A Reel Performance!

Dana-Lee Mierowsky Bennett
Reel Hollywood performances. Explore the tricks of identifying and creating performances that will capture audiences.
Target Audience
Drama and English Teachers.
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Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

What makes a good performance? What makes a bad performance?
Learn tools and techniques to help guide your students into developing outstanding performances. With a focus on screen acting methods, stage acting methods and script analysis, explore the tricks of identifying and creating performances that will capture audiences, leaving you with the ability to create outstanding performances with your students.

Audience

Drama and English Teachers.

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

Film and Screenplay Courses

Dana-Lee Mierowsky Bennett is an award winning film maker and screenwriter. Her years of experience in the industry combined with her experience in schools makes her the perfect professional. She has created a range of courses that you can combine to gain or built on your Film skills.

Film Courses
The Film Shoot: how to shoot a short film: Learning the fundamentals of getting ideas on screen. This one day course explores the mechanics of shooting a short film for Drama, English, or school department interested in utilising media.
The Film Shoot Advanced: For those who have experience or want to build on their skills, this advanced module will have you film and edit a short scene!
 
Supplement Courses
A Reel Performance: Get the most out of your students’ performances. This one day course will explore acting methods and script analysis, identifying and creating performances that will capture audiences.
Writing screenplays: Start your project on the right foot. Learn the tricks and tools for creating screenplays with a focus on structure, character, dialogue and imagery.
 
Courses can be completed stand alone or in a developmental sequence. Plan you PD journey based on your skills, interests, and school projects. Email Dana if you have any questions.


This course contributes to 6.0 professional development hours.

Occurrences

There are no occurrences of Face to Face - Individual in Australia (NSW) at this time.

Sessions

Introduction

15 minutes

Students introduce themselves and discuss what they want to achieve in the course.

Understanding Performances

45 minutes

Students watch performances, giving critique and analysing them to see what worked and what didn’t work.

Students watch a scene from When Harry Met Sally, they discuss what works in the scene and what doesn’t work in the scene in terms of performance. In particular the guided discussion shapes around the the relationships of the characters.

Students watch a scene from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, they discuss what works in the scene and what doesn’t work in the scene in terms of performance. In particular the guided discussion shapes around the physicalisation of character.

Students watch a scene from You Can Count On Me, they discuss what works in the scene and what doesn’t work in the scene in terms of performance. In particular the guided discussion shapes around the delivery of emotion and subtext.

Students watch a scene from Chinatown, they discuss what works in the scene and what doesn’t work in the scene in terms of performance. In particular the guided discussion shapes around the movement in a scene.

Students watch a scene from A Performance, they discuss what works in the scene and what doesn’t work in the scene in terms of performance. In particular the guided discussion shapes around the opposite characters in a emotional sense and believability of performance.

Students watch a scene from When The Departed, they discuss what works in the scene and what doesn’t work in the scene in terms of performance. In particular the guided discussion shapes around the movement of the characters.

Acting Techniques

2 hours

Powerpoint presentation showing a range of techniques to help students obtain strong performances.

Students learn the following acting tools, tricks, techniques and theorists and how to use them in scenes. Students engage in practical activities where short A/B scripts are performed utilising the techniques. Students then view and critique their own and other performances and how the use of the different techniques and how they effect scenes.

The tools, techniques and theorists are
Objectives, Actions, Parallels, Analogies, Stakes, Character History, Character Background, Tridimensionality Factor, Character Relationships, Loading, Secrets, Stanislavski Techniques, Mesiner tools, Listening and Reacting, Primary Movement, Secondary Movement, Incidental Movement, Blocking, Motivation, Imagery, Subtext, Hagen and Strasberg techniques, Chekhov tools, Crawford methods, ideas from Laban and Bogart, theme, spine, Character Relationships, Improvisation, Gratowski and Lecoq techniques, Metaphors, dramatic beats, dramatic flow, transitions, discovery and What if circumstances.

Script Analysis

1 hour

Students break down scenes, working out what they would say to students to help them get great performances.

Students share work with each other and discuss, giving feedback.

Students are given a range of scenes from different films. Each students is given three, one page scenes to breakdown and prepare as if they were acting.

A presentation is then given to the class with the tools they would use when preparing this script to act. Some groups may use the tools and act out the scenes, with feedback given.

Performance

1 hour and 30 minutes

Students take turn acting and directing each other, developing a strong understanding of how to act and how to teach others how to act.

Using the three scenes from the activity before, students take turns acting and directing and giving feedback to see how the tools and techniques can be implemented practically.

Review

30 minutes

Watch films with great performances. Analyse the performances. Review the content.

Watch the scenes from the morning and analyse the performances to see whether or not the actors used the tools and techniques learnt. Discuss how the actors would have prepared for these roles in order to give good performances.

What To Bring

Paper, pen, computers

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About the team


Dana-Lee Mierowsky Bennett

Creator

Dana-Lee worked on a range of professional film, television and theatrical productions while studying at Screenwise, The Australian Film, Television and Radio School and London’s National Film and Television School. Her numerous multiple award winning music videos, commercials and short films have lead to the development of a feature film and a short television series.

With a UNSW’s Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, a Certificate in Training and Assessment and seven years teaching experience in primary and high schools, Dana-Lee teaches at film, acting and drama schools, including, The Australia, Film, Television and Radio School, The Australian Film and Television Academy, JMC Academy, The Australian International Performing Arts Academy and Sydney Film School.