Considering smart phones shoot 4K video, HD cameras are relatively accessible, either for purchase or for rental, social media provides distribution channels and direct audience engagement, and film festivals across the world are interested in finding the next Spielberg, there’s no reason not to showcase your talent and shoot your own content today.
In 2015, Mark Duplass delivered a keynote at SXSW. In his state of the independent film speech, he encouraged the audience to write their own content saying, ‘There’s no excuse not to make films on weekends with friends.”
But what to write? Where to start? How to start? Therein lies the challenge for many actors. Is there a way to goose the creative muse? Yes, there is. In the Sunday Advanced AdlerImprov class, we access spontaneity, presence and intuition using Viola Spolin’s games as the key to unlocking creativity. By directing your whole body on the focus of the game, creativity explodes.
My long time collaborator and good friend, Mike Stutz, recently taught a six week content creation workshop at the AdlerImprov Acting Studio. Stutz is a writer, producer and director. His recent short, Fat Lamb, featured several AdlerImprov Acting Studio members. Studio members also helped him workshop his Sex, Meds & NPR scripts.
Similar to Viola’s games, Stutz uses Viewpoints as a catalyst for generating ideas, creating work, and staging it. The beauty of his writing workshop is the majority of it is spent on your feet. It’s a physical class. By identifying spatiality, using gestures, saying the first thought without censor or editing, etc. provides rich launching points for scenes and the relationships within them. By focusing on moving and following direction, it alleviates a lot of the creative pressure to generate content. Instead, the content seems to write itself. Certainly honing, polishing and editing are necessary, but generating the content itself can happen rather smoothly.
Each week, Stutz offered a new set of tools, building progressively off the previous week’s work. To put the tools in practice, students were challenged with writing a new two page scene or monologue each week. The final class featured staged reading’s of each student’s work – some monologues, some scenes.
The workshop was a resounding success! We are already looking at offering the workshop again in the fall.
To learn more about this workshop or the other classes and workshops at AdlerImprov Acting Studio, please contact us.