Using Body Language in Camera Acting

Using Body Language in Camera Acting – Intensive Weekend with Nick Dong-Sik
10 – 6 pm Saturday & Sunday 25-26 January, 2014
This intensive weekend is focused on using body language in camera acting. In acting training there is often such a focus on emotion, thought-process and text-analysis that the body sometimes gets left behind. The results may be that an actor steps on set feeling fully prepared, but as soon as the circumstances are less than ideal, they feel unable to fully ‘deliver’. This course fills the gap: the actor may not be able to control their emotions or thoughts, but can always control their body movements.
Body language plays a decisive part in the communication. Unlike words or even facial expressions, the body always tells the truth. So it is essential for an actor not only to know their own body language, but to be able to use it consciously, deliberately and in various ways. Not only is the largest part of communication already non-verbal, but body-language can also prepare, enhance, add to or substitute the spoken words, i.e. the lines.

Day 1: learn how to master your physical expression in a scene through different formats – master shot, close up, detail shot etc. – and camera movements – parallel and circle tracking, pans and tilts. Train to adapt and scale your body movements to the frame in order to have maximum screen presence, enabling you to maintain perfect continuity while still working moment-to-moment with emotional authenticity.
Day 2: learn to create truthful emotional expression under any circumstances, through minimal shifts in the body. The movements in these exercises are so minute that the camera hardly detects them at all, but the effect they create on screen is enormous. They can be applied to any format and be repeated precisely for every new take. Learn for example, how to clearly establish specific kinds of relationships within seconds – from business partners to intimate lovers – and how to master even extremely difficult scenes, such as examinations or physical threats.

Nick Dong-Sik

Nick was born in South Korea, but has lived in Germany since his childhood. He trained as an actor at the Drama Centre “Schauspiel München“ and the “Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen“ in Munich, Germany. He has worked as an actor in national and international films like “Within the Whirlwind“ alongside Emily Watson, Ian Hart and Ben Miller, in “Buddha’s Little Finger“ with Tobey Kebbell, and “Iron Sky“ with Udo Kier. He designed the concept of the first film-acting school in Germany in 2004. Since then he has coached many actors for films and TV series. He is currently the creative director of the “First Take Filmschauspielakademie“ in Cologne, teaching on-camera workshops in Cologne, Berlin und London. He has trained professors of Open Universities for their video tutorials and prepared school teachers for their film-acting classes. He has coached professional models and dancers for their commercials and videos, and directed two commercials himself, as well as over 50 showreel-scenes for professional actors.
Through the experience of working with many film actors and spending countless hours on set himself, Nick has developed his own acting technique especially for working in front of the camera. It is based on physical expression and body language, which can be trained to a point where the expression of the role is completely independent of the actor’s private emotional state, his form on the day or the abilities of his scene-partner. Nick’s “body-shifting” technique enables the actor to create truthful moments in front of the camera under any circumstances and to repeat them precisely for as many takes as neccessary. The technique also enables actors to scale their physical expression for different formats, perspectives and camera movements.