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When:   January 4, 2011 7:00pm-9:30pm
Where:   OttersonTV Studio
251 West 30th Street, Suite 14W
NYC 10001
Price:   $20 for you and your scene partner or $10 each
Type:   Arts

On Camera Workshop for the Actor


On camera workshops are everywhere. Sporadically over the last ten years I've had one that gives participants more on camera time than most. I'm going to begin new sessions on Jan. 4.  I'm also doing this to help hone my own on camera skills by working with accomplished actors.


It's helpful to get instant feedback from the videotape. You walk with a VHS and can access the Digital tape for your use for reels or whatever. You will also be taught the basics of camera work, framing and composition.


We'll be using small pro camcorders. They're easier to use and I've found that newbie camera ops are more able to achieve good composition with them than with the studio rigs that I have. They allow the camera ops (often you when you're not acting) to reframe and compensate for actors' movements during a scene.


During each scene, each camera is recorded in its entirety without switching so all of your performance will be on your tape. When played back immediately after the scene is shot, both actors will be seen on separate side by side screens. The other actors present in the workshop watch as you perform. They view your performance two ways, live and/or the live pictures from the cameras on the monitors.


Once you see your work, you'll perform again later in the evening or immediately after incorporating whatever changes you wish to make in your performance. Sometimes other participants may offer constructive comments about your work.  Depending on the number of participants, it's possible for you to do your scene several times in one evening.


All of your work will be on your tape for you to study later or to share with other professionals you know to get their opinions on it.  Scenes should be short - around three minutes - sometimes up to five minutes, but short is good.


Once we have worked together for a while, I might put a pamphlet together on how we do this that might be published. It could help other actors set up their own on camera workshop.


I want to get a group of up to 20 who'll take part when they can. Out of that 20, we might get 6 to 8 in any week on the night we decide upon. We need at least four participants in any session.  Two will shoot and two will perform and then switch. Those who have performed could become camera operators or watch the monitors as others perform. There's a lot to be learned in watching others act. The short comments after scenes are played back should also be a learning experience for all participants.  If you are participating in the workshop, you'll be expected to be in for the two to three hour sessions. Please don't expect to show up just to do your scene and then leave.


Here are some answers to the many questions Ive been receiving:


The address is:


Otterson TV

251 West 30th Street

Suite 14W

NYC   10001


Once again, the total charge for you and your scene partners is $20 per session.

Thats $10 each.


It will take place on Tuesdays at 7PM.  We are considering running it on other days such as Mondays and will entertain suggestions for other days as well.


The workshop is set-up for two character scenes.  You will be expected to be off book.  Those that aren't will be expected to learn their lines by the following week.


Some of our screenwriters have scenes they would like to see performed and videotaped.  Well put you in touch. 


If you bring a monologue, you'll get one run through of it.


You'll be expected to participate for the 2 ˝ to 3 hours of the workshop.


You will be given basic instruction in camera operation and are expected to run a camera at times during the workshop.


You will be given a VHS tape.  It will be used to record your on camera work.  Please bring it to each session.


If you don't have a VHS machine to play it, I'll give you one.


You will do your scene and then it will be played back on side by side monitors.  You will be seen on one and your partner will be on the other.  The monitors will be arranged in such a way that you and your scene partner's images will face each other.


That's why I want simple blocking at the beginning.  If you want to sit, that is fine.


Keep you scenes under 5 minutes.


Those who have brought two character scenes and are off book will always be given preference.  It is possible for you to run your 2 character scene several times and try it different ways in one session.


Well often have screenwriters and filmmakers working with us who will be looking to cast their projects.


Additional Info/Contact:
If you wish to participate, email: This email address is hidden from email harvesters via JavaScript or call 212 695-7417