TAKE ACTION is a creative gym, in which working filmmakers and actors meet weekly to expand their on-camera skill set, try out new material, and explore ways to collaborate more effectively - all in a nurturing, fertile environment. We now meet exclusively online, until it's safe to meet in person. There are 3 separate weekly sections: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-8PM EST; Saturdays 2-7 EST. One doesn't need to be present the entire time. While most enjoy staying to watch the work and participate in the discussion, one need be present only for the duration of their scene work.
TAKE ACTION is for film directors and writers looking to get new material on its feet; for actors to expand their on-camera skillset; for theater directors, actors and playwrights to expand their reach from the stage and the page; for writers and documentary directors to learn how to stage and guide actors; and for all to explore ways, with my input, to collaborate more effectively.
Our NY members have been cited in the NYTimes as a "reason to be grateful for the arts in '17." Our directors have been nominated for Oscars and Emmys; won Best Film awards at major festivals across the world; had commercial feature releases and Sundance premieres.
Our actors have been nominated for SAG awards; won Emmys; starred or co-starred in projects made by such world-class filmmakers as Joel & Ethan Coen, Jane Campion, Zhang Yimou, David Gordon Green, and Woody Allen; been on pretty much every TV series shooting on the East Coast; starred on and offBroadway; or are starting out but show great promise. And many, through their experience with us, are now proving to be triple-threats: directing, producing, and writing their own webseries and short films.
Every member participates in all sessions, during which each scene is rehearsed and then shot with an aim of capturing it at peak performance. A technical challenge will be added to mirror on-set issues. The resulting footage is distributed to all participants for further examination.
Performance is essential to a successful film, yet directors often go years without working with actors, waiting until their next film gets a green light. Weekly sessions with a wide range of accomplished actors helps them up their game, enabling them to speak most any actor's language. This proves invaluable in establishing an immediate, strong connection during initial meetings, rehearsals, and on set.
The same holds true for actors. TAKE ACTION has all the benefits of both a camera technique class and a scene study class, with additional bonuses. Taking class with Jon and a wide range of directors makes actors more adept on set, at auditions, and in rehearsal. They learn to take greater control of their own process, with many members expanding into producing, directing, &/or writing their own projects.
During each session, practical topics are discussed, such as what directors can do when an actor doesn't seem to be responding to notes and what actors can do when they disagree with a director's note. Members learn that a major key to a constructive collaboration is understanding what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes - whether that's the character in the script or the person on the other side of the camera. To that end, efforts will be made to give actors a chance to direct; directors, act; and writers and DPs, both direct and act.
The workshop will meet once a week at 890 Broadway, between 19th and 20th, Studio 8 on the 5th fl. Participants pay $100/4 sessions. We are usually at capacity but keep a waitlist and will reach out when a monthly member withdraws for an individual session. The fee for a single session is $30, pay when you wish. Members and waitlisters, once confirmed for a session, may withdraw for credit until 72 hours before a session. After that, members may replace themselves, subject to approval. I will also try to find a sub from the waitlist. But within that 3 day window, if no one steps forward, the participant is responsible for payment.
Participation is by invitation. Send word on your interest through the contact page and we'll take it from there. Please be prepared to send links to filmed material &/or schedule a phone meeting.
To express interest or ask questions:
Photo by Jim Fields