Vancouver Film School: Production, Animation, Game Design, Acting and more

Curriculum

This program prepares confident, camera-savvy, and compassionate actors who possess the tools to develop a mastery of their instrument in service of any story. You'll be immersed in a professional studio environment that's focused on close study and refinement of your voice and body movement, which will grow through successful execution of individual and ensemble performances. You'll also make original films in collaboration with writers, directors, and film crew professionals while gaining the creative and practical skills to continue your growth in the future.

Program & Term Overview

Weeks 1-8 (Term 1)

You begin by exploring techniques for the modern actor with Arrival Week, which prepares you mentally, physically, and emotionally for your year-long journey. The term work is focused on grounding you as an actor and setting the core principles in each stream: acting, camera skills, movement, voice and speech, performance studies, improvisation, and rehearsal labs. You will focus on the artistic and technical demands of strong, truthful acting and begin developing a flexible and responsive instrument. Practical training will be explored with impulse work in improvisation classes, along with the examination of timeless and compelling on-screen performances to help inspire your work.

Special projects, presentations, and experiences include: a Meet and Greet where you'll connect with faculty and fellow students through games; and guest speakers from the industry discussing a variety of topics.

Subjects Covered

  • Arrival Week: Prepare for Journey
  • Acting: Ready and Responsible
  • Camera: Objective in Performance
  • Performance Studies 1
  • Movement 1: Your Body
  • Speech: The Basics
  • Voice: Breath, Body, Voice
  • Improvisation: Character and Spontaneity
  • Rehearsal Lab 1: The Room

Weeks 9-16 (Term 2)

This term focuses on elevating your techniques, critical sensibilities, and performance range. You'll explore the technical and creative demands of film and television auditioning, while also developing the versatility of your vocal and physical instrument through breath, movement, and voice work. As you continue to delve into the emotional truth of great performances, you'll work on your core acting techniques through scene study and text analysis. The term is rounded out with accents and dialects vital to contemporary film and television acting, along with scenes from the most popular television genres that will help you build your technical skills in front of the camera.

Special projects, presentations, and experiences include: Scene Study: Rehearsal and Presentation; Film Production Collaboration; and guest speakers from the industry discussing a variety of topics.

Subjects Covered

  • Acting: Scene Study
  • Movement: Exploration
  • Voice: Sound
  • The Embodied Voice: Sound into Song
  • Speech: Accents and Dialects
  • Camera: Television
  • Audition: Knowing the Room
  • Performance Studies 2
  • Rehearsal Lab 2: Relationship

Weeks 17-24 (Term 3)

In Term 3, you expand your range and presence while developing greater ease in your breath and voice. You'll be immersed in the rehearsal process while opening your imagination and sensory awareness to working through the rigours of embodying various characters. Improvisation work will help you deepen your understanding of comedic characters and comedic reaction to the unexpected. Your practical experience in this term centres on a collaboration with VFS Film Production students. Paired with your continuing practice of television auditions, you will improve your comfort and technical ability in front of the camera. You'll also begin to appreciate how your work is interpreted in the editing process after participating in the shooting of a feature film scene. Finally, you'll gain a deeper connection to your physical movement through mask work, which helps you make bold choices.

Special projects, presentations, and experiences include: Film Production Collaboration: Studio Shoots and guest speakers from the industry discussing a variety of topics.

Subjects Covered

  • Acting: Writing Your Story
  • Acting: Expand Your Range
  • Improvisation: Cinema Game
  • Movement: Mask/No Mask and Animal
  • Voice: Language
  • Camera: Feature Film and Edit
  • Audition: Exploring Television
  • Storytelling Through Song: Integrating Acting and Singing
  • Performance Studies 3
  • Rehearsal Lab 3: Environment

Weeks 25-32 (Term 4)

The following term challenges you to take bigger risks through experimentation in scene study class and the rigorous creation of a monologue. You'll be encouraged to draw on your own life experiences in developing your characters, thereby giving them a more compelling degree of complexity and truth. The valuable link between your voice and your acting will be deepened by digging into the vital dynamic of language and text, along with the exploration of storytelling through song. Your on-camera technique is enhanced as you explore situation comedy, combat for the camera, motion capture, and acting in a green screen studio. By expanding your imagination and precision, you will be better prepared for any technical and physical challenges in the industry.

Special projects, presentations, and experiences include: Acting: Ensemble Monologue Workshop; Scene Study: Camera Rehearsal and Live Performance; Embodied Voice: Audition; Faculty-Student Inspiration Sessions; Project Screenings; and guest speakers from the industry discussing a variety of topics.

Subjects Covered

  • Acting: Experimentation and Performance
  • Movement/Camera: Special Skills and Special Effects
  • Voice: Integration
  • Acting: Ensemble Monologue
  • Embodied Voice
  • Rehearsal Lab 4

Weeks 33-40 (Term 5)

In Term 5, you delve deeper into the craft, freeing yourself to stretch the limits of your acting skills. In an intense scene study workshop, you examine your relationship with true impulse – a key element in elevating a performance to an inspiring experience. Honing your vocal skills in both group and individual coaching sessions, you will continue to develop ease, confidence, and trust in yourself. By deconstructing the rhetorical spine of a scene, you will reveal how language, rhythm, and argumentation can break open the necessary action in dialogue. As you enter into pre-production on final film projects with VFS Film Production students, you will apply all of your acting skills in researching and rehearsing your role in an original script. Your choice of elective courses will provide opportunities to further strengthen your core singing or dance skills. The term is rounded out with in-depth study of feature film auditions, voice acting, and practical career skills that will help you transition from student to professional.

Special projects, presentations, and experiences include: Film Production Collaboration: Final Term Projects; Project Screenings; and guest speakers from the industry discussing a variety of topics.

Subjects Covered

  • Acting: Return to Impulse
  • Speech: Text and Rhetoric
  • Camera: Film Final Projects
  • Voice: Power, Intimacy, and Dynamic Voice
  • Studio: Intro to Voice Acting
  • Audition: Exploring Film
  • Industry Prep: The Business of Acting
  • Rehearsal Lab 5

Electives

  • Movement Elective: Movement and Dance Skills
  • Singing Elective: Embodied Voice

Weeks 41-48 (Term 6)

You will reach the climax of your one-year journey in this term with the skills, knowledge, attitude, and versatility necessary to begin a varied and exciting career in the acting profession. Through challenging scene study classes on camera, you'll engage in high-level research to reveal your unique characters. Audition technique will be key in this term, and sophisticated sessions will prime you for the expectations of casting directors and other industry gatekeepers. Preparing you for the burgeoning opportunities in voice acting, you will focus on mic technique, take part in an animation pre-lay, and deepen the nuance of your voice work – all culminating in the production of a short voice demo reel. Onset screen tests, promo reels, and industry prep will be tailored to your strengths, giving you the tools to seek out an agent and succeed after graduation. For your final film project, you will bring to life a fully-prepared role in collaboration with the vision and demands of an experienced film director on a studio set.

Special projects, presentations, and experiences include: Live Performance Event: Embodied Voice, Speech, and Movement; guest speakers from the industry discussing a variety of topics; and Grad Presentation and Screening.

Subjects Covered

  • Acting: Research and Reveal
  • Camera: Film Final Studio Shoots
  • Audition: Professional Practice
  • Industry Prep: Actorpreneur
  • Rehearsal Lab 6
  • Camera: Modern Method
  • Camera Screen Test / Promo Reel
  • Studio: Advanced Voice Acting

Electives

  • Movement: Ensemble Creation Project
  • Embodied Voice: Cabaret
  • Speech: Shakespeare Monologue