Course descriptions and program timetable
ACB110 | ACTING 1
Students are introduced to the personal and group dynamics of actors’ work as well as to professional industry standards. Techniques and concepts include: warm-ups, risk-taking, awareness/journaling, monologues and improvisation. The course also introduces techniques used throughout the program: essential Stanislavski, Michael Shurtleff, Sandford Meisner and Uta Hagen. Students begin to build their toolboxes and to appreciate that their development will incorporate several disciplines.
ACB120 | VOICE 1
The purpose of work on the voice is to create a transparency for emotions, intentions, words, desires and images. Using a variety of texts, students will explore techniques for approaching the written word, including the Linklater Technique Warm-up.
ACB130 | MOVEMENT 1
The body is the actor’s primary instrument of expression. This course will focus on various exercises to free the body to respond to its natural impulse to move. Students are encouraged to risk and to discover in a non-performance, non- judgmental atmosphere. Ongoing reference to the Alexander Technique is a program element.
ACB140 | CAMERA ACTING 1
A fundamental requirement of film and television actors is the ability to adapt to different camera shots. Knowledge of how to “work the frame” gives actors a competitive edge at auditions and increases the likelihood that their work will end up in the final edit, rather than on the editing suite floor. In this first course in the Camera Acting sequence, students will work with fully blocked feature film monologues and scenes, shot in wide shot, medium shot, and close-up.
Upon completion of this course the students should possess an understanding of cinema history, the various genres, and the manner in which the industry works. They will grasp the various aspects of cinematic language and understand the early and modern advances in film history.
ACC110 | PERFORMANCE HISTORY 1
Actors have inherited a rich and noble tradition. This course will trace the development of performance genres from religious ritual, through the humanistic movement of the Renaissance up to the innovations of Restoration Drama.
FPC220 | FILM HISTORY 1
Explore the history of the cinema from the humble beginnings in 1895 through to present day. Focusing on North American cinema, with some European study, the student will learn about the masters of cinema, various genres, and techniques, as well as how the social environment directly impacts film.
ACB210 | ACTING 2
This course takes the skills explored during monologue work in Term One and integrates them into working in relationship – in scenes. We continue to explore the actor’s work in terms of the personal, the character, ensemble/group dynamics as well as professional industry standards. Technique and concept areas to be introduced include: warm-ups, risk-taking, listening, research, script analysis, character work, improvisations and storytelling. Students will be expected to do a fair amount of preparation work outside of the studio.
Prerequisite: Acting 1
ACB220 | VOICE 2
Voice 2 continues the work, introducing breath connection and exercises for the tongue, lips, soft palate and rib areas. Students will explore their personal connections to very different styles of text.
Prerequisite: VOICE 1
ACB230 | MOVEMENT 2
Students will focus on creating a character through movement, emphasizing the physical manifestations of psychological considerations. The course introduces a comprehensive process for creating a character and the techniques for perceiving the inner world of the character.
Prerequisite: MOVEMENT 1
ACB240 | CAMERA ACTING 2
Actors must learn to reveal the complexities of interaction, to manifest the arc of each scene, and to deal with the fractured jigsaw puzzle of cinematic construction. In this course, students will work on television scenes (sitcoms and drama) and show hosting, each of which will be fully blocked and shot in a master shot with coverage.
Prerequisite: CAMERA ACTING 1
ACC120 | PERFORMANCE HISTORY 2
This course explores 20th century issues and idioms, as a rapid shift in social dynamics, including how political fragmentation and technological acceleration profoundly affects and redefines trends in performance. In this course, students will examine the establishment of a range of “isms” which create conflicting concepts of the purpose of performance in a societal context. This course also challenges students to begin to define for themselves their ethic and identity as contemporary actors and creative artists.
Prerequisite: PERFORMANCE HISTORY 1
ACT110 | WRITING FOR ACTORS
This course introduces dramatic structure, the language and economy of script format and the film storyboard. Students explore the strengths and constraints of working in a visual medium.
ACB310 | ACTING 3
Actors must learn how to relate one scene to another to create a sustained character journey through the script. In this course, students will work on brief scenes from different parts of a full-length script, playing the same character in each scene selected and developing strategies for constructing a cohesive arc of development.
Prerequisite: ACTING 2
ACB320 | VOICE 3
This is a course in Voice and Speech training with a focus on accents and dialects. The emphasis in this course will be on learning skills toward dialect acquisition, with vigorous physical and vocal warm-ups incorporated into each session.
Prerequisite: VOICE 2
ACB330 | MOVEMENT 3: CLOWN & PHYSICAL THEATRE
This course is designed to help actors understand ideas of performance through physicality – one of the most important tools an actor has is their body. Working in the tradition of clown and bouffon, this course challenges students to take risks, hone their improvisational skills and push through performance inhibitions to find the pleasure of being present, space, rhythm, fixed point, complicity, focus, flop and play.
Prerequisite: MOVEMENT 2
ACB340 | CAMERA ACTING 3
In this course, students will be given several scenes from a feature film in which they play the same character, and the scenes will be shot out of sequence. By under- standing character changes and the relationship from scene to scene, students will learn how to organize their acting processes to create a truthful character journey and understand transitioning in the non- sequential shooting format.
Prerequisite: CAMERA ACTING 2
ACF310 | PRODUCING AND DIRECTING FOR ACTING 1
In this course students are introduced to the role of the director and the issues that govern a shoot and its performers. The course provides a hands-on experience with major on-set departments, including camera, sound, and continuity, all from the director’s point-of-view.
Prerequisite: CAMERA ACTING 2
ACB410 | ACTING 4: IMPROVISATION
Improvisation is the basic approach to all authentic dramatic performance, and the ability to improvise is an essential skill for actors in commercials, in television and film and for the stage. In this course, students will create original scenes, sketches and songs through improvisation, culminating in a final showcase.
Prerequisite: ACTING 3
ACB420 | VOICEOVER
Students will learn how to apply dynamic control to a range of voiceover disciplines, including television and radio commercials, animation, documentary and corporate video narration.
Prerequisite: VOICE 3
ACB430 | MOVEMENT 4: VIEWPOINTS
Viewpoints is a technique of composition that provides a vocabulary for thinking about and acting upon movement and gesture. Originally developed in the 1970s by choreographer Mary Overlie, Viewpoints (space, story, time, emotion, movement and shape) are considered to be a logical way to examine and analyze movement in creative staging with actors.
Prerequisite: MOVEMENT 3
ACB440 | AUDITIONING FOR CAMERA
Auditioning is the essential skill for landing the opportunity to work in the film and television industry. In this course, students will undergo practical auditions for film and television, learning how to prepare for auditions, how to confidently demonstrate professional attitude and decorum and how to follow industry protocols.
Prerequisite: CAMERA ACTING 3
ACF320 | ADVANCED WRITING FOR ACTORS
Now that students have learned the basics of creating a script (in ACT110), we condense their learning into creating a viable short film script. We shall go step by step to introduce the students to industry format screenwriting software. Interior/exterior, dialogue breaks, action, mise-en-scene, etc. The students will learn the proper way to write screenplays from scratch.
Prerequisite: Writing for Actors
ACF513 | VIDEO EDITING 1
Students are introduced to the theories and techniques of video editing. Working in the Toronto Film School’s computer lab, they learn to use editing software as a valuable tool in creating their own performance demo reel.
ACT510 | STAGE PRODUCTION
Acting started in live theatre, in front of an audience, telling a story from beginning to end. As actors it is of utmost importance to understand the nature and arc of how this event is put together from the preparation of a rehearsal script to text and character analysis to staging rehearsals and eventually to run-throughs of scenes, acts and eventually the whole play. Students will prepare, rehearse and perform a full length ensemble play directed by a professional stage director culminating in three presentations in a Toronto theatre.
ACF412 | PRODUCING AND DIRECTING FOR ACTING 2: PRE-PRODUCTION
Students will gain a further knowledge of the acting/film industry by understanding the roles of a producer and director prior to production. By being placed in the directors/producers chair, acting students will learn the realities of pre-production by pitching their short film script (from ACF320) to a panel. By putting together a pre-production package, students will learn how to budget, location/equipment scout, cast, audition and rehearse with performers, create a storyboard/shot list and assemble a crew for a short film.
Prerequisite: DIRECTING FOR ACTING 1
ACF614 | SHORT FILM PRODUCTION
In the capstone course, students will learn what it takes to make a high quality short film on a low budget. Using their pre-production package and scripts created in the previous term, students will learn in a classroom, studio, and post-production (editing room) environment, how to make a film by doing it. From story editing, to pre-production, to shooting, lighting and working with actors on production, to editing, sound mixing and finally presenting, these students will be taken through a hands on approach to completing a short film on a low budget. With guidance from guest lecturers along the way, these students will apply their own blood, sweat and tears into completing their first short film.
Prerequisite: Senior student status
ACF615 | ARTIST MANAGEMENT & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Actors must take responsibility for managing their own careers in an effective and efficient manner. This course introduces an informed practical approach that includes topics such as head shots, resumes, approaching an agent, working with casting directors, the activities of professional organizations and unions (ACTRA, EQUITY), self-accounting procedures, and the need for further and ongoing artistic training.
Prerequisite: Senior student status
ACB616 | VOICEOVER FOR VIDEO GAMES
In this course, principles learned in Voiceover will be expanded upon by introducing students to the world of voiceover in video games. Students will work in correlation with video game designers and utilize their voices for video game characters. In addition to this, students will continue to work with animation and develop cartoon voices as well as learn to deliver serials and plays for ebooks and podcasts. Proper looping/ADR (additional dialogue replacement) and dubbing of foreign film to English will also be studied.