On the Same Page – Script Analysis with Kelly-Ruth Mercier

$550.00


WHEN:
January 6 – March 2, 2020 (Every Monday for 8 weeks)
(No class February 17 – Family Day)
10:00am – 2:00pm
WHERE: 2333 Ontario Street, Vancouver
PARTICIPANTS: Only 12 Seats available!
FOR: 19+
FEES: $550 (tax included).
PREREQUISITES FOR THIS CLASS ARE: Have some training, credits, & commitment to working hard.
CANCELLATION POLICY: There are no refunds for this class. Students are allowed to find
replacements for the classes they miss.
VIDEO CLIPS: Students are required to bring a Standard SD Card to classes & workshops so they may review their work outside of class.


So – you have an audition… or a job! You can learn your lines… but you have a feeling that there’s more you should be doing.

An actor is part of a large team of professionals who are working hard to tell a story… and who are all united in their close study of the same script. Text analysis skills assure that the actor is On The Same Page as everyone else.

This class rigorously examines the texts of well-known, award-winning movies & television, with an eye to providing the student with the foundations of character & backstory, and action & motivation. These findings are then assimilated into the actor’s preparation for auditions and for work, and also readies the actor to work with the director and other actors during on-set rehearsal.

Students will work both independently and in groups, on feet in a rehearsal context and also on camera. Most scene deconstruction and study will happen in class, but students will also be required to do weekly readings and assignments outside of class.

Students are required to bring a journal / notebook, a separate 3-ring binder for scripts and handouts, and pencils & highlighters (at least three colours).

Actors will be guided through lectures, exercises, and discussions that illuminate the following topics:

  • Structure and Technical Terms of the Screenplay
  • Story Arc (in storytelling and in character development)
  • Text / Subtext / Context
  • Back-story (to support and assure dramatic action in the text)
  • Public / Personal / Private Moments (as they relate to story and reveal character)
  • Relationships (as required by the text to drive story)
  • Objective / Needs / Motivation / Strategies / Tactics / Obstacles

Journal – Students will be expected to keep a journal of their home practice work and progress.


Kelly-Ruth Mercier

Kelly-Ruth Mercier is from Halifax, Nova Scotia of East Coast and Quebec lineage. She holds a BA-Acting from Dalhousie University and an MFA-Directing from the University of British Columbia. K-R has worked in theatre, film, television and in music; she’s bridged both fiction and documentary; she moves easily between comedy and drama; she is a sought-after instructor and acting coach; she works as an actor, director, producer, writer, and has experience as a visual effects producer. A recipient of the MPPIA Award, the Director’s Guild of Canada (BC) Kickstart Award, and support through BC Film, NS Arts Council, and National Film Board (FAP), Kelly-Ruth is a graduate of the prestigious Women in the Director’s Chair Program and the CTV / CWWA Career Advancement Module. Her films have been nominated for dozens of Leo Awards, have been programmed internationally and broadcast on CBC. She is regularly invited to participate in juries including the Leo’s, the Gemini’s, and for WIDC.


9 Seats Left

Category:

Description

Week 1

PUTTING YOUR SCENE/STORY ON CAMERA

  • Tape prepared scenes in audition format 
  • Stage 1 Script Breakdown: Story Structure & “Clues” 

Week 2

CLOSE TEXT ANALYSIS

  • Using an Episodic TV script: scene breakdown, essential script terms, deriving clues for use in character development & backstory
  • Stage 2 Script Breakdown: Character Arc
  • The relationship between Backstory, Objectives & Storytelling

Week 3

STORY: ON THE PAGE, IN THE CAMERA, & IN THE EDIT

  • Screening and analysis of award-winning television episodes
  • The relationship between script, camera framing, & editing
  • Stage 3 Script Breakdown: Driving Story 

Week 4

INTERACTING WITH THE CAMERA

  • Tape scenes from features in audition format
  • The subtle difference between television and features
  • Group work: story structure & story arcs
  • Stage 4 Script Breakdown: Creating Choices out of Options

Week 5

DEEP DIVE INTO CHARACTER

  • How to use rehearsal as a means to develop (and learn about) character
  • Backstory: the foundation of motivation & life purpose
  • How to develop character for auditions ranging from 3 lines to 12 pages

Week 6

THE CHALLENGE OF AUDITIONING FOR TV MOVIES

  • Distinguishing the storytelling and performance characteristics of tv movies versus features or episodic television 
  • Archetypes and genres
  • Exercises and group work designed to strengthen the actor’s ability to produce compelling auditions for this format

Week 7

NO SMALL ROLES

  • Developing script clues and analysis to sharpen choices in 2-3 different auditions ranging from 1-2 pages in length

Week 8

FORMAL AUDITIONS

  • Presentation of two prepared scenes in taped audition format
  • Critical self-analysis and class debrief
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Week 2 – September 16, Week 3 – September 23, Week 4 – September 30, Week 5 – October 7, Week 6 – October 21, Week 7 – October 28, Week 8 – November 4

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