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Course Description

The MA Acting for Screen degree at Central is a professional training that focuses on acting in film, television and screen-related media. Primarily for those with previous training or professional experience, it explores the expressive potential of performance and the relationship between performers and camera. The course will build on your existing skills and focus on the specific needs of the year group. Draw on the expertise of Central’s permanent staff team and specialist professionals from the industry

The course aims to encourage your development as a creative artist with the flexibility to work across all performance mediums, specialising in screen performance

The emphasis of the training is on producing actors who, on leaving, have a high skill level, with the necessary technique to apply to a screen context.

Specialist, rigorous training

Throughout the first two terms, you will follow rigorous training in acting, which will concentrate on the core skills of voice, body, acting and creative interpretation. The principles of study derive from psychophysical methods, particularly the techniques of Michael Chekhov and Stanislavski.

The range of classes across the first two terms will include screen technique; this will essentially examine the distinction between screen and live performance. It will also cover visual storytelling, working in – and adapting to – shot size, cheating, hitting the mark, shooting contemporary scenes from television and film, and the preparation of different styles of work, including soap, drama and comedy.

Acting classes will interrogate the body and provide you with a toolbox of exercises. There is a specific focus on relaxing and working with ease, developing the imagination, unpicking personal habits and creating believable performances.

Voice and dialect classes will encourage an understanding of the voice as an instrument and will work with a variety of texts including poetry, verbatim, classical and contemporary material. In the area of movement, there is exposure to various styles, which may include jazz and historical dance, yoga and chi kung.

Other classes include sight-reading, textual analysis, casting and mock auditions led by casting directors, actors and directors. Professional preparation will involve guidance on selecting photographs, writing CVs, self-marketing and online promotion.

Entry Requirements

You should normally have a first degree in the broad field of performance and drama studies, although applications from students of other disciplines may be considered if they have sufficient experience of performance. Your application may also be considered if you have appropriate professional experience, or can otherwise demonstrate your potential to undertake this form of postgraduate study successfully. An offer will normally only be made after audition and interview.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

English Language Requirements

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to prove their English language proficiency by gaining an overall score of 7.0 in an IELTS test. We do accept equivalent English language qualifications. Applicants are advised to gain this certification as early as possible and more information can be found through the English Language Requirements page.

Auditions

To audition for a place on the MA Acting for Screen, upon receipt of your application, we will ask you to submit a self-tape consisting of a short monologue (maximum three minutes). The monologue must be from a recognised source (play, film, television drama).

We expect first-round auditions to end by no later than 20 May 2022. Selected candidates will be invited to attend a recall audition at a later date.

Applicants who are recalled to the second stage will be invited to:

  • participate in a voice and movement workshop
  • participate in a group discussion where you will have the opportunity to find out more details about the programme.

International Auditions

In the interest of parity, Central has decided to suspend in-person auditions overseas for the MA Acting for Screen. We will, however, be delivering taster and information sessions at selected locations.

These workshops are designed to replicate the London-based experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming locations and dates.

Distance Auditions

Please note we only accept links to self-tape auditions via YouTube, Vimeo or similar platforms. Videos must be set to ‘public’ or ‘unlisted’ to ensure the panel is able to view them. DVDs will not be considered.

Applicants invited to recall who are unable to travel to Central may be allowed to attend a group recall audition via Zoom, depending on the circumstances.

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Fees

For fees and funding options, please visit website to find out more

Student Destinations

Graduate employment and career pathways include actors in:

Film

  • The Theory Of Everything, Starred Up, Maleficent, Disney.

Television

  • True Blood, HBO;
  • Silent Witness, Casualty, Doctors, EastEnders, Doctor Who, Luther, Call The Midwife, BBC;
  • Top Boy, Channel 4;
  • Downton Abbey, ITV;
  • The Inbetweeners, E4;
  • Nip/Tuck, FX;
  • Black Sails, Starz.

Theatre

  • The Internet Is A Serious Business, Royal Court Theatre;
  • The Judas Kiss, Hampstead Theatre.

Founder members of theatre and film companies have shown their work at the Edinburgh Festival, London Film Festival, Brighton Fringe Festival, London Short Film Festival, Battersea Arts Centre, King’s Head Theatre, Sundance Film Festival and the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Module Details

In Terms One and Two, screen study interrogates the work of various filmmakers from the perspective of the actor. This may include the work of Pedro Almodóvar, Luc Besson, David Lynch, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrea Arnold, Jane Campion, Lynne Ramsay and Michael Haneke.

In Terms One, Two and Three, Performance Projects are designed to put classwork into practice, enabling you to develop and hone your acting skills on screen and learn the fundamentals of filmmaking. Projects may include a silent short film, which will examine visual storyboarding, using a camera, learning about different roles on set, and editing.

In the summer term, there is a Short Drama Project which is commissioned for Central and written by professional writers/filmmakers and is shot on location by a professional crew. These films are screened in London’s West End as a showcase in June. Previous films have been entered for, and received awards at, national and international film festivals such as Sundance (2017), London Film Festival (2016), Monaco International Film Festival (2017), Raindance (Winner 2016), Encounters and London Short Film Festival.

During Terms Three and Four, you will complete your work with the Sustained Independent Project. There are three options offered in this unit: a research portfolio, a dissertation, or producing and performing in a short film. The work must be original and partnerships with graduates from film schools are encouraged. In previous years, films have been accepted at festivals, including London Short Film Festival, Aesthetica and Norwich Film Festival.

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