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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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Acting for Film

Course Code: THEA 2410
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Theatre
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: Winter
course overview

This course introduces students to the vocabulary and techniques unique to acting for the camera (film and video). Instruction will focus on applying and adapting stage acting techniques to film, identifying and practicing vocal, physical, and emotional exercises to create a film acting technique, and making students familiar with current industry standards and terminology with regard to the actor’s craft in film and television.

Course Content

Students will become familiar with the skills and techniques required in acting for the camera (both film and video). They will learn the specific terminology and vocabulary relating to acting for the camera including technical terms and descriptions of various functions of the camera and the film crew. They will learn to apply these skills and vocabulary to actual on-camera performance situations.

Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures will introduce the theoretical aspects of acting for the camera including differences between stage and film acting and between film and television acting. Lectures will also include extensive use of appropriate vocabulary and terminology with respect to the film and television industries and the technical aspects of acting for the camera.
  2. In the studio, students will work on-camera extensively. They will watch their own and other’s work on videotape for analysis and evaluation purposes. Students will also be required to operate the camera and recording playback equipment and to be familiar with the vocabulary appropriate to each activity.
  3. In the studio, students will perform in EXERCISE SHOOTS which will reproduce, as nearly as possible, the experience of an actual film or television shoot.
  4. When possible, professionals from the film and television industries will be involved as guest speakers during lectures.

Means of Assessment

Attendance (10%)

Due to the fact that this is a studio course, full attendance and regular punctuality is mandatory.  The following deductions will apply: 3% off the final mark per missed class and .5% off the final mark per late class.

Written Journal (5%)

Students are expected to keep a journal for this course.  Student reflections on class material, projects and exercises should be recorded at appropriate times throughout the semester.  The instructor is most interested in seeing how the student is able to express his or her understanding of how to apply the class work to practical acting events.

Attitude/Participation/Progress (10%)

Students are expected to approach their work in a mature and professional manner.  Promptness, out-of-class preparation, and consideration of others will be reflected in this mark.

Students are expected to participate fully in all aspects of the work, not only as solo and/or ensemble performers but also as constructively critical audience members whose individual observations and opinions are valuable.

Students will be assessed on an ongoing basis according to level of commitment and dedication to the process of class work and practical application of techniques.

Presented Work (60%)

Students will be assessed on their individual progress toward achieving course objectives with regard to presentations of some or all of the following: on-camera exercises, participation in a film shoot, monologues, small and large group exercises and major performance projects.  The weighting and number of Presented Work assignments shall be determined by the instructor but shall correspond to the following guideline:

  • Up to 3 assignments x   5%
  • Up to 4 assignments x 10%
  • Up to 3 assignments x 15%

Quizzes on lecture and textbook material (15%)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Screen versus Stage & Film versus Television
    Upon completion of this course, the successful student should be able to:
    • become familiar with the general and specific differences between performance requirements for the camera and for the stage
    • become familiar with the differences between acting for the camera for film and acting for the camera for television
    • learn appropriate vocabulary and terminology used in the film and television industries.
  2. The Frame and the Camera
    Upon completion of this course, the successful student should be able to:
    • become familiar with various framing techniques: ie., shot sizes and how the frame dictates the acting technique required in specific shots
    • become familiar with the motions and actions of the camera and how these specific physical qualities influence acting techniques
    • learn appropriate vocabulary and terminology used in the film and television industries.
  3. Physicality and Vocality
    Upon completion of this course, the successful student should be able to:
    • learn and apply appropriate physical gestures and vocalization to create desired effects for the camera
    • experiment with a variety of physical and vocal qualities related to the restrictions created by the camera and the microphone.
  4. Actor, Text and Camera
    Upon completion of this course, the successful student should be able to:
    • learn and apply text analysis techniques to a variety of scripts reflecting the industry standards: i.e., feature film scripts, MOW scripts, soap opera scripts, commercial copy, sitcom scripts, industrial and documentary scripts
    • experiment on-camera with texts from a variety of industry genres.
  5. Auditions, Rehearsals and Performance
    Upon completion of this course, the successful student should be able to:
    • become familiar with the audition process
    • become familiar with rehearsal requirements and boundaries in various industry genres: ie. sitcoms, feature films, MOWs, etc.
    • become familiar with the process for performing for the camera
    • learn and apply appropriate vocabulary and terminology of acting for the camera.

course prerequisites

THEA 2310

Corequisites

THEA 2411

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.

assessments

If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.