The best-loved animated characters tend to have distinctive voices, zany personalities, and the ability to move their mouths when speaking rather than beaming their thoughts directly into the audience’s brains. Dazzle viewers without instilling a sense of dread with today’s Groupon: for $50, you get a two-day Acting Through the Pencil workshop on Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7, from the International Academy of Film and Television, held at the Bigfoot Crest Theater on Westwood Boulevard (a $300 value). Classes begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 12:00 p.m. on both days.
The International Academy of Film and Television molds the raw talent of fledgling filmmakers with vivid instructional techniques. Ideal for aspiring animators, the two-day Acting Through the Pencil workshop lets students grasp everyday life forces, personality, and mannerisms before introducing them into animated characters through actions, gestures, and innumerable spit takes across a pair of three-hour sessions. Instructor Mike Nguyen, a veteran sketcher for DreamWorks Animation and Disney, helps students to hone doodling dexterity by practicing drawing one of the creations he brought to life on film. A slew of film clips screened on the beautifully restored Bigfoot Crest Theater’s top-notch equipment elucidates Mike’s topics and does funny impressions when he’s not looking.
International Academy of Film and Television
With schools on the shores of the United States, China, and the Philippines, the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) works to nurture the next generation of Hollywood’s elite. The academy's hands-on training, one-on-one attention, quality gear, and focus on all aspects of the craft, from writing to directing to performing, have earned it praise from the Hollywood Reporter as one of the Best Film Schools in the World. To put these means to use, IAFT hosts programs that can lead to certification or a diploma, as well as workshops that sharpen skills or introduce beginners to the world of the silver screen.
Yet for a student few things are more important than having a stolen answer key to their finals and an influential mentor. So IAFT stocks their faculty with experienced professionals such as Frederick Bailey. Bailey has directed more than 100 stage plays in theaters across the United States and has seen more than 20 of his screenplays become movies. He also holds a recurring role on the television soap Days of Our Lives and has taught acting, directing, and screenwriting in Japan and the Philippines.