Posts tagged with Film & Acting Workshops

Acting for Animators with Ed Hooks

We at Heartland are thrilled to be able to bring Ed Hooks to Indianapolis for a day long workshop, Acting for Animation, A Master Class. Hooks, a theatre professional for three decades, pioneered acting training specifically for animators instead of stage actors. He authored, Acting for Animators and Acting in Animation: A Look at 12 Films, which are standard texts at animation schools all over the world.

Acting for Animation with Ed Hooks
A Master Class
Saturday, November 5

10 am – 5 pm
IUPUI School of Informatics
IT 152
Price $79 for industry, $59 for students

Acting for Animators is designed specifically for animators, not stage actors. The difference is that stage actors practice their art “in the present moment.” Therefore, actors require training that includes sensory exercises, emotional recall, relaxation and so on. Animators do not need any of that because they work with the ILLUSION of a present moment, i.e. 24-frames-make-a-second. Actors and animators use the same basic acting theory, but it is perceived and applied in different ways.

Ed will focus on the essential principles for strong performance animation.  He will also examine and deconstruct clips from animated and live action films, discussing how acting principles are applied in the real world – and what happens when the principles are not applied.

We wouldn’t be able to present this great opportunity without the tremendous support of sponsors and partners who help offset the cost of offering this unique opportunity to Indianapolis.


Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Inc.Finish LineStarbucks Coffee CompanyIUPUI Campus Center


2010 Heartland Institute Workshop and the Art of Collaboration

Claire Norton, Director of Heartland Institute

As we wrapped up the 2009 Heartland Film Festival we realized the common sentiment among nearly each filmmaker discussing his or her films’ success was the importance of collaborating with others during the filmmaking process.  With that in mind, in 2010 we embarked on developing a Heartland Institute Workshop that embraced the theme of collaboration on multiple levels.  We wanted aspiring filmmakers to not only walk away from our workshop with insights into honing specific aspects of their craft, but also wanted them to walk away with an appreciation for and inspiration about what they can do with a team of fellow filmmakers.

The 2010 Heartland Institute Workshop is just around the corner (mark your calendar for October 18!) and we’re excited to have been able to achieve just what we set out to do.  Past Institute presenter Elliot Kotek will be kicking the morning off with his discussion on using social media to make and promote films.  Past festival award winners Gustavo Ron and Frank Kelly will chat with Elliot as well as the three of them explore the value of collaboration on their most recent project, experimental documentary and 2010 Official Selection, 140.

Two more presenters will follow Kotek, building on the theme of the day.  Official Selection filmmaker Chip Hackler will present on the collaborative process of making his short film Two Hours in the Dark, which tells a fascinating story about Frank Capra.  Then Award-winning filmmaker of The Road Home, Rahul Gandotra and co-author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, Ruth E. Van Reken will discuss how the making of The Road Home has lead them to focus on collaborating in the future.

And guess what. It doesn’t stop there.  During lunch a panel made up of 2010 Award-winning and Official Selection filmmakers will answer audience questions on topics ranging from writing, directing, producing and much more.  Panelists Elliot Kotek, Gustavo Ron, Andie Redwine, Storme Wood and Sultan Sharrief are sure to cap off a full day of inspiration and insight by sharing their filmmaking experiences in way that’s certain to keep filmmakers motivated and working away at their next film.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Richard Robichaux Engages Aspiring Actors at the Heartland Film Institute Seminar

Heartland recently hosted its latest Heartland Film Institute with special guest Richard Robichaux, an actor and teacher who’s worked with Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon, Billy Crystal, Michael J. Fox, Marcia Gay Harden among others.

As a staff member, normally I would be engaged in typical event management duties, but this particular Film Institute brought about an exciting opportunity. Ahead of the event, Richard sent a brief two page script for 10 attendees to memorize in preparation for his direction at the seminar and I was lucky enough to be one of the 10.

Richard paired the actors together as we arrived and had us discuss the scene specifics (who, what, where) with our partners. My partner James and I sat and worked out the relationship between our characters. The script provided only speaking lines, leaving the actors with a lot of room for creativity.

When the seminar began, Richard introduced himself and his plan for the day. There were three cameras set up around the room for the live web stream. One of the cameras was directed towards a set that Richard would use to direct the 10 participants.

As Richard finished his introduction, he invited James and I to take the stage. As we settled into our places, Richard reminds the audience to focus at the screen above the set projecting what the scene would look like on film. With a deep breath and “Action!”, James and I read our scene. The silence in the room followed by Richard’s comment “First of all, I like you both…” had me nervous that we were both about to be ripped apart. Instead Richard took us on a journey like no other acting class I’ve been part of. His warm personality encouraged a learning environment that made you feel okay that you’re not perfect and that you will make mistakes. That’s why we’re in class.

As the different pairs took the stage, we went through different types of scenes including the two-shot and close up.  Having the camera projecting on the screen in real time was an invaluable tool. Richard explained to us that losing eye contact in the middle of a close up weakens the scene. Actually seeing it on screen was an excellent visual.

One of my favorite parts was when he invited the front row to stand around the actors as they did the scene to mimic the atmosphere on set with various crew members around. Given my personality that’s something that would be extremely distracting. Later in the seminar an audience member asked for advice on how to handle such a situation. Richard’s response was a quote from Actor Frank Langella: “Be profoundly prepared.”  Having only theatre experience, I’m used to growing and exploring a character throughout the rehearsal process. With time costing money in the film world, an actor has no other option but to be profoundly prepared. Those are words I will carry with me.

Richard ended the seminar with encouragement that all of us are capable of succeeding, but it will take a lot of work. It’s refreshing to hear this encouragement in such a competitive industry.

It’s easy for me as a member of Heartland’s staff to encourage anyone who is interested in the film industry to attend our Film Institute seminars. However as an aspiring actress myself, this truly was one of the best lessons I’ve received and after speaking to many others in attendance that day, I know I can speak for many of us.

Special thanks to the Butler, Huntington and Purdue students for sharing your talents! It was an honor to share this experience with you.

-Allison Ackmann, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures Staff Member

If you missed the seminar, it will soon be archived on our site. Check back here!

Free Seminar with Director & Writer of Captain Abu Raed!

Amin Matalqa, Director & Writer of Captain Abu Raed

Join us on Thursday, February 11 at the IUPUI Campus Center for a FREE seminar with Amin Matalqa, Director and Writer of 2008 Heartland Film Festival Grand Prize winning film, Captain Abu Raed.

CINEMA MAGIC: The Art of the Scene begins at 9am with a continental breakfast followed by the free seminar and an optional networking lunch later in the day for $10. During the seminar, Matalqa will break down the filmmaking process to the essential elements that make for effective storytelling by utilizing scenes from Captain Abu Raed. Through these scenes, he will explore the marriage between writing, directing, performance, cinematography, production design, editing, sound-mixing and music. Matalqa will discuss what makes a scene work and how you can create an opportunity for cinema magic. He will also talk about making the transition from writing and directing short films to feature films.

If you’re an inspiring filmmaker, avid moviegoer or just a big fan of Captain Abu Raed, you won’t want to miss this one.

Registration is required, so do so now! If you haven’t seen Captain Abu Raed, learn more about the film, on DVD February 23.

The Heartland Film Institute presents Animated Filmmaking: Emotions in Motion

Join award-winning animator and director John Ludwick on September 10 as he leads us through key animation principles that underpin all successful animation projects. Ludwig will discuss this intriguing and versatile art form and its integration with film.

Through a partnership with the Academy of Educational Development (AED), this Indianapolis seminar will be broadcast to a live audience in Washington, DC. Attendees at both locations will be able to interact with the presenter, participate in activities, and learn how to move an audience with visual storytelling. Learn more and register to attend either the Indianapolis or Washington location!