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Why do some characters resonate with an audience and others not so much? Why are some characters memorable across generations? A character is definitely more than just drapery, lighting, hair, costume and posing. We are visual storytellers, and the best character development originates from the inside. Who is that character? Why do they move or look the way they do? What is their motivation? When and where do they live? The answers to these questions and more will tell an artist how that character moves, talks and behaves. This is the same road a live action and theater actor will travel to create memorable characters from a script; they just don’t need to draw.
Join acting coach Allen Simpson and experience the amazing world of creating characters from the inside for visual storytelling. Open to ages 18 and up.
About the Instructor
ALLEN SIMPSON is an acting coach and performance consultant for film, television and video games. In addition to teaching acting and composition, he’s also voice directed and written songs for The Simpsons and voice directed for Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones (VG) and more. Allen has worked with Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney, Blue Sky, The Third Floor, Cinesite, Telltale Games, CTN, LAAFA, Chapman University, and California College of the Arts, and spoken at the CTN animation eXpo among others.
Come for the entire series or just come for the sessions you want. We recommend you come for the whole series.
July 14 10:00am - 1:00pm
Character Development: Making Motivated Choices
A lecture presentation that takes a detailed look at how every choice is an opportunity to tell story. This class focuses on how to add emotion and “acting” to visuals as well as how to connect choices to character, relationships and narrative. Students will also explore the vocabulary and techniques used by live-action actors during script analysis, character development and more. The class will analyze numerous film clips and sequences and learn a variety of simple, effective and immediately usable tools and techniques for bringing more life and vitality to a shot.
August 4 10:00am - 1:00pm
Character Tool Kit
A fun and engaging class designed to assist in developing rich, three-dimensional characters quickly. The class explores many methods and tools to help participants shake off stereotyped and clichéd choices in favor of specific and motivated movement and behavior. Participants will have the opportunity to get on their feet in a variety of exercises designed to open up a range of physical choices. Topics include using animals as reference, body leads/power centers, status, Laban movement analysis and more.
September 8 10:00am - 1:00pm
Character Obstacles - Struggle Equals Story
How characters deal with obstacles, both large and small, reveals a lot. Obviously, many of the difficulties a character experiences are already in the script, but this class examines how even the smallest additional struggles can add richness and depth to a story. How does your character deal with her cigarette lighter not working at first? What might we learn if we see your character react to his necktie being a little too tight? What story does it tell if your character cleans crumbs from the table as she waits for her date? This workshop details how to analyze a script and what questions to ask in order to find dynamic (and sometimes hidden) obstacles in a scene.
These are not drawing classes.