1. Voice Culture:
Acquiring control over one’s voice is part of the basic preparation any actor must make. A good actor must possess command over language, perfect diction, voice throw and audibility and ability to modulate one’s voice.
The voice culture exercises conducted at Digital Academy is a graded methodical approach to improve the ‘quality’ of voices. Breath control, flexing of vocal chords and control of attention are some of the methods used in voice culture. The important thing is to make students understand that voice is one of the tools of acting and needs to be trained just like the body or the face.
2. Spot Memory:
Actors need to develop their memory in such a way in which they can not only memorize large pieces of text, but are also capable of remembering other instructions vis-à-vis look, gaze, gesture, motion and position. Our memory-enhancing exercises make the students improve their short-term memory levels and also help them remember all other technical instructions while performing. We also organize mock auditions to give a simulation of the real world situation where actors have to read scripts and perform on the spot.
3. Body Language:
An actor doesn’t necessarily need words or facial expressions to communicate. His/Her body is an eloquent tool of communication too. At Digital Academy, apart from emphasizing the importance of the face and the voice, we also place great importance on using the body appropriately in a performance.
4. Acting on Cue:
One of the greatest problems faced by Film and Television actors is to learn how to perform while being surrounded by the artificial atmosphere of cameras, lights, crew members and non-existent fellow performers. Added to this is the more difficult task of summoning up real emotions again and again, whenever the Director so wishes. Our exercises help the students deal with this critical aspect of Film and Television acting. Over a period of time students become used to the artificial and technical nature of film shooting and are able to perform effortlessly.
5. Emoting and dialogue delivery:
The final test of an actor’s caliber is his or her ability to express emotion in the exact manner and degree that a particular role requires. Emotions are expressed in many different ways but the face and especially the eyes are perhaps most communicative in conveying an emotion. Our exercises are aimed at helping students control the degree of emotional expression and establish an ‘intellectual’ framework within which emotions must be expressed. Dialogue delivery goes hand in hand with emoting and a good actor knows how to create specific emotional effects using both facial expressions and dialogue.
6. Working with other actors:
More often than not, actors need to perform in tandem with other actors, be it a dialogue sequence or simply reacting in silence to the performances of other actors. Students in this project learn how to maintain a unified emotional key for the entire scene as well as issues of rhythm, balance and appropriate silent reactions.
Improvisation is another aspect of acting that requires imagination and creativity. To create text and embellishment even as one performs, is something that each actor needs to know. We devote a great many class room hours to improvisation exercises and emphasize the importance of ‘logical fantasy’ in an actor’s mind.
8. Characterization & Role Analysis:
In order to essay a role well, it is important for an actor to delineate and articulate the specific contours of a character. Characterisation means understanding not only a role from inside out, but also from outside in. This way one arrives at a great unity between thought, expression and gesture. Role analysis exercises are an extension of the characterisation process. In this an actor, not only articulates the dramatic arc of a role, but also places the role within the larger dramatic plan and its contextual relationship with dramatic meaning.
P1) Facing the Camera:
In this project students learn how to act in front of the camera. They are taught the need to maintain the correct ‘Look’, ‘Position’ and ‘Body’ Orientation’, in relationship with the frame. It is common knowledge that facing the camera and following camera related instructions along with delivering an uninhibited performance is quite a difficult skill. That is why this project is repeated every week with increasing levels of difficulty to hone and polish the performative skills of students to match the professional standards of the industry.
Owing to the difficulties inherent in ‘Sync Sound’ recording more often that not, actors are required to re-record their dialogues in controlled studio environments. This process is called ‘Dubbing’, where actors sync their dialogues, learning how to arrive at perfect sync by following the lip movements, visible in the projected image.
P3) Final Project:
In the final project, the actors are given a professional shooting environment, complete with lights, sets and moving cameras to record a well developed monologue piece and a scene involving other actors. The rushes are then edited and taken through sound-post to enable the students to carry an excellent showreel that will correctly indicate their acting abilities.
The Digital Academy student benefit:
– No previous experience required
– Students shoot their practical exercises from the first week of the course
– Intense voice modulation and diction sessions
– Infrastructure available for in house shoots
– Focus on improvisation
– Concentrated course structure that builds confidence
– Scene enactment in live shoots
– Practical sessions of dubbing in a professional sound studio set up
– Showreel of the performance