Upstart is an Alberta based film and television talent development program presented by AMPIA, Jonathan Joffe Pictures, funded through Alberta Film, Telefilm and SAIT, and coordinated by Calgary actor Karen Ryan. Now in its 14th term in Calgary, over 240 Upstart participants have performed in hundreds of scenes which have been shot and edited for the review of everyone involved.
The program brings together local actors, writers, and directors to perform simple scene studies for the camera which are shot and edited for the review of everyone involved. Actors – experience working with different Directors and keep your talents fresh by working on new scenes each week. Directors – experiment while gaining experience working with talented actors. Writers – there’s no cost to submit a script! If it’s appropriate for Upstart, our Directors and Actors will shoot it while you watch your script come to life.
Auditions/interviews* will be held at SAIT on the evening of Monday, September 9, 2013 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Please contact email@example.com to arrange an audition/interview time. Actors, please send a copy of your resume and head-shot as well.
Calgary’s Upstart sessions will be held on Monday evenings from 6:30 – 10:00 pm at SAIT, room MD 212 beginning Monday, September 30, 2013. The program will run for 8 weeks (no classes on Thanksgiving – October 14th and Remembrance Day). The last class will be on Monday, December 2nd. The group will shoot 16 scene studies, rotating the participants through a variety of actor/director/writer combinations. Two scenes are filmed per week, those scenes are then edited for viewing the following week. Directors will direct 4 out of 8 nights and Actors will act in all 8 scenes.
Participation is open to any Alberta based writers, actors, and directors who have some basic experience in their field. So don’t let your skills get rusty waiting for the phone to ring, get involved with Upstart and give your talent the regular workout you deserve.
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*The purpose of the audition is to ensure a healthy mix of male & female, young & and old, and both new & experienced talent. The purpose of the audition is not to exclude less experienced talent. Space in the program is limited to ensure everyone gets ample hands on practice, so not everyone who auditions will be chosen. However, participants not chosen for the next session will be given preference for participation in upcoming Upstart sessions.
What is Upstart?
Upstart is a program which provides Alberta film talent (actors, writers, and directors) an ongoing, affordable place to practice. The program consists of 8 weeks of scene studies, which are performed for the camera, and edited together for review of the participants.
Who is Upstart for?
Upstart is for Alberta film and television actors, directors, and writers of all levels, who want to practice their skills. Participants are expected to have some basic experience in their field. This could be training through an accredited program, or completed work in a particular field, like writing or directing a short/independent/ student film, or theatre project.
How are participants chosen?
Participants are chosen through an audition. The purpose of the audition is to ensure a healthy mix of male & female, young & and old, and both new & experienced talent. The purpose of the audition is not to exclude less experienced talent. Space in the program is limited to ensure everyone gets ample hands on practice, so not everyone who auditions will be chosen. However, participants not chosen for the next session will be given preference for participation in upcoming Upstart sessions. We will be holding auditions at SAIT on the evening of Monday, September 9, 2013.
What happens with the edited scene studies?
The edited scene studies are for the training purposes of the participants only. They are not for sale or distribution of any kind. Participants will receive a DVD of all the completed scenes at the end of the workshop for the personal use of the participants involved. These DVDs cannot be broadcast or distributed or posted on the internet. This program is approved by ACTRA, and ACTRA members are encouraged to join.
When and Where is Upstart Held?
Upstart will be running for 8 consecutive Monday evenings from 6:30 – 10:00 pm beginning Monday, September 30th (no classes on Thanksgiving – October 14th and Remembrance Day). The last class will be on Monday, December 2nd. It will take place at SAIT in room MD 212.
What kind of scene studies will we do?
The scenes performed in Upstart are simple, short dialogue based scenes from all genres of film and television. Past scripts include scenes from Crash, Erin Brockovich, Four Rooms, Legally Blonde, Sex and the City, Something’s Gotta Give, Stir of Echoes, and many others. The scenes may also be from original screenplays, depending on what is submitted. Participants will be asked to bring 1 scene to add to our current script base. Whether or not the scenes are used will be subject to the approval of the Upstart coordinator. Because of the format of the program, scenes should be roughly 2 –5 pages long (standard format), and have significant roles for 4 to 6 actors. Scenes may contain profanity and violent or offensive conversation, however scenes involving stunts, kissing, or sexual contact are not appropriate for the program.
I am a writer, can I workshop my material?
We encourage writers to submit scenes which are appropriate for the format of the program. These would be dialogue based scenes of roughly 2 –5 pages in length with significant roles for 3 or more actors. Use of submitted scenes is subject to the approval of the Upstart coordinator. Scenes involving stunts or sexual contact are not appropriate of Upstart. Those submitting scenes to Upstart should be prepared to get constructive feedback from the program participants. The program is not intended to produce a finished product for any kind of distribution. The purpose is only to demonstrate how the director and actors interpret the screenplay they are given.
Who runs Upstart?
Upstart Calgary is being run by AMPIA and Jonathan Joffe Pictures, with the support of Alberta Film, SAIT, and Telefilm. Sessions are coordinated by Alberta actor Karen Ryan.
How can I pay?
Full payment is to be made at the beginning of the first session. Upstart is a “break even” program so exact cost cannot be determined until after all cast and crew have been selected. The approximate cost is $150.00 + gst for members of ACTRA or AMPIA and $200.00 +gst for non-members. Payment can be made by cash, Visa, Mastercard, or cheque (payable to AMPIA). Receipts will be issued once AMPIA has received payment.
Why should I join Upstart?
Upstart provides ongoing hands on practice for actors, writers and directors. Aside from the ability to practice your craft, it is an excellent opportunity to network with other local actors, writers, and directors of various levels of experience. High profile guests may also be brought in to work with Upstart participants.