BA (Hons)

ACTING FOR SCREEN. 

An industry-led actor training, focusing on the skills you'll need to work in film and television.

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  • A rigorous conservatoire-style programme, with at least 30 hours a week of contact time.

  • Taught by film and TV professionals, giving you direct access to industry knowledge and networks.

  • Delivered in association with The Bottle Yard Studios.

  • Membership of Equity and Spotlight Graduates in your final year.

This exciting new degree has been co-constructed with the Acting for Film and TV BFA at Pace University, New York and with our patron, actor Charlie Cox. It has been designed to give you exceptional training, dedicated entirely to the discipline of screen acting.

It’s a rigorous, conservatoire-style programme with a minimum of 30 hours a week of teaching by industry professionals, limited to 25 students in a year group.

The course is accredited by Bath Spa University and delivered in association with The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, giving you access to the region’s most prestigious film and TV studios. In this professional environment and at our central Bristol rehearsal studios you will be directly connected to the industry and develop your own professional networks.

Securing a place on the course will be challenging. You will need commitment to sustain an intensive training programme that constantly challenges your dedication to learn your craft and fulfil your passion for acting. Application is by screen test and interview.

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PROGRAMME OVERVIEW.

The BA (Hons) Acting for Screen modules cover acting techniques, the connection of physicality and voice, the history and development of acting for the camera, character development, acting for camera techniques, motion capture, voice-over, commercial acting, industry preparation and networking. 

You will appear in professionally made films with working film and TV directors as part of the course and you'll leave with a comprehensive showreel, having had a screening of your work for invited agents and casting directors. You'll also have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow boomsatsuma students on the BA (Hons) Filmmaking course.

The programme will give you the in-depth training required to be a professional actor, through two years of acting classes based on the approaches of Uta Hagen and Sandford Meisner. Acting class is closely aligned with a combined voice and movement class, exploring how these instruments work together, to create truthful characters, in whom the physical is finely attuned to the psychological. 

You will develop an understanding of the specific technical processes and working practices of acting for camera and experience motion capture and voice-over recording. You'll research the development of acting for the screen and the psychology of the acting process. Through our tutors, who are industry professionals, you will have access to the latest industry knowledge and networks, leaving you well prepared for auditions and castings. 

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE.

YEAR ONE.

The first year focuses on training your acting instrument. The course introduces you to the fundamental skills and theories of acting for the camera, as you begin to learn and experience the craft of acting and what it entails. Acting class focuses on foundations based on the approach of opening up, as developed by Grotowski and Uta Hagen, both designed to achieve authentic impulses and spontaneous reactions. The goal is to develop the actor's personal instrument and acting technique, in order to create the life of a character in film and television. Aligned with the Acting class are the Instrument modules, which introduce you to voice and movement synthesised as a single instrument that enables you to play and create.

The first year also introduces you to the technical demands of working in front of camera. You’ll learn about the history and development of screen performance and complete the year with a production project, in which you mirror the preparation an actor makes creating and realising a believable character on screen, then developing the individuality, vulnerability, and intimacy that is essential for screen acting.

YEAR TWO.

Year two focuses on the continued development of deep character work, using the techniques of Sandford Meisner. Instrument modules extend your range of expression and Laban becomes the focus of movement work, giving you a systematic way of linking physical activity and vocal expression with mental and emotional states.

You will develop your ability to analyse text for film and TV and take skills classes in dialects and on-screen combat. Understanding the actor's process when preparing for, and working on, screen remains central to the year’s work, as you learn to build the inner life of characters through imaginative choices and improvisation. You’ll also take a module in understanding the psychology of acting. At the end of the year you are cast in a professionally directed short film and experience the process from casting to screening.

YEAR THREE.

Year three prepares you for a career in the industry. You’ll apply the comprehensive acting skills you have learnt to different styles through a screen comedy module and you’ll learn to adapt your craft whilst keeping the integrity of your process. You’ll learn about casting and acquire the knowledge you’ll need about agents, auditions, and the job of building a career as a working actor. You’ll experience casting for commercials, getting head shots and marketing yourself. You’ll also extend your skill-set to motion capture animation and voice over, learning the techniques of working in these mediated forms of production that will support your employability. The final term is largely devoted to the making of two specially commissioned feature films. You will appear in one, and both will be exhibited at industry screenings to agents and casting directors. You graduate with a professionally edited showreel of your production work.

 

 

 

Founded on the ethos that actor training needs reimagining to better serve the current and future generations of young artists, we believe in empowering our students to recognise the strength of their voice. Using an holistic approach, we believe a well-balanced and adaptable actor is a productive and professionally valuable one. The culture we’re developing demands that the student take ownership of their voice, their creative process and the path they create.

If you see yourself in this kind of environment, we look forward to meeting you.

For details of our Teaching Staff, click here

Sherlock The Abominable Bride - filming at The Bottle Yard Studios

Sherlock The Abominable Bride - filming at The Bottle Yard Studios

Eleanor Tomlinson films Poldark on set a

Eleanor Tomlinson films Poldark on set at The Bottle Yard Studios

What about accomodation?
Find out what Bristol has to offer here

ASSESSMENT.

Continuous assessment, practical skills assessment, written assessment and self-assessment.

COURSE COSTS.

£9,250 tuition fee per year (subject to annual inflationary increases). For more information, click here.

 

TYPICAL OFFER.

Applicants are considered on an individual basis, taking into account any skills and experience that may not be reflected in A-Level scores. The most important consideration is for applicants to have the qualities and potential to succeed.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

 

  • A-Levels – overall grades CCC-CDD from appropriate A-Levels with a Grade C in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts preferred.

  • BTEC Extended Diploma – at least Merit, Merit, Pass (MMP) accepted in a related subject.

  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum score of 26 points with evidence of involvement in drama and performing arts.

  • IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

UCAS DETAILS.

Course Code BS07

Institution Code B20

If you apply through UCAS please choose code BS07 and we will invite you to audition as soon as applications open.

All of our courses are validated by Bath Spa University. You can apply directly through UCAS or speak to us first if you

have any questions.

HOW TO APPLY.

We begin accepting audition submissions on Monday 18th October 2021. To keep up to date with the latest audition information and to receive a reminder nearer the time, let us know you're interested...

Many positives can be learned from the last year. One such positive is that an online, virtual process is an effective and equitable way to run first round auditions. Therefore, BSA will be holding all first-round auditions virtually.
All recall auditions will be held in person at one of our studios in Bristol (Tobacco Factory Theatre or BSA Studios) or at a regional audition in Glasgow, Belfast and Manchester. It’s important that the recall experience be an opportunity for you to audition BSA as well as us getting to know you and your potential. We offer full day workshop-based recalls. This gives our staff and you the information with which to make such an important decision.

What you need to Prepare:


FIRST ROUND VIRTUAL AUDITION


You will need to upload the following:

  • A recent photograph of yourself (head and shoulders) in either jpeg or pdf format

  • A video recording of 2 contemporary (written after 1970) contrasting monologues from published full-length plays, each under 2 minutes. Contrast can be in the form of tone, tempo, genre or style. You can record the monologues on your phone. *Please see our guidance for recording your speeches

  • A "wild card" video of anything you would like to share with us no longer than 1 minute. This is an opportunity for you to include something about yourself that we might not otherwise know; special skills, something you have produced, a personal testimonial, short showreels; anything you want to share.

Within two weeks of your first-round audition, we will notify you whether you have been selected for a recall audition. If you have, you’ll be asked to select a date that suits your availability and preference. There will be a limit of recall seats per day so the sooner you are processed, the better the chances are that you’ll get your first-choice recall date.

RECALL AUDITION (In person)


The recall days will work in two stages over the course of the day. Please plan on spending the day with us.


Part 1

  • An introduction to BSA and its approach to training by a member of our Leadership team.

  • You will take part in an acting workshop. We are looking for spontaneity and an openness of approach. We want to see you make individual creative choices but in a non-competitive way, showing that you can work respectfully with others as part of a team.

  • A brief interview.

NOTE: Please arrive in a change of clothes suitable to move around in (leggings, sweats, t-shirt, no shoes). You will be given time to change clothes before Part 2 of your recall.

Part 2

  • You will work on a scene of your choosing with a reader (current BSA student or tutor) in front of the audition panel. A selection of scenes will be sent to you before the recall

  • Be prepared to participate in a cold reading in front of the camera. Scenes will be provided upon arrival, and you will have a limited amount of time to get to know the material.

  • The session will end with a Q & A.

ALL AUDITIONS ARE FREE. To keep our process inclusive and accessible it’s important that money not be a limiting factor to anyone interested in auditioning.

Useful dates for recall auditions:

Bristol

27th November / 19th February / 22nd February / 23rd February / 24th February / 26th March / 9th April

 

Glasgow

11th March

Belfast

25th March


Manchester

8th April

Tips for a successful self-tape video:

You do not need expensive equipment or experience to film something that represents you well. Here are some things to keep in mind to make a good video that you can be proud of uploading as your first -round audition.

1. Smart phones are wonderful for making self-tapes. Please align the phone in the horizontal/landscape position rather than vertical.

2. Find a location in your home, school or a neutral location that is quiet and has good lighting. Natural light is wonderful, but lamps and overhead lighting will do just fine. Please don’t have a light source behind your back or we won’t see your face.

3. Background: As much as possible you want to stand/sit in front of a solid color background. This could be a wall that’s free of posters, prints, artwork, etc. Try to avoid the camera seeing furniture or household décor in the background. Position yourself approximately one metre in front of the background. Solid colored closed curtains will suffice if you haven’t got a plain wall to use.

4. If you have a tripod or can borrow a tripod to keep the camera still, secure the camera at neck/head level.

5. Framing: when setting yourself up in front of the camera, the bottom of the camera frame should be just above your abdomen/ribcage. If you’re looking at the camera frame, you want to have a bit of space above the top of your head.

6. If you are standing during the monologue, check to see that all your movements stay in the frame. Make whatever adjustments you need before uploading your submission. If you are sitting in a chair, it is preferrable to use a simple, nondescript chair. We want to see you, not the chair.

7. When recording, place your gaze or eye level, approximately 10cm to the left or right of the camera. If you can use a friend or family member to deliver your monologue to, it will help you to keep your gaze focused. Place them behind the camera just to the left or right.

8. Clothing: there is no need to wear a costume but recognize that we want to believe you as your character. Therefore, wearing clothes that are at least suggestive of your character always helps. Likewise, please refrain from wearing any hoodie, headphones, air pods, or hats that are part of your personal style. 

9. Uploading: refer to the instructions on the site if you have any difficulties. Give yourself enough time so that any issues with uploading don’t occur minutes before the submission deadline.

Remember, we do not expect you to present a professional self-tape. Do the best you can with what you have. The tips above are only intended to assist you. You do not have to adhere to every point.

10. Plan ahead and take your time. Send us something you believe represents you well under the guidelines we’ve laid out. It’s your time, make the most of it.