There is nothing that Relativity School staff love more than sharing their expertise with groups of young, enthusiastic artists. The photo above was taken at a recent Idea to Screen event in California, which brought aspiring writers, directors and producers face to face with industry professionals. COO VP Boyle and Director of Admissions Celina Polanco are pictured speaking to the group (they are the two against the window wall) and helping workshop pitches, as well as offering other great industry advice.
This event is just one example of our staff getting out in the community to turn their personal career trajectories into lessons on what it takes to succeed. Celina (who has performed in several national tours) and VP (who has coached several Broadway and A-list performers) will both tell you that one of the best decisions they have ever made was deciding to put their brains together along with a few other amazingly talented folk and create a program that encourages big dreams, collaboration and real-life experience.
This photo is of Marcus Louis Fien, Manager of Education Outreach, getting out there in the dance community to encourage and support arts at a recent convention in Baltimore. Pictured are Valerie Jones, winner of a scholarship towards Relativity School’s summer dance intensive, and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, winner of So You Think You Can Dance, season 9. Marcus comments that the most rewarding part of traveling on behalf of Relativity School are the amazingly talented artists he gets the opportunity to meet.
We want you to be a part of our community. We are the only school where higher education meets Hollywood. We offer programs that not only teach the skills necessary to succeed but go a step further, encouraging students to learn from each other and build their networks by working together to create amazing work.
Join us. Visit http://relativityschool.org/ to learn more.
"Getting the opportunity to wake up everyday and go to work with people who love what they do as much you do, collaborating on your own projects whilst working with top industry professionals at LA Center Studios! It sounds like a dream but that’s what we did!"
Nathan Webb says as soon as he heard about Relativity School, he “wanted one of those acting spots! The chance to create your own work in a professional studio with industry professionals and like-minded creatives was too much a good opportunity to miss.” Nathan enrolled in Relativity’s three-week adult acting workshop. Relativity took a few minutes to catch up with Nathan and find out what he thought of the program and what he is working on now:
Hey Nathan! How was your experience in the three-week acting intensive?
Being in the acting program was amazing. I’m not overstating this when I say that the three weeks single-handedly changed my approach to my work, the way I conduct myself in meetings, how I create contacts within the industry and my general outlook on being part of the business.
How were the teachers?
All my tutors were exceptional and took the time to advise each of us. Small class sizes meant that we had that time to focus individually whilst also having the time to collaborate. Writing our own material was a stroke of genius as it added so much more to the showreel instead of your usual audition pieces that you see on so many showreels.
Do you have a favorite class?
My favorite class was Acting in Film with Lee Cohn. I really identified with Lee’s teaching style and his book A Practical Handbook for the Actor should be in any serious actor’s library.
Equally, I really enjoyed and learned a lot from Celina Polanco’s Business seminar about how we as actors conduct and network ourselves as our own business. It’s something I had struggled with before attending and learnt a lot of uselful tips! Thank you Celina!
I also loved doing the audition work with Marwa Bernstein. Marwa took what I was doing before auditions and completely reshaped it and showed me how to approach each piece of text with the same enthusiasm. Cold auditions don’t worry me like they did before because Marwa gave me the tools to attack them!
What was the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenge for sure was the Improv workshops. I’ve never been keen on Improv and I openly admit I struggle with it. Or at least I did before attending. I was lucky I got to work with my Relativity teacher Lucas. His background in Improv is immense and he taught me so many techniques and exercises that completely changed my approach and enthusiasm for improv. I actually use quite a few of those techniques now when preparing for a role and preparing for auditions. I can’t thank Lucas enough for that because it’s given me a new depth that I can reach with my character.
So what’s next? Do you still want to act?
I certainly still want to act! The course on a whole has made me want to explore all areas of the industry. I am now in the process of producing some of my own short films. My goal is to produce one piece of my own work every month and work on as many acting projects as I can to boost my portfolio. I’m very interested in getting behind the camera and learning a lot more of that side of the industry. I think one of the main things I learned is the more you can understand all aspects of putting a film together (no matter your chosen job on a film) the better you will be in your chosen field.
Since finishing the program I’ve been writing a lot and auditioning. I have several roles coming up in the new year which I’m very excited about and I’m in the process of signing with an agency for acting. I’m currently in the pre-production stages on one of my short films with three more in the development stage! Exciting times! I’m also working on a script with fellow alums Nick Portanova (Directing Program) and Allen Kunkle (Acting for Film program) which I’m very excited about! Were hoping to all come together next year and produce something that epitomizes the skills we’ve learned…and it’s a great excuse for us all to meet up! (Not that we need one.)
Would you recommend other individuals to Relativity School?
Absolutely! I think if you really want to pursue having a profession within the film industry then Relativity is a school you should attend. I’d love to go back and do a full three year course. Three weeks was great but I want more! Getting the opportunity to wake up everyday and go to work with people who love what they do as much you do, collaborating on your own projects whilst working with top industry professionals at LA Center Studios! It sounds like a dream but that’s what we did!
Also getting advice from experienced Producers, Directors, and Casting Professionals, touring the TV studios with the top execs and special guests, and being given the freedom to explore your own creativity made for the best three weeks you could ask for. Thank you Relativity!
I also have to throw a special shout out to Marcus Fien and Amanda for looking after everyone in housing. They were on call 24/7 and couldn’t be more helpful. Thank you.
We too are super pumped about Turkey Day this week. However, no need to wait until Thursday to celebrate! Check out new release Free Birds from our partners at Relativity Media.
In this hilarious, adventurous buddy comedy for audiences of all ages, two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history - and get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good. The voiceover cast includes Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Dan Fogler, and Amy Poehler.
Check out this link from Fandango to find an upcoming screening near you!
Relativity School students film their projects at Los Angeles Center Studios, the same lot where films including Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Catch Me If You Can were produced, as well as the hit series Mad Men.
That’s right - students can at any point bump into Jon Hamm between takes.
Students have access to professional camera-ready sets including authentic looking hospital rooms, jail cells, the morgue, outdoor cityscapes, a courtroom, and other ordinarily hard-to-find locations—even an outdoor gas station. This picture of students filming in the morgue location was taken during Relativity’s Summer 2013 workshops.
Relativity students are treated like professionals and work in professional settings with high quality industry equipment. Seasoned industry veterans provide guidance and mentorship throughout the program, ensuring that students always feel comfortable operating equipment and working in a collaborative environment.
Get inside. Visit http://relativityschool.org/ to learn more about Relativity School.
Marcus Louis Fien, Relativity School’s Manager of Education Outreach, participated in the Twilight Convention this past weekend in Boston and reports back that he met some incredible dancers including Trevor Silva, winner of a $1,000 scholarship to Relativity’s summer Commercial Dance Workshop.
Pictured above from left to right are MSA agent Shelli Margheritis, scholarship winner Trevor Silva and Marcus Louis Fien.
Marcus was also thrilled to spend time with Relativity supporter Rachelle Rak, an instructor at the convention. Rachelle’s Broadway credits include Catch Me If You Can, Oklahoma!, Fosse and Cats.
Relativity Workshops offers an exclusive Commercial Dance Intensive developed in partnership with MSA, the global leader in dance and choreography representation. The workshop offers young artists the opportunity to learn the tools necessary to propel their careers in all areas of commercial dance.
Jeremy Sporn’s definition of Relativity Workshops is “a three week film program with the best teaching staff, the best film equipment, in the best place in the world, California.” We are pretty much on board with that description.
Says Jeremy on his experience in the three-week filmmaker’s intensive during summer 2013:
"I had a great experience. I was able to be taught by some of the best up and coming directors, screenwriters, and actors. They were really like mentors to me, I was able to become a better visual director as well as a screenwriter and an actor. My favorite class was Elric Kane’s film class where he taught us about analyzing film. He showed us greats such as Blue Velvet, and the movies like The Room.”
"My biggest challenge was learning how to talk to your actors and communicating with them. I originally had a lot of problems on my second film with me, but my co-director Nick Rose was really able to help me and the film turned out great.
"I really learned ‘how’ to write a screenplay. I hope to come back another summer and learn more, and be able to direct a film a wrote a screenplay for."
We can’t wait to see you back Jeremy!
An excerpt from Get Acceptd article "Applying to college: Relax, keep breathing and trust your gut"
Keep breathing. That is Relativity School COO VP Boyle’s number one piece of advice when considering your future in the arts. In VP’s book Audition Freedom, which can be found at Barnes and Noble, Drama Book Shop and Amazon, VP offers a list of 20 essential questions to assess if an arts-based college education is the right choice. This list is featured on Get Acceptd in this month’s article ”Applying to college: Relax, keep breathing and trust your gut.” Says VP both in his book and in the featured excerpt:
"Answer this list of 20 questions, but don’t think too hard. Listen to your body and trust your gut. There are absolutely no right or wrong answers in this exercise. Just remember to be clear about your answer before moving on, visualizing a yes or no.”
The list of questions includes:
At the end of the day, VP says you have to trust your gut when making the right decision. A great way to start is by taking a three-week summer workshop to assess if an arts-based program is right for you. Relativity School offers summer workshops in performing arts, film and media production and electronic music production that are the perfect jumping off place to get started with a career in the arts!
To see the full list of questions that VP suggests answering, click here.
Idea to Screen has officially announced that Kendall Rhodes, SVP, Digital Programming & Content Production at Relativity Media will speak at Idea to Screen's Creative Development Panel and VP Boyle and Celina Polanco of Relativity School will facilitate the afternoon workshop and pitch sessions.
Friends of Relativity can register for Idea to Screen and save 25 percent off registration by using this code: RelativitySchoolVIP
The Creative Development Panel includes creative development executives from major digital content distributors, production companies, agencies, and talent management companies. All speakers will share what kind of content they are looking to invest in, the stages of content development, how to work with them, what their pitch process is, and tips and tricks on what to do and more importantly what not to do when pitching ideas. The speakers are:
Learn more at http://www.ideatoscreen.com/
Relativity School is proud to participate in Idea to Screen, an interactive session designed for content creators, executives, producers, writers, actors, hosts and any others interested in learning all aspects of film production including development, financing, distribution and marketing. Idea to Screen will take place on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at Ignited Spaces in Los Angeles.
Relativity fans and alumni are invited to sign up for the all-day event using discount code “RelativitySchoolVIP” for 25% off registration. Register at http://ideatoscreen.eventbrite.com/.
The event will include speakers from Hollywood Talent Agencies CAA, ICM and Innovative Artists, as well as a lunch discussion with Phil Rosenthal, creator and EP of Everyone Loves Raymond. Relativity School will help facilitate an interactive session during which participants will be divided up into different “production companies” and will be given real world “creative needs” from actual buyers. Each group will be given different creative parameters and guidelines needed to fully develop two different idea from scratch. During the workshop, they will create a one sheet and prep a real life pitch.
Throughout the workshop, the groups will be aided by guest producers who have worked with the actual buyers to help provide feedback and notes. Each group will pitch their ideas to a panel of actual buyers from production companies, distributors, brands, and financers. Each panelist will provide feedback and notes for each pitch from the pitch itself to the creative concepts. You’ll be provided with specific feedback to help form the pitch better and the panelists will have the opportunity to elect pitches for further discussion following the session.