Undergraduate Degree



DF2010 Acting for Film

[Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: Nil; Academic Unit: 3.0]  




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

This is an introduction course to acting for film. Theory and practice is linked in this course: Students will learn about the specific needs of acting for film and camera, and will develop and improve their individual acting skills with hands-on exercises.


This course provides step by step a complete overview of all important aspects in acting for film focusing on acting theory (Mimesis, Stanislavski), acting practice (listening and reacting, voice and body, script and scene analysis) and the movie actor’s profession.

Course Outline



Studio Workshop ​Hours


The basis of acting: The relationship between imagination and body. The joy of acting. Exercise: The tight rope. 

Who are we? Creating awareness to ourselves. Learning by perceiving, imitating and transforming it into something personal – the relationship between anthropology and the idea of mimesis [representation by imitation].

Exercise: Relaxation technique.



Truthfulness in acting: Stanislavski system and method acting. Exercise: Sense-memory.

How to create a memorable performance? - Analyzing examples from film history.​



The intimacy of film acting: Sensing, listening, and reacting. Giving and receiving. The art of spontaneity and the importance of not-knowing.

Exercise on technical aspects of acting in films: Set-commands, continuity, shot size/close-up, hitting marks, on/off-camera.



Using voice and body. Character is action.

Developing a character. Need and want of a character. The hero`s journey.

Exercise: Character-improvisation.

Specific styles of acting – acting in a comedy.



Script analysis: Genre, dramaturgy, protagonist/antagonist, 3-act-structure, 

3 ways of “reading” a movie: The character’s perspective, audience’s perspective, and structural perspective. The character´s arc. 

The core question of a movie and the director´s vision. The professional network of actors: Agencies, casting, coaches, workshops, directors, and producers.

How to prepare for video-casting, casting, cold reading, audition. Exercise: Audition. 



Scene analysis: Narrative perspective, objectives, relationships, status, turning points, subtext, beats. Exercise: Table read.

Day One on the set: Preparation. Procedures. Behavior on and off the set. 



Scene study/ rehearsals (1)



Scene study/ rehearsals (2)



Shooting scenes (1)



Shooting scenes (2)



Post Production on scenes



Post Production on scenes and review



Final review of assignments and presentations


Learning Outcome

Students will gain acting skills for film. They will be able to understand the process of acting for films as well as the profession of a movie actor.

Student Assessment

Students will be assessed by Continuous Assessment (100%):

  1. Final Project: Students will rehearse and perform a film scene by applying knowledge acquired from the course (30%); 
  2. Studio-based exercises and projects – relaxation techniques, sense-memory, technical aspects of working on a film set, character-improvisation, audition, and tableread (20%);  
  3. Individual, group and team-based assignments – analyzing an example of a memorable performance in film history, development of a character, scene analysis (30%);
  4. Participation including attitude and punctuality (20%)


  1. Michael Caine, Acting in film: an actor´s take on movie making.
    Revised Expanded Edition, Applause Theater and Cinema Books, 2000.
  2. Cathy Haase, Acting for Film, Allworth Press, 2003.
  3. Jeremiah Comey, The Art of Film Acting: A Guide for Actors and Directors, Rev.
    Edition, Focal Press, 2002.