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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

Acting for Film I
Voice and Speech
Technique and Scene Study I
Technique and Scene Study II
Safety on Set
Acting For Film II
Business of Acting

Acting for Film I

 CUADRT511 Direct rehearsal of performers, CUADRT512 Direct performers for screen productions
This course introduces students to the skills necessary for creating a fully realised performance on camera.The primary emphasis of the class is two-fold: a study of film terminology and set etiquette and an introduction to the acting challenges unique to the art of cinema, such as shot size and how it relates to performance, continuity, hitting a mark, eye line, and the importance of subtlety and nuance. Students will learn the terminology used on a professional film set and the various roles involved.

In order to understand the collaborative relationship between a director and actor, students will be directing scenes, rehearsing scenes and performing in scenes. 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.
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Voice & Speech

 CUAAIR411 Plan and conduct interviews, CUAAIR511 Conduct discussion forums on-air
This course gives students the tools to explore basic elements of clear and understandable speech. 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.

In this course, students will hone a vocal technique that is open, free, flexible, lively, and possessing an extensive and colourful range, while also identifying habits that may impact the connection between the body and the voice.
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Technique & Scene Study I

 CUAPPR415 Develop and discuss ideas for own creative work
Technique & Scene Study I provides students with the preparatory building blocks, which lay a solid foundation from which to go deeper into the craft. Students learn and research a variety of acting techniques and creative approaches to deliver truthful and original performances. Students learn to analyze scripts and break them down into units or ‘beats’. They develop a solid grounding in establishing a character based on their own experiences and imagination. In the course, they will begin to understand the differences between techniques and personal processes. The focus of Technique & Scene Study I is process not product. In order to set and achieve artistic goals, students will apply these acting techniques in the performance of both contemporary and classical monologues.
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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. 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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  CUAPPR411 Realise a creative project, CUAWRT512 Develop storylines and treatments, CUAWRT401 Edit texts, CUAPOS511 Edit complex media productions
In this intensive class, students learn the process of film craft from beginning to end. Learning the role of each key player on a film set dramatically increases the actor’s ability to collaborate with filmmakers to develop dynamic performances. In this course, students explore filmmaking through classes on directing, cinematography, producing, screenwriting, and editing. Students participate in an in-class shoot, utilizing skills gained in the course.
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Technique and Scene Study II

  CUARES412 Conduct Research
Technique & Scene Study II continues the exploration of sensory awareness, creative choice-making, individual performance elements, and relaxation through exercises designed to enhance the student’s ability to synthesize their own practical techniques for performance on screen or stage. 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 live performance. Students will conduct character research and other research to aid in developing and improving performance.
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Safety on Set

  CUAPPR515 - Establish and maintain safe creative practice
Whether actors are on a studio set or on location they may be exposed to a range of hazards not found in a traditional working environment. This course will equip students with sound knowledge on how to identify hazards and assess and manage risks, and monitor and enhance safety in their practice.
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Acting For Film II

  CUAPRF513 Prepare for and perform in competitive environments.
Students apply training learned in term one to more advanced on-camera exercises focused on finding the arc of the character and learning to maintain the integrity of the script while shooting out of sequence. Students prepare scripts and digitally tape scenes to be screened for critique in class by their instructor. Emphasis is placed on the actor’s work in pre-production and preparation of a role in a professional setting. The course culminates in an on-location shoot with a professional production crew and professional post-production.
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Business of Acting

  CUAIND512 – Enhance professional practice using creative arts industry knowledge, CUAIND412 Provide Freelance Services
Students will learn best practices and current trends in headshots, resumes, representation, reels, and casting. Students are introduced to contemporary marketing skills and tools and learn the processes for contact with casting directors and agents, as well as the proper etiquette for dealing with industry professionals during the audition and interview process. Students will also learn the art of becoming an actor for hire: how to promote and manage themselves; 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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Gold Coast Campus: Southport Central Towers, Central 2E, 5 Lawson Street, Southport QLD 4215 | Tel. +61 7 5555 1300

For Australian locations: All programs and workshops are solely owned and operated by the New York Film Academy Australia and are not affiliated with Village Roadshow Studios or Warner Bros Movie World.
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