Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting)
- CRICOS Code: 094861K
- VTAC Code: 3800610071
- International VTAC Code: 3800610073
What will I study?
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) provides a studio-based learning environment where students are encouraged to develop holistically as an actor.
The program focuses on the rigorous preparation of actors working across all areas of the profession for stage and screen (including animation and gaming) offering units of requisite size and scale to accommodate the demands of intensive project based learning outcomes, exposing students to current infrastructural, cultural and methodological practices in the profession. It offers students opportunity to engage in National and International engagement projects, building on existing expertise and approaches to industry readiness for the autonomous, ensemble and company actor.
Intended learning outcomes
- Students will develop the cognitive skills necessary to critically analyse, consolidate and synthesise a body of knowledge central to the discourse and practice of Acting.
- Students will develop practical and technical skills necessary to demonstrate a broad understanding of the Acting profession with depth into areas of Voice and Body Training, Text Analysis and Contemporary Performance across stage and screen.
- Students will develop communication skills to present a clear, coherent and independent exposition of knowledge and sensibilities central to Acting and Performance
- Students will develop the creative skills necessary to exercise critical thinking and judgment in identifying and solving problems within the discipline of Acting with intellectual independence
Subjects in focus
Body and Voice
Develop a functional, efficient and flexible voice and body by addressing idiosyncratic habits that affect the moving and speaking performer. You are trained to possess physical awareness of breath in the body, muscularity, resonance, active listening and kinaesthetic awareness. You will experiment with physical improvisation, dynamic imagery, mask work, clowning and rhythmical play to activate sensory perception. This unit is co-delivered with Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre) students.
Watch Senior Lecturer in Voice Leith McPherson explain the pitfalls of trying to imitate an Australian accent, and how to avoid them:
Acting Lab 3
Adapt and reframe skills you have acquired in the performance of contemporary and/or classical material led by external professional artists. You also perform in an original web series produced by Film and Television students in collaboration with VCA Production and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music students.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
Year 1, Sem 1 (Co-delivered with BFA Theatre)
- Body and Voice 125
Body and Voice 1
This subject introduces students to the interdependence of voice and body. The unit addresses idiosyncratic habits, which may inhibit the moving and speaking performer in order to develop a functional, efficient and flexible body and voice. This subject will include a selection from the following: physical awareness of breath in the body; muscularity; resonance; active listening and kinaesthetic awareness; and fundamental patterns of physical organization. To enable this introduction students will undertake physical improvisation, dynamic imagery and rhythmical play to activate sensory perception. This unit is co-delivered to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre students.
- Acting and Performance 112.5
Acting and Performance 1
This subject introduces acting and performance methodologies to first year students. The foundations are laid for the development of the art of acting and the composition of original material. This subject explores the core principles of performance creation: body, space, action, word, meaning, score, rhythm and repetition through improvisation and task based work. Performers will explore working spontaneously and imaginatively within a theatrical context. This unit is co-delivered to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre students.
- Contextual Studies 1 History Matters12.5
Contextual Studies 1 History Matters
This subject serves as a broad introduction to the history of theatre and why it matters. Global and local perspectives will reveal the interrelationship of diverse cultural forms, values, and belief systems in the making and historicising of theatre and performance. The course will also enable students in critically selecting, contrasting and comparing historical materials, and to train this skill towards sustained and informed arguments. As students develop confidence with historical knowledge, they will eventually demonstrate its relevance in context of their own emerging practice and training. This unit is co-delivered to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre students.
Year 1, Sem 2 (Co-delivered with BFA Theatre)
- Body and Voice 225
Body and Voice 2
This subject builds on the student’s discovery of the interdependence of voice and body in Semester 1. The unit continues addressing idiosyncratic habits in order to further develop a functional, efficient and flexible body and voice. This subject will include a selection from the following: physical awareness of breath in the body, muscularity, resonance, active listening and kinaesthetic awareness. It will use, physical improvisation, dynamic imagery, mask work, clowning and rhythmical play to activate sensory perception. This unit is co-delivered to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre students.
- Acting and Performance 212.5
Acting and Performance 2
This subject builds on methodologies from first semester in Acting and Performance 1. Students will further develop performance skills and the composition of original work, as they begin to explore extant text. This subject furthers knowledge(s) of the core principles of acting and performance: body, space, action, word, meaning, score, rhythm and repetition through improvisation and text based work. Performers will continue to explore working spontaneously and imaginatively within a theatrical context. This unit is co-delivered to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre students.
Year 2, Sem 1 (second subject co-delivered with BFA Theatre)
- Acting Lab 125
Acting Lab 1
This subject introduces students to the actor’s process via scene work and contemporary rehearsal techniques. Working within an ensemble, actors will explore historical, emerging, collaborative and mediated theatrical paradigms through practical exploration of extant text in a variety of studio contexts. Students begin development of their own training methodology via a survey of intense staff led training exercises and interpretive rehearsal processes.
- Contextual Studies 2 Theory in Action12.5
Contextual Studies 2 Theory in Action
The subject broadly introduces students to core theories in theatre studies. Theory provides a systematic set of principles or terminologies with which critical reflection or artistic practice may be formally argued, discussed and disseminated. The course will help students employ theoretical frameworks in interpreting and critiquing productions, performances and practices. In a sustained application of theory, students will also develop a qualitative self-reflective position, with opportunities to devise a short performance that demonstrates the complementary relationship of theory and practice. This unit is co-delivered to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre students.
Year 2, Sem 2 (second subject co-delivered with BFA Theatre)
- Acting Lab 237.5
Acting Lab 2
This subject extends the actor in longer generative and interpretative performance projects. Students develop the skills they have acquired and apply them to performance in contemporary generative work and classical material. Actors will explore working within both stage and screen production processes and be involved in the development, rehearsal, performance and evaluation of material. Students continue to develop their own training methodology via intense staff led training exercises and interpretive rehearsal processes.
- Contextual Studies 3 Performing Practice12.5
Contextual Studies 3 Performing Practice
This subject consolidates knowledge of theatre history and theory in context of the tools provided by performance analysis – namely description, analysis, interpretation and critical perspective. The focus on case study performances and related practices, both in theatre making and also actor training, forms the basis for critical reflection upon individual practices and processes. The main aim is to develop skills and competencies in formal research, presentation and documentation, particularly those with a practical component. The course also functions as preparation towards a research higher degree. This unit is co- delivered to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre students.
Year 3, Sem 1 (second subject co-delivered with BFA Theatre)
- Acting Lab 337.5
Acting Lab 3
This subject extends the actor in generative and interpretative stage and screen projects. Students adapt and reframe the skills they have acquired, and integrate them to performance in contemporary generative and/or classical material led by external professional artists. Actors begin to refine their capacity to excel in stage and screen production processes via the integrated development, rehearsal, performance and evaluation of executed material(s). Students refine their own training methodology via intense training exercises and interpretive rehearsal processes.
This subject includes an opportunity for students to participate in a non-compulsory two-week supervised overseas study program in Bali, Indonesia in intercultural training techniques in January.
- Industry Practice 112.5
Industry Practice 1
This subject introduces students to the necessity of self-promotion and industry awareness. Students will develop a personal professional development plan, self generated promotional materials and develop an awareness of the multifaceted nature of the industry in the Asia-Pacific Region. This unit is co-delivered to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre students.
Year 3, Sem 2
- Acting Lab 437.5
Acting Lab 4
This subject enables the final extension of the actor in generative and interpretative stage and screen projects. Students adapt and reframe the skills they have acquired, and integrate these to performance in contemporary generative and/or classical material led by professional external artists. Actors refine their capacity to excel in stage and screen production processes via the sophisticated development, rehearsal, performance and evaluation of executed material(s). Students finalise their own training methodology established over three years of intense training exercises and interpretive rehearsal processes.
- Industry Practice 2 Showcase12.5
Industry Practice 2 Showcase
This subject prepares an introduction for students to the industry via a Showcase event held in both Melbourne and Sydney. Students will develop Screen and Stage based showreel materials for this industry focused event and evaluate representation offers as part of this process.
- Ancient and Contemporary Indigenous Arts12.5
Ancient and Contemporary Indigenous Arts
The student will experience Indigenous Culture, Identity and Arts Practice first hand as they visit remote and urban Victorian Aboriginal communities, art galleries and artists. Fieldwork will comprise a four-night stay at Lake Condah Mission on Gunditjmara country (Heywood and Portland) where students are immersed in Victorian Culture and Identity. Local work will take place in and around Melbourne.
- Art and Indigenous Voice12.5
Art and Indigenous Voice
This subject is designed to give students a solid basis from which to start engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural practice. Utilising both existing and new cultural frameworks, through lectures in cultural safety, traditional beliefs and culture, contemporary history and art as voice, students will be walked through the artistic, cultural and political histories of Australia’s first people with a specific focus on the diversity within Victoria and the south-east of Australia. With a focus on connection to country and place, students will learn from leading elders, visual artists, theatre makers and activists.
- Games & Playfulness12.5
Games & Playfulness
Play is fundamental to the human condition. This breadth unit seeks to unpack the nature of games and playfulness within the everyday. By playing, analysing and creating games, the subject unpacks these various elements and encourages students to take a ‘hands on’ approach in reflecting upon the creative and playful aspects of both their everyday life and their chosen discipline. It considers the interactions between play and culture; how playfulness binds communities and how culture determines both the structure and content of play. Though there are some references to the videogame industry, the subject is not simply a valorisation of this history. Rather it looks at the rise, fall and rise again of public playfulness and the ways in which the medium has both industrialised and democratised. The subject aims to encourage student to explore what games can be, rather than what they currently are.
- The Electronic Arts: Vision and Sound12.5
The Electronic Arts: Vision and Sound
This course explores creative work in many fields that use technology as the core of its work. The use of electronics in The Visual Arts, Video, Experimental Film, Music and Sound Art, Theatre, Installations, Advertising, Multimedia and Design are covered from different perspectives and examined through the lens of many disciplines. We will look at practical applications from historical and contemporary perspectives as well as the theories underpinning these practices. The course is an overview and presentations of lectures on 20th and 21st century electronic art and the collaborations of inventors, artists, industry conditions and innovators that make it all possible. The course will involve guest speakers on their work and discipline as well as a wide range of presentations on historical material and the newest developments in electronic and hybrid digital and analogue methods.
Regular practical challenges throughout the semester will reinforce facility with the standard tools of the digital workstations and analogue techniques. Weekly journals will engage writing skills and critical thinking. Students will produce and present original electronic works in collaborative groups.
- Video Games: Remaking Reality12.5
Video Games: Remaking Reality
This course is a full overview of Video Games. The great games, the history, the techniques, and the future of this developing medium and industry are explored in 12 weeks. Games have developed from simple electronic entertainment in the 70s to an epic cinematic medium that now is larger than the entire film industry and one of the most popular and complex forms of art and virtual reality in the 21st century.
Games have moved past being shoot and kill spectacles and are becoming a form of expression for millions of people and a new medium of social interaction and technological development that is engaging gamers and non-gamers alike.
As virtual reality becomes a greater part of ‘real life’ this course explores the complex network that makes up the video game world and the emerging group of designers and artists who are exploring new possibilities.
To understand the full picture of video games it is impossible to separate the commercial elements from the artistic and the technological from the social and mental. A wide range of disciplines need to be explored and the connections between them as well as looking at the game industry itself and how it is transforming.
Each week will combine the issues that surround games and an overview of the best and most complex games from multi million dollar blockbusters to the new ‘art games’ and independent games that re-invent the concept of a game.
Guest speakers from the game industry and from the arts, sciences and business will share their perspective on the state of the present and new ideas that will shape the future. Tutorials will present new aspects of current and past games and students will discuss their experience with games and present ideas and new finds each week.
- Dancing the Dance 112.5
Dancing the Dance 1
Dancing the Dance 1 offers students with little or no background in dance an introduction to the fundamentals dance techniques and their use in the creation of choreography. Each weekly seminar/workshop will start with a warm up in a particular technique (contemporary dance, hip hop, flamenco or ballet for example) and progress to problem-solving and choreographic tools to explore ways of making dances. The subject develops an insight into the roles of dancer and choreographer and the use of physical language as a means of expression through the exploration of dance techniques, approaches to dance-making, choreographic tools, rehearsal techniques, dance performance and presentation.
- Still Life: Nature Morte12.5
Still Life: Nature Morte
This subject introduces multi-dimensional investigations around the Still Life genre explored from a 21st Century perspective.
Engaging drawing and painting techniques and processes, this subject is designed for students who have little or no practical experience in art making. Commencing with figurative drawing, students will be introduced to ways of visualizing relevant, abstract concepts as they relate to the still-life genre. Multi-disciplinary investigations around the inanimate object will also focus on the dynamics of colour and pictorial space. Theoretical discussions will explore the human relationship to abstract ideas and the evolution of the still life convention. Projects will be set in both practical and theoretical areas.
- Life Drawing: The Body12.5
Life Drawing: The Body
This Breadth subject uses life drawing to explore the human body as a subject. It will explore how we visually perceive the human body, how we think about the body and how we theorise the body within art practice.
Within the practical studio classes students will be introduced to drawing through the foundational skills of observation and drawing techniques. These skills will be developed and extended so that students are able to explore and visually articulate their observations of the human body with increasing sophistication and complexity.
Lectures will introduce the history of the human body in art, focusing on the particular role that drawing the human body has played from pre-history to the present day. This will enable students to contextualise their own drawing practice, extending their conceptual understandings of the body and drawing, and assisting towards essay preparation.
At the completion of “Life Drawing: The Body” students should have a foundational understanding of drawing practice with knowledge and skills enabling them to visually communicate the human body as a subject.
Though this subject is designed for students who have little or no previous art making experience, it will also suit students who have previously undertaken a visual art Breadth subject or similar.
- Making Movies 112.5
Making Movies 1
Making Movies 1 introduces students with little or no background in movie making to the fundamentals of filmmaking from the professional filmmaker’s perspective. The subject analyses the role of the key ‘behind the scenes’ creatives: film director, writer, producer, actor, production designer, editor and sound designer, to provide an insight into professional film making practice.
The subject also analyses key creative and practical skills such as application of genre, screenwriting, directing, cinematography, film editing & audio post-production, actor direction, production aesthetics, and film crew organisation.
Delivery is through lectures that include a wide range of film material, presented by professional film practitioners and some applied exercises. Assessments apply the knowledge gained in the lectures, including the application of the grammar of screen language to the analysis of a film project, through image-based story-telling, and a directors vision of an original filmic idea.
- Interactive Art Media 112.5
Interactive Art Media 1
Interactive Art Media 1 introduces students to practices and process of digital/computer based interactive installation and performance media. The subject has two integrated outcomes: the development of basic skills in the interactive media program Max (© Cycling74), and through the development of these skills, the discovery and understanding of the works and processes of current and past interactive media artists.
The subject blends online, tutorial, seminar and self directed student-centred learning processes, with a focus on students developing their own practice in the area of interactive and digital media and developing an understanding of the context in which they are creating.
- Introduction to Screenwriting Practices12.5
Introduction to Screenwriting Practices
This online Breadth subject is an introduction to the process of creating stories for screen media, focusing on concept creation, screenplay structures, story and character generation. Students will study and practice the essential groundwork undertaken by writers in creating works for screen, and will learn how to apply these skills to their own ideas for screen projects. The subject will be delivered through a combination of recorded lectures, live online tutorials, assigned readings and on-line screenings. Students will write an original short script, analyse the screenwriting works of others, and take part in collaborative script development processes.
- Making Music For Film And Animation 112.5
Making Music For Film And Animation 1
This subject introduces the basics of Making Music for Film and Animation. Aspects of the function and crafting of music in film and animation including, film scoring and the music dramatic narrative will be examined. Making Music for Film and Animation is delivered as a lecture and workshop in a large group format and will illuminate the fundamental principles of music making for film and animation. It is also a practical class forum for the workshop of film and animation music making tasks and provides the opportunity for the individual development and showing of work and group discussion of issues related to music in film and animation. During the course students will be required to engage in whole group discussion and to present complete and ongoing work.
- Pop Song Writing 112.5
Pop Song Writing 1
This subject introduces the basics of song writing for the commercial music industry. Aspects of song form including the chorus and the hook, lyric writing and industry requirements will be examined. Pop Song Writing is delivered as a lecture and workshop in a large group format and will illuminate the fundamental principles of song writing. It is also a practical class forum for the workshop of new pop songs and provides the opportunity for the individual development and showing of new songs and group discussion of issues related to pop song composition. During the course students will be required to engage in whole group discussion and to present complete and ongoing pop songs.
- Jazz: The Improvisatory Spirit12.5
Jazz: The Improvisatory Spirit
Jazz: The Improvisatory Spirit examines improvisation as it has manifested itself in Jazz and other African American Music. It is focused on the spirit of improvisation and its essential nature taking into account the concepts of imagination, freedom and individual expression.
- Alexander Technique for Daily Function12.5
Alexander Technique for Daily Function
This subject empowers students to make conscious changes to unconscious patterns of physical tension caused by stress, everyday life events and performance habits that are unhelpful to them and to their artistic practice as singers, actors, musicians and dancers. Alexander Technique was developed to promote freedom and ease in movement and can provide relief of pain, playing an important role in injury rehabilitation and prevention as new, more effective patterns of movement are learned and integrated into daily life and arts practice. Fundamental to alignment and balance, Alexander Technique has long been recognised for its benefits to actors, singers, musicians and dancers, preventing injury and developing physical, emotional and vocal freedom. Students will participate in various individual and group activities providing a practical context to learn the basic concepts and applied procedures involved in the Alexander Technique. The fundamental skills and understanding developed through this subject will be able to be applied by the student in daily life and in their artistic practice as performers. This unit introduces the skills and knowledge required to improve postural support, balance, movement and breathing in daily life and function. This will develop awareness of habitual patterns of tension and provide foundation embodied knowledge that can be further developed in the Level 2 subject, Alexander Technique for Performance. The practical work will be supported by reading materials that expound the theory, its history and procedures.
- The Wellbeing Orchestra12.5
The Wellbeing Orchestra
The Wellbeing Orchestra utilises Tibetan singing bowls and an assortment of allied musical instruments to facilitate mindfulness and meditation. Through sound, breathing, mindfulness, meditation techniques and self reflection, the student will learn to harmonise an unfocussed mind, release from self judgement and find a sense of peace within the busyness of study and work whilst developing an increased sense of personal wellbeing. The experiential nature of teaching and learning in this subject is intended to help students understand knowledge transfer that occurs outside of text based learning modalities particularly through somatic awareness.
- The Actors Process12.5
The Actors Process
The focus of this subject is on the actor’s process. Areas covered will include text analysis and the revelation of its interior world through action and improvisation. Students will learn to work spontaneously and to use this spontaneity in the theatrical context. The interface between acting skills and their use within other art forms will be explored.
- Clear Speech and Communication12.5
Clear Speech and Communication
This subject is designed for students where English is a second language and develops fluency in spoken Australian English. Intensive study includes the application of the International Phonetic Alphabet to improve and develop the articulation of specific speech sounds for Australian English. Students will learn how to use the voice effectively and develop skills in intonation, stress, and rhythm.
- The Secret Life of the Body 112.5
The Secret Life of the Body 1
Ever thought about how we actually see, hear, taste, smell and touch? How do musicians, dancers, artists, athletes, martial artists and yoga practitioners do what they do? And how does this relate to findings and hidden secrets in scientific research about the body and the brain?
In an increasingly global and collaborative world the need to have a knowledge of the whole, the interconnections between disciplines, their languages and approaches, histories and cultural expressions, is essential to understanding 21st century problems and creating practical and innovative solutions.
This subject explores the intricate links and parallels between the arts, science, philosophy, architecture, mysticism, medicine (both western and eastern), law, and economics, through understandings of the human body. The VCA campus provides a unique classroom environment for this subject, with a teaching staff of working artists, academics and guest speakers, all experts in their fields.
Underpinning The Secret Life of the Body is recognition of the value of interdisciplinarity and the role it plays in understanding critical vocabularies and new areas of research. The focus on the exchange of ideas between students and teachers across the schools and campuses, shapes the range of issues that the human body presents to us, in all the ways that we experience it - intellectually, personally, kineaesthetically and in multi disciplinary forms.
- Indigenous Art and Changing the Nation12.5
Indigenous Art and Changing the Nation
This subject brings together a vast range of different arts practices to give an holistic view of Indigenous arts and their role in facilitating voice and its use as a tool for social change. Presented over 12 weeks, students will be given access to a broad range of Indigenous guest lecturers who will present upon seminal works from their oeuvre and discuss their impact on mainstream Australia. Students will also examine the role of art as a tool for resistance and self-actualisation within Indigenous communities, studying the effects of cultural reclamation and artistic practice on the mental and spiritual wellbeing of a people.
- Street Art12.5
From illegally spray-painted stencils to secret exhibitions in abandoned warehouses to exclusive multi-million dollar art fairs, this subject explores the rise of street art in the contemporary city.
The subject examines the diversity of artists, materials and political impulses that drive street art and graffiti and its shift from an illicit subculture to a mainstream practice. Using examples from Melbourne and other key cities such as New York, Rome and Berlin, the subject investigates how the meaning and impact of street art derive from spatial and social contexts and how street art can provide new ways of understanding a city, as well as broader debates about art, public space and urban development.
Students undertaking this subject will develop skills in identifying, mapping and designing street art in Melbourne’s laneways.
- Dancing the Dance 212.5
Dancing the Dance 2
Dancing the Dance 2 provides students, who have been introduced to dance fundamentals in Dancing the Dance 1, further insight into the practicalities of professional dance production. The subject will advance the study of Dancing the Dance 1, in areas such as dance techniques, movement design, choreography, rehearsal and presentation techniques including the realisation of dance performance ideas with lighting and sound design. The subject will conclude with a performance presentation of the work developed throughout the intensive.
- Body Works12.5
Based in Skinner Releasing Technique supported with fundamental anatomical and neuromuscular patterning information Body Works uses imagery and hands on tactile studies to foster a deeper kinaesthetic experience of movement. Students are guided through an embodiment process toward physical balance and creativity. Suitable for beginners and experienced movers, Skinner Releasing Technique can be beneficial to professional dancers, actors, musicians, artists of all kinds and all people interested in moving with ease. It can enhance any movement style and any activity. Classes include imagery as a powerful tool for transformation. Part of the class involves hands-on partner studies (partner graphics), where you can fell yourself letting go of habitual holding patterns. Connecting your physicality with your imagination, you find an empowered self, much greater than the sum of its parts.
- Painting Techniques12.5
This subject introduces students to the techniques and processes used in contemporary painting. Through project-based experimentation students are guided through a range of different painting techniques and their application in the production of aesthetically and materially developed artworks. This subject aims to create an informed and critical methodology for the use of contemporary painting technology as a vehicle for imaging ideas. It is also concerned with developing skills and a visual language through a range of painting media.
- Introduction to Printmaking Processes12.5
Introduction to Printmaking Processes
This subject will introduce students to the unique possibilities inherent in printmaking processes, with a technical focus on monotype, relief and intaglio techniques. Alongside this workshop focus, students will be introduced to the key historical moments in the evolution of printmaking through an introductory lecture, which encompasses the fundamental technological innovations that have impacted upon printmaking, as well as the major terms of reference that will allow students to engage with printmaking terminology within a workshop environment.
Students will also be introduced to the Prints and Drawings collection at the NGV, from which students will be required to write a 1000 word essay that engages with a specific print based work that has a direct influence on the portfolio that they are creating within the printmaking workshop. Students will also be exposed to a lecture from the Printmaking Technician that demonstrates more advanced technical processes and possibilities within the field of printmaking.
Within the workshop, students will be encouraged to explore their own work and utilise a selection of techniques by engaging with ideas of repetition, difference, and variation. This subject is designed to explore printmaking processes and technology as a vehicle for imaging ideas and image production, as well as to motivate and involve students in analytical thinking about visual perception. It also includes an induction into the Printmaking workshop, with an emphasis on Occupational Health & Safety.
- Drawing with Anatomy12.5
Drawing with Anatomy
This practice-based drawing subject focuses on developing skills and techniques in figurative drawing. It is designed for students who have little or no experience in visual art making. Students will be introduced to specialist figurative drawing techniques through working from both life models and from anatomical specimens within the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. Lectures and writing tasks that explore the human figure in historic and contemporary visual art will complement the drawing program. By the end of the subject, students should have developed a comprehensive folio of exercises and finished works exploring the body in both its living and preserved states, and highlighting the ways in which artistic practice can be used to examine these conditions.
- Under Camera Animation12.5
Under Camera Animation
In this subject each student will make a film using the “under camera animation” technique. This animation technique involves the creation of an animation through frame-by-frame imagery, photographing each frame with a tablet and then combining these photographs into an animated film. The potential processes and materials that can be used to create these animations are broad, and may include drawing, erasure, paper cut-outs, found objects, clay, sand, or paint.
Over the course of the subject students will be introduced to various techniques, materials and skills to create under camera animations. The craft and structure of animation will be considered, as will contemporary and historical under camera techniques, films and film-makers. Students will then apply these understandings and skills in order to develop and create their own “under camera” animated film.
- Art and the Botanical12.5
Art and the Botanical
This practice-based drawing subject focuses on developing skills and techniques in botanical drawing, using drawing and watercolour media. Students will be introduced to specialist botanical drawing techniques, working from both live plants and botanical specimens from the University Cultural Collections (including the University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU) and the University of Melbourne System Garden). Lectures and writing tasks that explore the botanical in historic and contemporary visual art will complement the drawing program. By the end of the subject, students should have developed a comprehensive folio of exercises and finished works exploring the botanical in both its living and preserved states, highlighting how artistic practice can be used as a space for exploration and discovery.
Though this subject is designed for students who have little or no drawing experience, it will also suit students who have previously undertaken a visual art Breadth subject or similar.
- Introduction to Screenprinting12.5
Introduction to Screenprinting
This subject will introduce students to the unique possibilities inherent in printmaking techniques, with a technical focus on screenprinting processes. As well as focusing on the development and application of screenprinting skills and techniques, students will be introduced to historical and contemporary contexts for screenprinting practice.
Within the workshop, students will be encouraged to explore their own work and utilise a selection of techniques by engaging with ideas of repetition, difference, and variation. This subject is designed to explore fundamental screenprinting processes as a vehicle for imaging ideas and for image production, as well as to motivate and involve students in analytical thinking about visual perception. It also includes an induction into the Screenprinting workshop, with an emphasis on Occupational Health & Safety.
Though this subject is designed for students who have little or no previous screenprinting experience, it will also suit students who have previously undertaken a visual art Breadth subject or similar.
- Making Movies 212.5
Making Movies 2
Making Movies 2 provides students who have been introduced to film making fundamentals in Making Movies 1, further insight into the practicalities of professional film production. Delivered in two-hour sessions by film making professionals, the subject provides a hands on study of script analysis, screenwriting, directing, cinematography, sound, animation, documentary and directing actors. In some sessions, students will be working in groups, putting theory into practice, including developing script ideas, making short animations, and directing each other in short acting exercises. Finally, students will work in groups to produce a short 3 to 5 minute film from provided scripts, using their own devices for filming and editing.
- Samba Band12.5
This subject gives participants the opportunity for an in-depth practical study of drumming techniques in a large ensemble setting. This percussion based Samba Band will explore diverse rhythms and instruments that form part of Afro-Brazil musical culture as well as percussive material from other Latin American areas. Some of the styles include Carnival Batucada, Samba Reggae, Afro 6/8 and Bomba. Classes will cover techniques on a variety of percussion instruments and the role of the various instruments in the ensemble. The ensemble will rehearse and prepare material conducted and suitable for public performance or recording.
- Free Play New Music Improvisation Ensem12.5
Free Play New Music Improvisation Ensem
This subject gives participants the opportunity for an in-depth practical study of musical improvisation techniques by introducing the participant to the marvellous and unique art of improvisation. This performance-based subject introduces the practice of musical improvisation for those musicians who have had little or no experience in the art of real time creative music-making. Open to any instrumental or voice performer, this ‘free play ensemble’ will open your journey to a new musical freedom.
- Creating Music For Advertising12.5
Creating Music For Advertising
This subject introduces the basics of making music for advertising including, the jingle, sound as persuasion, working to a brief and in a collective, the function of music in advertising and creating music for mass media and multimedia. Creating music for advertising is delivered in two parts: lecture and workshop. Lecture is taught in a large group format and will illuminate the fundamental principles of the use of music in advertising. Workshop is a practical class and provides the opportunity for problem solving through the completion of short assignments and group discussion of issues related to creating music for advertising. During the course students will be required to complete individual tasks and engage in whole group discussion.
- Intimate Acts: Inside The 'Fourth Wall'12.5
Intimate Acts: Inside The 'Fourth Wall'
The Oxford Dictionary defines the fourth wall as ‘the space which separates a performer…from an audience …a conceptual barrier between any fictional work and its readers or viewers’. In this subject we examine and explore the creation of theatre in which the performer engages in a more intimate relationship with the audience, perhaps through creating a sense of complicity with its audience, through direct address, through theatre moving into intimate physical spaces such as private lounge rooms or through combinations of a number of these elements. In this theatre we challenge the notions of what is real and what is representative. The audience is necessarily invited to take on a more active role than does the observer in fourth wall theatre: to be engaged with being within the performance. Lectures and presentations cover a range of works in areas that may be as diverse as cabaret, burlesque, children’s theatre, site-specific private performance and independent theatre and music theatre. Within practical workshops students will explore elements of performance-making such as space, materials, content and rationale. The major assessment task will give students the choice to critically review theatre within this context, to collaborate on the creation of a concept for an intimate theatre work or to perform a small excerpt of a work in progress. These may incorporate dance, spoken text, music, song, light, sound and physical materials or any combinations of these.
- The Art of Game Music12.5
The Art of Game Music
This subject introduces the basics of creating music for video games. Aspects of the function and crafting of music for game use including, sound and visual interactivity, indeterminacy and the music dramatic narrative will be examined. The Art of Game Music is delivered as a lecture and workshop in a large group format and will illuminate the fundamental principles of music for video games. It is also a practical class forum for the workshop of game music tasks and provides the opportunity for the individual development and showing of work and group discussion of issues related to game music. During the course students will be required to engage in whole group discussion and to present complete and ongoing sound for games.
- The Laptop Recording Studio12.5
The Laptop Recording Studio
This subject introduces the basics of sound recording on a laptop computer. Aspects of sound recording including microphone use, recording set up, editing and production will be examined. The Laptop Recording Studio is delivered in two parts: lecture and workshop. Lecture is taught in a large group format and will illuminate the fundamental principles of laptop studio recording. Workshop is a practical class and provides the opportunity for problem solving through the completion of short assignments and group discussion of issues related to laptop studio recording. During the course students will be required to complete individual tasks and engage in whole group discussion.
- Music Theatre: Singing Sondheim12.5
Music Theatre: Singing Sondheim
This subject is an exploration of the works and influences of Stephen Sondheim, one of the most extraordinary composer/lyricists of music theatre, delivered through a weekly 2-hour large ensemble singing class and a one-hour lecture. Most popularly known as the lyricist of West Side Story, Sondheim’s work covers an astonishing range of subject matter, exhibiting song-writing craft that has challenged and ultimately contributed to the development of new forms of music theatre. The practical work, delivered in the supportive environment of singing within a large group, will explore the complexity and joy of Sondheim’s music whilst developing skills in safe voice usage and speech quality as a stylistic choice to privilege the lyric in song. Lectures will focus on the Sondheim’s early influences and the influence he has had on artists like Adam Guettel and Jason Robert Brown, as well as developing an understanding of the stylistic variation in both the form and content of Sondheim’s works. The subject will conclude with a short performance featuring a sample of the repertoire covered. No former singing or musical experience is necessary.
- Music Theatre: Singing the Golden Age12.5
Music Theatre: Singing the Golden Age
This subject is a practical and theoretical exploration of the development of the modern musical from its beginnings in opera and operetta through to the end of what is commonly termed ‘The Golden Age’. A weekly 2-hour large ensemble singing class will explore the music of the period, focusing on the stylistic traits of ‘legit’ singing in music theatre. A one-hour lecture will consider major shows of the period, analysing their cultural context and performance style and examine the emergence and development of the ‘book musical’ with its integration of libretto, song and dance. Other lectures will explore vocal pedagogy, safe voice usage and develop critical listening skills. The subject will conclude with a short performance featuring a sample of the repertoire covered. No former singing or musical experience is necessary.
- Advanced Recording Studio Techniques12.5
Advanced Recording Studio Techniques
This subject builds on the basics of sound recording presented in The Lap Top Recording Studio . Aspects of sound recording including microphone use, mixing, ensemble/band and solo recording, acoustics, recording set up and editing will be examined. Advanced Recording Studio Techniques is delivered in a workshop environment and will practically illuminate the fundamental and advanced principals of mixing and recording engineering. The workshop provides the opportunity for problem solving through the completion of short assignments and group discussion of issues related to advanced studio recording. During the course students will be required to complete individual tasks and engage in whole group discussion.
- R&B, Soul & Gospel Choir12.5
R&B, Soul & Gospel Choir
This subject provides participants with an opportunity for an in-depth practical study of contemporary a cappella singing techniques. Classes focus on developing a personal sound and an understanding of the placement of the voice in an ensemble context, as well as the development of improvisation skills and techniques relevant to the repertoire covered. The styles range from contemporary gospel, r&b, soul, free form experimental and Afro-American chants as well as other related vocal styles.
- Alexander Technique for Performance12.5
Alexander Technique for Performance
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to improve postural support, movement and breathing in daily life and more specifically in functionality as artists in their professional practice as singers, musicians, dancers and actors. Whilst the core of the work will centre on continued development of the fundamental principles of Alexander technique that apply to all movement, students will be encouraged to consider unhelpful patterns of movement and tension that diminish their capacity in the practice of their work, and will at times be invited to bring their own practice-based challenges (eg playing music, dancing, improvising, playing an instrument, scene work) to class to be workshopped. The application of the principles to real-world practice will allow students to consider the benefits of improved functionality of their work as emerging artists. The practical work will be supported by reading materials that address the application of Alexander technique to arts’ practice.
- The Business of Music12.5
The Business of Music
This subject introduces the business practices of the music industry. Aspects of copyright, marketing, law, management, contracts, sales, distribution, ownership, and merchandising will be examined in relation to areas such as touring, recording deals, digital streaming, live performance, music placement in film, TV, sport and advertising, video clips and video games. This subject is delivered as a lecture featuring high-level music industry guests illuminating the fundamentals of the music industry. Each lecture will be assessed by weekly on-line quizzes and students will select one topic for specialisation for the final assignment.
- Improvisation: Text, Space and Action12.5
Improvisation: Text, Space and Action
This subject focuses on the use of improvisation in acting and theatre making processes. The perception and manipulation of text, space and action will form the basis of this studio-based exploration of the art of acting. Areas covered will include experimental physical and vocal improvisation, writing, and composing material for performance. Students will learn to work spontaneously and to use this spontaneity in the theatrical context. The interface between acting skills and their use within other art forms will be explored.
- The Artist's Toolbox12.5
The Artist's Toolbox
Having a “great idea” you want to get off the ground is one thing, being able to effectively describe, promote and manage it, is entirely another. “The Artist's Toolbox” provides aspiring artists, entrepreneurs, and project visionaries of all disciplines, with the management skills required to conceptualise, pitch and manage that “great idea” from concept to delivery. Students will examine typical Arts Management methodologies and identify how these methods can be applied to the planning and delivery of their “great idea”, including how to describe the project, identifying the “audience”, effectively pitching the idea and confidently demonstrating the ability to deliver a defined outcome. The subject is delivered as a series of facilitated workshops including daily student presentations over 5 days, followed by an individually scheduled final pitch presentation.
- Puppets as Storytellers12.5
Puppets as Storytellers
A puppet allows alternative modes of authorship not easily achieved with live actors. This subject will initially examine the history of puppetry as a story telling language including the methods of construction and operation of various styles of puppet. The outcome of allocated research topics will inform the design and construction of a specific puppet character. Students should then apply this research to the design/making process required to make a puppet. The emphasis will be on the animation of the inanimate through the discovery of a “soul”. The puppet must have a purpose for being “alive” a reason to exist, a world to occupy, and a history of experiences to define the character that emerges
Some materials will be provided as part of a materials levy ($50.00 per student) however students will also need to supply specific materials for the realisation of their individual designed puppet in addition to this fee. Costs will vary depending on materials selected.
- Design and the Moving Image12.5
Design and the Moving Image
Through a five day intensive, this subject investigates how design can be used to bring greater meaning, depth and emotion to stories told through the medium of film.
We consider how design works by looking at visual language, colour theory, composition and metaphor. The role of the Production Designer will be outlined and the motivating factors behind the decisions they make will be identified. Students will be introduced to the processes designers use to generate ideas and then develop them into detailed design concepts.
This subject will also focus on some of the ways in which these design concepts are realised. You will learn about the various roles within the Art Department as well as the nature of how a Production Designer collaborates with other key creative personnel, including the Director and Cinematographer.
- Bollywood: a cross-disciplinary study12.5
Bollywood: a cross-disciplinary study
Indian commercial cinema, affectionately if ignorantly called 'Bollywood' by the West, typically produces extraordinary spectacles of colour, music and dance, whether telling stories of comedy or drama. This subject explores Bollywood film and dance through a blended learning model, with contact hours comprising viewing of films and online lectures with embodied learning through practical rehearsal and performance of Bollywood style dance pieces. Lectures will analyse the ‘rasas’ (or rules) that guide the storytelling in film, and their basis on nine key emotional states. Students will combine this critical understanding with their experience of learning Bollywood dance to undertake a practical creative task. Film screenings will be provided in a cinema and students are strongly advised to attend these to experience them as a community, as is traditional, though they may choose to view them in their own time. The subject objectives are two-fold: to learn about the world’s largest film industry, ‘Bollywood’, through an in-depth study of some of its outstanding examples and to explore and understand the efficacy and inter-relatedness of different ways of learning (critical/analytical, creative practice, embodied knowledge and critical self-reflection).