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5-Day Travis Technique Intensive Workshop for Directors

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DEGNZ invites New Zealand directors to apply for a 5-Day Travis Technique Intensive from August 14 – 18 in Auckland. The workshop is designed to fully immerse a small number of directors (max. 5) into STORY (Autobiographical Storytelling), CHARACTERS (Interrogation Process) and STAGING (Power of Placement). By practicing The Travis Technique on a story from their own life, directors will gain the confidence to apply their new skills to their own projects right away.

Based in California, Mark Travis trains directors in The Travis Technique worldwide.

Go beyond result directing and venture into inspired and impactful collaboration with your characters

The greatest obstacle for directors and actors is their desire to control the characters. Directors control by demanding results. Actors control by planning their performances, thereby effectively blocking the characters from emerging freely and organically.

The problem is that most directors are not given the training in how to engage with actors in a creative and collaborative way. Without these skills for inspiring and supporting the actors, directors will revert to result directing. This forces actors to fabricate the emotions and attitudes they think will please the director.

With The Travis Technique, directors can bring out the characters’ emotional truths from the actors without falling back on result directing. Actors can release their characters from within – complex and unpredictable, lusting and tumbling through the drama of their lives. Even the most vanilla scenes will start to breathe and pulse.

Once directors and actors have worked together in rehearsal, exploring the characters’ relationships and dynamics in the scenes, the quality of performances will be markedly heightened. During production, multiple takes can be tweaked quickly and efficiently, saving time and money.

“I love working with Mark. It’s as if he opens the top of my head and rummages around in there until all my internal voices are alive and conflict… then he calls action. I can’t plan or play it safe, I am forced to exist in the moment. It’s a gift for an actor.”

Tandi Wright
Tandi WrightActor (Nothing Trivial, Daffodils)

“I was fortunate enough to attend a 10 day intensive Mark Travis technique in [Los Angeles]. I found the workshop immensely beneficial. Especially in regards to workshopping characters, deepening my script and also blocking scenes in a more dynamic and interesting way.”

Zoe McIntosh
Zoe McIntoshDirector (The World in Your Window)

Our Tutors

MARK W. TRAVIS is one of the world’s leading authorities on the art of film directing, writing and storytelling. On-stage, he has directed over 60 theatre productions in Los Angeles and New York. Author of two important books on filmmaking and winner of over 30 directorial awards in theater, Mark Travis has developed a fresh and innovative approach to writing and directing that cuts to the living and breathing core of every story, script and character. Mark has taught his dynamic Travis Technique at over 50 film schools and director’s guilds around the world. Affectionately called “the director’s director,” Mark is in constant demand to consult on film projects worldwide.

ELSHA TAYA BOHNERT is an award-winning artist and poet, and the author of Don’t Trip over the Garden Hose (Deuxmers, 2013). Elsha has been a longtime student of Mark Travis’ autobiographical storytelling workshops in Hawai`i and is the only person authorized by him to teach it. With her background in multicultural learning and narrative medicine, she helps students learn The Travis Technique through playful and provocative games. “You have to be like an ancient four-year-old,” she says, “clueless and wise about the enchanted worlds we come from and still carry around in our bodies.”

Workshop Details

When: 14 – 18 August, Wed to Sun 9am – 6pm

Where: Samoa House, The Actors’ Program, 283 Karangahape Rd, Auckland

Price (Usually $4000 USD): 
DEGNZ member – $500
Non-member – $1000

Eligibility

To be considered for the course, directors must meet ONE of the following:

  • You’re in advanced development on a feature film (can be a debut feature).
  • You’re attached to direct scripted drama that’s likely to go into production.
  • You have directed on a feature film, scripted drama or telefeature.

What you will need

Selected directors will need to begin preparation two months prior in order to be best prepared to get the most out of the Intensive. Prep will begin with the assignment of writing a short 3-minute autobiographical story. Mark and Elsha will work with each director to develop the characters and deepen their story ahead of the workshop.

Note: Any work done by the directors will be observed in a supportive, collegial environment. This workshop will be open to observation by a modest-sized group of actors and fellow DEGNZ members.

To Apply

Application Deadline: 9AM, Monday 17 June 2019

STEP 1: Submit your details using the form below.

STEP 2: Send in one PDF to tema@degnz.co.nz:

  • your bio, and
  • a brief, maximum 1-page letter that explains why you would like to participate. If you are in development, please provide details of the project, including what stage it’s in and key people.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

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This workshop is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC

Auckland – Rehearsal & Performance with Actor/Director Jackie van Beek

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Rehearsal & Performance logo

The Rehearsal & Performance series provides regular opportunities for directors and actors to practise their craft. Each workshop brings in an experienced moderator to guide participants as they explore a workshop scene in groups (one director, two actors) in a safe and non-pressured environment.

DEGNZ is pleased to announce Jackie van Beek for the first Rehearsal & Performance in 2019.

When: Sat 6 April, 9am – 2pm
Where: MTG RM, 2 Kingsland Tce, Kingsland, Auckland

Moderator

Jackie van BeekJackie van Beek is a New Zealand actor/writer/director. As an actor she is best known for her role as the desperate familiar in Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s vampire documentary, What We Do in the Shadows, inept television producer, Pauline, in TV3s Funny Girls and the straight-talking Gloria in Australia’s Channel 7 show 800 Words.

Her first feature film, The Inland Road, premiered in competition at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival. Her second feature film The Breaker Upperers (created with co-writer/director/actor Madeleine Sami) premiered to rave reviews at SXSW, opened the Sydney Film Festival and recently sold to Netflix US. Jackie is a director on television spin-offs Wellington Paranormal (NZ) and What We Do in the Shadows (US) and is currently in post-production on Educators, an improvised comedy she co-created with Jesse Griffin and Jonny Brugh for TVNZ OnDemand.

Preparation

Selected directors and actors will be expected to do some script prep beforehand. DEGNZ will provide the scene at least one week in advance.

Register your interest

Registrations close Sunday 24 March.

Spots are limited to four directors and eight actors. If your name is selected, DEGNZ will contact you directly to confirm your participation. Only members of DEGNZ and Equity NZ are eligible to register.

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The Rehearsal & Performance series is hosted by Directors & Editors Guild of NZ with the support of Equity New Zealand and funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.

Auckland – Rehearsal & Performance with Actor/Director Kathy McRae

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Rehearsal & Performance logo

Rehearsal & Performance is a hands-on workshop focused on assisting directors and actors to work better collaboratively to achieve great on screen performances.

Guided by actor/director Kathy McRae, participants will explore a workshop scene in groups (one director, two actors) in a safe and non-pressured environment. Lunch is provided.

We are excited to have Kathy back to lead Rehearsal & Performance in Auckland following fantastic response to her facilitation in Christchurch earlier this year.

Kathy McRaeKathy McRae has over 20 years of directing experience under her belt. Initially trained as an actor at Toi Whakaari, Kathy began directing theatre in 1997. She directed for South Pacific Pictures for seven years working on Shortland Street, Go Girls and Nothing Trivial and she directed for the second series of Filthy Rich. Her short film Abandon Ship was chosen for TIFFKids as well as other international festivals.

She recently made a return to acting, portraying convicted murderer Helen Milner in telefeature Catching the Black Widow, and in 2017 she directed A Doll’s House at Circa Theatre, Emily Perkin’s modern adaptation of Ibsen’s original play. Over the last few years she has also been writing and teaching directing and screen-acting.

When: Sun 4 November, 9am – 2pm
Where: DEGNZ, Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Register your interest

Registrations close Wednesday 24 October, 10AM.

Spots are limited to four directors and eight actors. If your name is selected, DEGNZ will contact you directly to confirm your participation. Only members of DEGNZ and Equity NZ are eligible to register.

Preparation

Selected directors and actors will be expected to do some script prep beforehand. DEGNZ will provide the scene at least one week in advance.

 

The Rehearsal & Performance series is hosted by Directors & Editors Guild of NZ with the support of Equity New Zealand and funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.

 

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Rehearsal Dynamics with Jennifer Ward-Lealand

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Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Call for Applications. DEGNZ invites directors to apply now for Rehearsal Dynamics, taught by New Zealand actor Jennifer Ward-Lealand. This 1-day workshop will be held in Auckland on Saturday 22 September.

Deepening and Enriching the Actor’s Performance

At Rehearsal Dynamics, five participants will direct actors in short scenes under the guidance of Jennifer Ward-Lealand. There will be a strong emphasis on identifying craft to aid the rehearsal process and developing a language to confidently engage with actors.

Five directors will be selected to participate. In addition, DEGNZ will offer up to seven directors a place in the workshop as an active observer. Observers will also have the opportunity to learn practical knowledge and a vocabulary for working with actors.

Participating directors will be sent the script at least two weeks ahead of the workshop.

About Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Since training at Auckland’s influential Theatre Corporate, Jennifer has worked extensively in theatre, film, television, musical and radio for over 35 years. Jennifer is one of New Zealand’s most recognisable acting talents and a respected theatre director. She has taught for The Actors’ Program, Toi Whakaari and NASDA.

Jennifer is currently President of Equity New Zealand, Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of Arts Regional Trust and Actors Benevolent Fund. In the 2007 New Years Honours List, she was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre and the community.

 

When: Saturday 22 September, 9am – 5pm

Where: Q Theatre, Vault, 305 Queen Street, Auckland 1010

A travel allowance is available for selected Participants travelling from out of Auckland who are DEGNZ members.

Cost (lunch included):

DEGNZ members            Participant/Observer – Free
Non-members                 Participant – $100, Observer – $50

To Apply

Applicants must be comfortable with participating in front of their peers.

Successful Participant applicants will have experience directing narrative short films and have a narrative feature film in active development.

Application Deadline: 10AM, Monday 3 September

STEP 1: Submit the form below.

STEP 2: Upload your application files. You will be redirected after Step 1 to the File Upload page. Submit before the deadline:

  • your CV/filmography with links to samples of your work
  • the logline and short synopsis of your feature film in active development, and
  • a maximum one-page letter explaining why you would like to participate.

Late applications will not be accepted.

 

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This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC

Wellington – Rehearsal & Performance with Director/Producer Simon Bennett

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Rehearsal & Performance logo

Rehearsal & Performance is a practical half-day workshop focused on developing directors and actors’ tools to build better director/actor relationships for on-screen results.

Guided by director/producer Simon Bennett, participants will explore a scene in groups (one director, two actors) in a safe and non-pressured environment. Lunch is provided.

Simon Bennett

Simon Bennett / photo courtesy of Amanda Billing

Simon Bennett has worked extensively as a stage and screen director and producer since graduating from Toi Whakaari in 1988. In 1995, he moved into television work: first directing, then producing Shortland Street.

In the years since, Simon’s directing highlights have included five seasons of Outrageous Fortune (for which he won an Achievement in Directing award in the 2007 Air NZ Screen Awards), Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business, The Almighty Johnsons, and Spies and Lies.

When: Sat 18 August, 9am – 2pm
Where: Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, 61/69 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington

 

Register your interest

Registrations close Wednesday 1 August, 4PM.

Spots are limited to four directors and eight actors. If your name is selected, DEGNZ will contact you directly to confirm your participation. Only members of DEGNZ and Equity NZ are eligible to register.

Preparation

The selected directors and actors will be expected to do some script prep beforehand. DEGNZ will provide the scene in advance.

The Rehearsal & Performance series is hosted by Directors & Editors Guild of NZ with the support of the Equity Foundation and funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.

 

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