Script study:

from page to set

with Director Michael Nankin 


Wednesdays in February: February 6/13/20/27, 5pm to 9pm

Michael Nankin I IMDB Profile
Matthew Harrison | IMDB Profile


class description

Director/Exec Producer MICHAEL NANKIN (“Van Helsing”, “Hell On Wheels”, “Exorcist” ) guides actors through a FULL SCRIPT ANALYSIS working from one screenplay:


The class starts from a reading, to analysis, to scenes on their feet - blocked, directed, and performed.


The difference between a superficial performance and a rich, layered, dramatically sound performance is rarely the actor's ability to execute her ideas. A shallow performance comes from a shallow understanding of the script.

A good movie script is short and sparse -- a treasure map filled with clues to the interior life of the characters. In this workshop we will break the code -- going beyond the words to find the beating heart of the movie. Be prepared to dig deeper than you ever have.  Make yourself director-proof with your understanding of who you're playing and their relationship to the whole.

This class covers everything from the script's place in the the tiniest of pauses.

The screen play will be sent to participants in advance of the class. Actors will be expected to be studied and familiar with the material. Monday morning, the class will analyze the screenplay, theme, genre, context in  history, controlling ideas, structure, relationship to audience, and all other aspects of approaching story.  Key pivotal scenes will be assigned. 

Actors will come to class throughout the week prepared to be on their feet and ready to run the scenes they have been assigned.  


Ordinary People is a 1980 American drama film that marked the directorial debut of actor Robert Redford. The film stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, and Timothy Hutton.

The story concerns the disintegration of an upper-middle class family in Lake Forest, Illinois, following the death of one of their sons in a boating accident. The screenplay by Alvin Sargent was based upon the 1976 novel Ordinary People by Judith Guest.

The film received six Academy Awards nominations and won four: the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director for Redford, Adapted Screenplay for Sargent, and Supporting Actor for Hutton. In addition, it won five Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director (Redford), Best Actress in a Drama (Tyler Moore), Best Supporting Actor (Hutton), and Best Screenplay (Sargent).


BEWARE - there will be an enormous amount of homework. Actors will be teamed and will participate in group discussion and scene work. This workshop is an opportunity to go beyond the ONE SCENE constraints of weekly scene study class, and deeply dig into a FULL SCREENPLAY seeing how acting lives within the context of a whole story.

Week 1: Actors reading the full script and discussing / analyzing from both the director and actor point of view.

Week 2: Scenes from screenplay will be divided among the actors and rehearsed and discussed with both director and acting teacher.

Week 3:  Presentation of the scenes to class with notes and adjustments from director

Week 4: Viewing of the film and discussing the differences in approach between class and final product and discussion with director about approach to filming and blocking of scenes on camera.

None - Just a professional work ethic and the desire to learn from the best

$395 for 4-week class (includes Tax)

Audi­ting is not available for this class

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Please com­plete the form. Note that pay­ment is required to con­firm your reg­is­tra­tion. Registrations that do not follow throuh with a payment are not seen by administration,  When you com­plete the form and click ‘Complete Payment and Secure Registration’  you’ll be taken to our Pay­Pal form, but if you don’t have a Pay­Pal account you can use any major credit card.

Also note that reg­is­tra­tion in the class is final and pay­ments non refund­able as of 96 hours prior to the start date of the class, so make sure you let us know in writ­ing if you need to cancel!  There is a $50 processing fee for each cancellation.


* NANKIN: Page to Set ($376.19)
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