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CUA51020 - Diploma of Screen and Media: Acting for Film

Two NYFA Australia students are filmed playing guitar near a graffitied wall

Diploma of Screen and Media: Acting for Film


New York Film Academy Australia delivers the nationally recognised program CUA51020 - Diploma of Screen and Media with selected subjects focusing on acting. Our programs are unlike any other actor training programs in the world: cutting-edge explorations into the art and practice of acting for the screen.

What makes our Acting Programs unique?

Practical Hands-On Experience
The best way to learn how to act in films is to actually act in films. Our students begin acting in front of the camera from the first week of the program. Every week, students get the opportunity to practice the techniques and skills they have gained in class with exercises that are shot and reviewed.

Professional Faculty
Our instructors have extensive experience both nationally and internationally on TV and film, and are professional actors in their own right.

Film Productions
Many of our programs feature the production of short films or scenes that are created by and star our acting students. These are shot and edited together and may be used for students' own reels.

Filmmaking Resources
Our Acting for Film and Filmmaking programs work hand-in-hand, providing all of our students with resources such as film equipment, live film shoots, and a network of filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, and editors that are developed before entering the real world.

Reel Materials
We provide all of our students with shot and edited materials that are suitable to put on an actor's reel.


The first semester concentrates on building a foundation in the craft of acting, using training techniques rooted in the theater but applicable to screen acting. Students participate in a broad array of core acting classes that introduce them to finding the actor within, while simultaneously training their instrument to do the kind of technical, emotional, and physical work necessary for film acting. Since we believe that film actors also benefit immeasurably from working in front of a live audience, in addition to work in front of the camera, training in the first semester builds towards a live performance.

Learning Goals

  1. Explore and learn the principles of acting technique.
  2. Learn the vocabulary of filmmaking for actors.
  3. Become familiarized with the logistics of performance on a film set.
  4. Recognise the differences between film acting and stage performance.
  5. Understand how to break down a scene and analyze a character.

Performance Goals

  1. Rehearse and tape film scenes to be analyzed and critiqued in class.
  2. Break down, analyze, and rehearse a selected monologue and perform it in front of a live audience.


In the second semester, the core acting classes continue as the students' focus intensifies on applying the techniques they have learned to more elaborate scene work, on camera exercises, and film shoots-all designed to develop and hone their screen-acting ability. All students perform in film or video shoots, oftentimes, original work that was created and developed by the students in collaboration with their instructors. In addition, a variety of screen and media classes are given to broaden students' knowledge of acting techniques, the film business, and the many different aspects of filmmaking that impact the actor's ability to perform on set.

Learning Goals

  1. Learn to work for directors with varying styles on live film sets.
  2. Gain knowledge of the demands upon the actor on film productions.
  3. Learn how to prepare for and present yourself for auditions.
  4. Understand the business of the acting craft.


  1. Perform scenes and workshop exercises developed and rehearsed through instruction in various acting techniques.
  2. Develop, rehearse, and perform in a fully-realized film scene shot in the studio or on location.
  3. Screen selected scenes in a theater at the end of the semester for an audience of cast, crew, friends, and family.


Interested students are invited to complete the application form, with a statement of purpose, and attend an interview to determine entrance to the program.

Additional Acting Program Offerings at NYFA Australia

  1. CUA60620 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media - Acting for Film
  2. Short-Term Acting for Film Workshops

Course Descriptions

Safety on Set
Technique and Scene Study I
Voice and Speech
Acting for Film I
Cinema Studies
Acting For Film II
The Freelancer
Business of Acting
Writing for Actors
Technique and Scene Study II

Safety on Set

  CUAPPR505 - Establish and maintain safe creative practice
The purpose of this subject is to teach the student to determine work health and safety requirements in a given environment and occupation, to help them identify hazards and assess and manage risks, and to monitor and enhance safety of their practice. Having sound practical knowledge of safety is paramount for film sets and sound stages.
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Technique and Scene Study I

  BSBCRT501 - Originate and develop concepts
In this subject, students learn a variety of acting techniques and creative approaches to deliver truthful and original performances. Students will develop the ability to communicate emotions without self-consciousness, judgement, or ego; using impulses, instincts and creative intuition to engage with scripts; and maintain a character’s point-of-view for the duration of a performance.

In order to set and achieve artistic goals, students will apply these acting techniques in the performance of monologues and scenes.  The effectiveness of their creative choices will be critiqued and evaluated under the supervision of the trainers. The aim is to generate story material and characters that are personal and engaging, whilst learning to respond to feedback and ideas in a constructive manner.
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Voice and Speech

  CUAAIR401 Conduct interviews, CUAAIR501 Explore issues on air
This course will begin with an individual vocal appraisal by the trainer and assessor as the students perform various vocal texts. This will be followed by multiple vocal awareness exercises before moving onto multiple vocal resonance techniques to maximise the chances of achieving the desired vocal goals and aspirations. Students will then demonstrate their own daily vocal practice before providing a post-performance self-evaluation on the effectiveness of their own sustained practice.

Working with a speech specialist, students will develop speech skills through a variety of techniques before studying different Australian and American dialects to develop expertise in applying accents for the local and overseas market and identifying popular trends in the industry. Students will apply the speech techniques through a range of practical and theory-based activities.
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Acting for Film I

 CUADRT501 Direct rehearsal of performers, CUARES402 Conduct research
This course will develop the skills and knowledge required to articulate creative ideas for scene work in a professional film environment, as well as introduce students to pre-production planning of their own creative work. Students will learn the terminology used on a professional film set and the various roles involved.

The work will be based on the student’s ability to build skills and knowledge required to actively plan and deliver an industry-standard scene by compiling all necessary production schedules.

Students will break down the requirements for resources, including time and finance, and they will learn to identify risk management within the production schedule to allow for potential contingencies planning within project parameters.

Furthermore, students will compare, contrast, present debate and rework artistic theories and practices in film and television, with the aim of generating story material that is unique, original and of high quality in both its depth and meaning, whilst encouraging the student to elaborate on responses to questions and ideas with confidence.
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  CUAPRF414 - Develop movement skills for performance
In this class, students will study and practice movement and how it pertains to performance. Students will explore physical practices to aid them in communicating creative choices through characterisation. By identifying physical limitations, the actor can use techniques to better their practice and broaden their skills and abilities. Under guidance of their instructor and through concentrated practice, this subject will help the students develop movement techniques, as well as develop realistic goals and aspirations for their physical ability.
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Cinema Studies

  BSBCMM401 - Make a presentation
This subject teaches students to identify the techniques used by cinematic innovators throughout the history of filmmaking. Through screenings and discussions, students will grow to understand how filmmakers and actors have approached the great challenge of telling stories with moving images from silent films to the digital age. The course explores ways that the crafts of directing (particularly shot construction), cinematography, acting, and editing have developed. Students are then challenged to place themselves within that development with regard to their on-going acting projects.
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Acting For Film II

  CUAPPR405 - Develop and Discuss ideas for own Creative Work, CUADRT502 - Direct Performers for Screen Productions
This subject focuses on enabling students to develop their creative ideas and methods through research, discussion, and specific teaching practicums in the creative field of acting for film. In order to understand the collaborative relationship that exists between a director and actor, students will undertake ‘directing’ other performers.

A film is driven by ideas, and it is the director who is ultimately responsible for the on-screen realisation of those ideas. They present a vision, establish outcomes, and then employ a variety of techniques and practices at every stage of a film’s creation.

Therefore, students will study the fundamentals of the director's palette, including camera placement, blocking, staging, and visual image design, to learn the basic building blocks of visual storytelling and how this affects an actor’s choices in performance. In addition, they’ll learn that the success of any production, is based on the collaboration, instructions, vision, and the engagement the director has with their crew and cast. Ultimately what they’ll discover is that a thorough investigation of the fundamental tools of direction, and looking at the world through the director’s lens will facilitate them to evolve and thrive in a professional environment and achieve their creative objectives as an actor.
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The Freelancer

  CUAIND412 Provide Freelance Services
In this class, students will learn the art of becoming an actor for hire including how to promote and manage themselves and how to maintain their craft skills and development between jobs. They will also learn about the variety of possible work for actors, such as podcast and voice-over work, as they learn to broaden their aspirations.
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Business of Acting

  CUAIND502 - Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge
Successful actors understand the parameters of their industry and know good brand management skills are a key to having a successful career. The Business of Acting subject has been designed to empower students to achieve their professional objectives within the acting industry through the tools of building arts industry knowledge and managing their own professional practice.

In-class lectures and case studies will provide students with insight into current and emerging industry protocols and networks. Building on this basis, students will be required to research areas of the industry relevant to their own creative and professional goals. Students will create strategies for building their own practice and profile, in the form of a business plan which they will develop under the supervision of their trainer.
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Writing for Actors

  CUAWRT502 Develop storylines and treatments, CUAIND402 Write extended stories
In this subject, students will explore storytelling techniques and conventions, as well as the production processes and partnerships involved in the successful development of extended stories and screenplays. Delivering ideas from concept, to proposal, right through to realisation, is the objective of this subject delivery. This insight into the writing process assists students in understanding script analysis as an actor.

Writing for Actors will provide students with the concepts to develop storylines, treatments, screenplays, and realise documents which are specifically moulded to the cinematic medium. Students will develop comprehension of cinematic techniques and dramatic conventions through the analysis of pre-existing film works. Also, students learn the functions of key creative and production roles involved in the development and actualisation of a film, delivering this knowledge through written assignments and audio-visual presentations.

This knowledge will then be applied to the creation of an original film concept, which students will deliver in extended forms including a synopsis, treatment, screenplay, and oral pitch. Furthermore, students work in teams to apply their knowledge of key development and production partnerships within a film production then deliver a proposal for an original film concept that can be realised utilising relevant cinematic techniques and conventions.
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Technique and Scene Study II

  CUAWRT403 Write narration and material for current affairs, features and documentaries.
To work in a collaborative medium like film and television, it is necessary that actors develop a strong sense of positive and affirming interpersonal skills when dealing with all levels of production personnel. Working through techniques and scenes, this subject will aid the actor in developing professional workplace attitudes, as well as the organisational practices to manage rehearsals and achieve their creative goals in the industry. These practices are incorporated into a devised piece/adaptation for filming.
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Gold Coast Campus: Southport Central Towers, Central 2E, 5 Lawson Street, Southport QLD 4215 | Tel. +61 7 5555 1300

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