Course Title: Direct performers

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: VART5923C

Course Title: Direct performers

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6087 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:mcvet@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Janis Lesinskis

Email: janis.lesinskis@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

none

Course Description

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to direct performers during the filming or recording of productions. You participate in a series of classes and workshops aimed at familiarizing you with key elements of working with actors and directors.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUFDRT502A Direct performers

Element:

1 Prepare for actual Production

Performance Criteria:

1.1
Brief performers about any specific technical requirements in collaboration with relevant production personnel where necessary.

1.2
Establish appropriate lines of communication between relevant production personnel to ensure smooth running of production

1.3
Inform and update relevant production personnel of changes in production requirements that may have occurred since final rehearsals.

1.4
Review relevant dramatic elements dealt with in rehearsals.

1.5
Throughout actual production activity, run through scenes with performers immediately prior to recording where time allows.
 

Element:

2 Facilitate performances

Performance Criteria:

2.1
Create an appropriate environment to maximise performances and characterisations, including conduct of appropriate warm-up activities.

2.2
Ensure appropriate OHS requirements are met in line with enterprise procedures.

2.3
Communicate with relevant production personnel clearly and provide constructive feedback throughout production process.

2.4
Identify and rectify creative problems throughout production in collaboration with relevant production personnel.

2.5
Ensure performers are kept informed of filming order of scenes as required.

2.6
Assist performers throughout the entire production to understand desired mise en scene effect, size of each shot or framing, and their role in the context of whole shot or scene.

2.7
Engage performers in the control of the narrative by use of techniques that allow for character sub text
 

Element:

3 Wrap productions.

Performance Criteria:

3.1
Check all scenes are recorded and complete, including spot checks of actual recordings for quality and accuracy.

3.2
Stand down production crew and complete necessary documentation according to enterprise procedures.

3.3
Make arrangements for additional production requirements as required and ensure relevant production personnel are informed appropriately.

3.4
Evaluate all aspects of the shoot from a director's perspective, including own performance, and note areas for improvement.

3.5
Provide positive feedback to relevant production personnel and invite comment on the shoot.
 


Learning Outcomes



Details of Learning Activities

In class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
• lectures
• group discussion
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• workshops

Out of class activities include, but are not limited to:
• online research
• independent project based work


Teaching Schedule

 

WeekAssess TasksAssess tasks
1Preparing for direction: understanding drama and understanding the job of the actor.
Dramatic structure and analysis.
 1 & 2
2The building blocks of drama for director and actor. The role of the director. Aims of rehearsal.
 
 1 & 2
3Readings and rehearsals. The job of the director.
Practical workshop.
 1 & 2
4Exploring scenes. Text and improvisation.Task 1
Script analysis and notes.
1 & 2
5Facilitating performance.
Shot lists and blocking based on actors’ improvisations.
Beats and fulcrums. Staging and shots.
 1 & 2
6Rehearsals and improvs as starting point for blocking, storyboarding and shot listing 1 & 2
7Formulating blocking strategies for drama.

 

1 & 2
8Formulating shooting plans for drama.

 

1 & 2
9Identifying key points: beats, fulcrums, scene start, scene finish. Review, analysis and discussion of previous week’s video work.Task 2
Rehearsal notes
1 & 2
10Storyboards and shotlists. Preparation for shooting. Distilling observations into shots and sequences. Staging and floor plans. 1 & 2
11Directing styles, strategies and techniques surveyed and compared. 1 & 2 & 3
12 On set protocols.
Procedures and roles during the shoot. Communication between director, cast and crew.
Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.
1 & 2 & 3
13Practical workshop and assessments continue.Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.
1 & 2 & 3
14 Director and actor communication on set.Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.
1 & 2 & 3
15 Director and performance optimisation.Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.
1 & 2 & 3
16

 Methods and techniques reviewed.
 Scheduling for rehearsals, actors’ performances within the shoot. The acting profession - discussion.

 Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.
1 & 2 & 3


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information and course resource materials on a weekly basis. Class notes will be placed there for you.

RMIT Directing Performers Course Notes. These have been prepared specifically for this course.


References


Other Resources

Access to the internet may be required for some research tasks. Please check facilities offered by RMIT (eg library access to the WWW.)

Hagen, Ute Respect for Acting Wiley Publishing, 1973

Macaulay, Adam. Don’t tell me, show me: directors talk about acting Currency Press 2003
 

Mamet, David On directing film. New York : Penguin, 1992
(available RMIT building 94 library Call No. 791.430233 M264)

McKee, R. 1998 Story, Substance, Structure, Style and the principles of screenwriting, Methuen, London. This is a book on screenwriting, which is useful companion reading for the other acting-directing references. It is included here because of its methodical emphasis on analyzing structure of scenes and stories, which is directly relevant to the job of the director.

Meisner, Sanford. Sanford Meisner on Acting, Vintage, 1987

Proferes, Nicholas T. Film Directing Fundamentals Elsevier/Focal Press, 2008 (electronic copy available via RMIT netLibrary)

Weston, Judith Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television, 1996 This book contains some key references to practices and assessment tasks in this course.


RMIT Screen Production Guide 2014 (notes on shoot protocols).

 

Organisations

Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) http://www.alliance.org.au

Australian Screen Directors Association (ASDA)

 

Video / DVD


Holmes, P. O’Malley, J. 2004-2007 Hollywood camerawork – the master course in high-end blocking and staging.
Available for viewing in Carlton Library.
 


Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester and will involve practical exercises, workshops knowledge assessment tasks and group projects.


Assessment Tasks

 

You must submit all pieces of assessment in order for your competency to be assessed in this course.

 

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered an essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded. For further information on the assessments and grading criteria, please refer to the course Blackboard site.

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.



ASSESSMENT TASKS (FORMATIVE) : 
1. Mark up a script with notes on character objectives, obstacles, beats and fulcrums.
A script will be provided for analysis in class for dramatic analysis. The aim of this type of analysis is to examine the source of drama in a particular screenplay.
You will be required to mark precise points in the script where there is evidence or suggestion of: characters’ objectives, obstacles to those objectives, beats (for actor), and fulcrums (potential turning points).
Marked up script. Due: Week 2


2. analysis of actors performing scene.
Students will be required to make a record / take notes to observe and comment on actors as they work their way through a scene. This will be used to analyse and mark the significant dramatic moments in the scene. Each discernable pursuit of an objective, obstacles to those objectives, beats (actor), and fulcrum (potential turning points) will need to be identified, marked and described briefly. You will present your own analysis and opinion on each moment you think has significant potential as an actor’s beat, a narrative beat, a potential cutting point as well as good points to enter and leave the scene.
Due: Week 9




ASSESSMENT TASK (SUMMATIVE)  (graded assessment)

3. Demonstration of communication and protocols
Students will participate in running a set within class time to demonstrate your understanding of on-set shooting protocols. You will be required to participate in a number of roles including director and 1stAD in order to present evidence you understand the protocols, how they relate to cast and crew and can carry them out. You will be assessed on your ability to work with the protocols, communicate your performance analysis and directions to the actors from your marked up script. You will beed to explain the reasons for doing multiple takes. Due: During class time in Weeks 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (these will be practical assessment activities scheduled throughout this period).


Grades used in this course are as follows:
CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI  Competent with Distinction
CC  Competent with Credit
CAG  Competence Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS  Did Not Submit for Assessment

For further details on these assessment tasks and the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.


Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration.

Other Information

Ethics and your work:

In this course you are required to to submit work which could be broadcast to a majority audience and would meet a rating of between G and MA (follow the links on The Office of Film and Literature Classification website - oflc.gov.au) to inform yourself of criteria, and also meets RMIT’s Ethical Conduct requirements (follow the links on the RMIT website- rmit.edu.au) and Australian law with regard to vilification (including the Racial Vilification Act 1996.)
It is your responsibility to acquaint yourself with these regulations before submitting work for assessment. The “Statement of Guiding Principals (1.1)” listed in the “RMIT code of conduct for research” (which can be found in the RMIT website) apply to screen and media students’ dealings with RMIT staff, students and people outside of RMIT University (including actors, government, police, businesses at all stages of casting, rehearsal, and shooting of student productions.)

In line with this requirement the majority content of your film productions must be approved and signed off by your production supervisor (a Screen and media teacher) one month ahead of the first day of photography.

Attendance
The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that students attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Feedback - You will receive feedback from teachers on your work.

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=vj2g89cve4uj1

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. You can apply in writing for up to a week’s extension from your course teacher. If you need a longer extension, you wil need to apply for special consideration. Special consideration, appeals and discipline http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity
http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n

Work environment:
It is a requirement of this program that all students participate in authentic work related tasks. These may be either simulated or in a real work environment.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview