehearsal (on-camera) of the scenes from week 5. Our guest teacher then gives notes and the scenes are recorded*. All of the scenes are given a final critique by our guest and Penny & Hank