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Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree: Acting for Camera

    Undergraduate Degree in Acting for Camera.

    • Offered on the Los Angeles Campus (See Acting for Camera Certificate to BFA for NY Campus Option)
    • Accelerated Option Allows for Degree Completion in 2.5 years
    • Access to AMDA’s Mainstage Production Opportunities
    • Culminates in an Original Showcase Production in Los Angeles
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Program Description +

AMDA’s BFA Acting for Camera program offers a wide range of training for film, television, stage, and new media, with numerous opportunities to gain production and performance experience. Students are immediately immersed in technique-building coursework that provides for facile adaptation between camera and stage performance. Early coursework provides for imaginative and creative exploration while developing essential vocal and physical skills expected of professional working actors. The study of various historical and contemporary periods of film and television provide students contexts that help inform and shape their identity as a performing artist. Training includes development in skills considered integral to on-camera performance such as: improvisation, movement, combat, voice acting, as well as explorations of classical text and various film and TV acting genres.

A thoroughly prepared on-camera professional must understand and navigate all facets of the Film/TV industry, which is why advanced curricula is designed to expand the actor’s depth of knowledge, skills and confidence through courses in Screenwriting, Content Creation, Editing, and Filmmaking and Production. Complimenting performance training, AMDA’s General Education courses increase the actors' understanding of their worlds, their critical reasoning, and their abilities to express themselves in an informed and effective manner. The program’s final semester is designed to prepare students for an exciting transition into the professional performing arts industry. Through curricula focused on Industry and Networking, Sample Performance Reels, Audition Preparation and a culminating Capstone Production blending live stage and filmed performances, AMDA helps prepare students to launch their careers as artists, content creators, visionaries, lifelong learners, and conscientious citizens of the world.

Program Learning Outcomes +

Students completing the BFA Acting for Camera program should be able to:

    • Create convincing, compelling characters performed with vocal, physical, and emotional specificity.
    • Demonstrate the use of objectives, obstacles, actions, subtext, and text.
    • Speak in a supported manner, free of tension and appropriate for the demands of film and television.
    • Stand and move utilizing an aligned spine, free of unintended physical tension and mannerisms.
    • Apply historical insights and critical analysis to the performance of a screenplay from a variety of periods, styles, and genres.
    • Apply standard entertainment industry business practices regarding preparation, communication, and professionalism.
    • Engage in a collaborative production process.
    • Develop original projects within the paradigm of the film and television industry.
    • Demonstrate technical knowledge of equipment and processes used for filmmaking, including pre-production, production and postproduction elements.

Curriculum +

  1. Sample Curriculum

    First Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC122 Improvisation I: Foundations 1.5
    CM100 On Camera Acting I: Technique 2.5
    CM102 Acting I: Techniques 2.5
    CM104 Screenwriting I: Technique 1.5
    DN150 Dance & Movement for the Performing Artist I 1.0
    GE Foundational College Writing 3.0
    FL150 TV History Survey 1.0
    FS100 First-Semester Seminars 0.5
    VP140 Voice Production and Speech I: Foundations 2.0
    Total Credits 15.5

    Second Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC110 Acting II: Contemporary Scene Study 2.5
    AC123 Improvisation II: Techniques 1.5
    CM110 On Camera Acting II: Scene Study 2.5
    CM114 Screenwriting II: Development 2.0
    GE Foundational Communications 3.0
    DN170 Dance & Movement for the Performing Artist II 1.0
    FL151 Film Styles 1.5
    VP141 Voice Production and Speech II: Techniques 1.5
    Total Credits 15.5

    Third Semester Sample Curriculum

    CM200 On Camera Acting III: Genre and Styles 2.5
    CM202 Screenwriting III: Screenwriting for Performance 3
    CM220 Introduction to Filmmaking and Production 2.5
    CM230 Introduction to Auditioning for Film & TV 1.0
    GE Foundation Critical Thinking 3.0
    SC100 Stage Combat I: Unarmed 1.5
    Select one of the following courses: 1.5
    AC234 Improvisation for the Camera
    MT338 Ensemble Singing
    Total Credits 15.0

    Fourth Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC220 Introduction to Shakespeare 2.0
    CM210 On Camera Acting: Crafting the Role 3.5
    CM251 Introduction to Editing 1.5
    CM324 Script Analysis 2.0
    GE Foundational Quantitative Reasoning 3.0
    GE Arts & Humanities (Lower) 3.0
    Total Credits 15.0

    Fifth Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC342 Acting for TV: Procedural Dramas 2.0
    AC333 Shakespeare on Camera 3.5
    CM226 Wardrobe, Makeup and Hair for Film and TV 1.0
    AC318 Career Preparation 1.0
    GE Foundational Physical & Biological Sciences 3.0
    GE Social & Behavioral Sciences (Lower) 3.0
    FL260 Shoot for the Edit 2.0
    Total Credits 15.5

    Sixth Semester Sample Curriculum

    CM320 Advanced Filmmaking and Production
    AC334 Reality & the Actor: Structured Technique of Reality Television 2.0
    CM314 Screenwriting IV: Short Films 2.0
    FL251 Streaming, the New Golden Era of Film & TV 1.0
    GE Information and Digital Literacy 3.0
    GE Social & Behavioral Sciences (Upper) 3.0
    AC313 Voice Acting 1.5
    Total Credits 15.5

    Seventh Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC347 Performance Techniques for Interviewers, Hosts and Spokespeople 1.5
    CM351 Editing: The Invisible Art 2.0
    GE Arts & Humanities (Upper) 3.0
    CM420 Creating Short Films 4.0
    AC410 Relevant Roles 3.0
    AC345 Audiobooks, Podcasts and Voiceover 1.5
    Total Credits 15.0

    Eighth Semester Sample Curriculum

    CM412 Industry and Networking: Business Essentials 1.5
    CM415 Sample Performance Reels 3.0
    CM330 Mock Auditions for Film, TV, and Stage 2.0
    CM430 BFA CAM Capstone Production 4.0
    AC435 Acting for Mockumentary 2.0
    AC434 Acting for Half Hour Television Comedy 3.0
    Total Credits 15.5

Admission Requirements +

Please note that applying to AMDA is a multi-step process. Be sure to follow ALL 6 steps below to ensure the submission of a successful application.

  1. Submit Your Application +

    To apply, you must be at least 16 years old and/or in the final two years of high school/secondary education*.

    AMDA also accepts applications from CommonApp and Royall VIP. If you have already applied through one of our partners, you do not need to apply again through our website.

    * If you are not yet 16, we would encourage you to consider attending the AMDA High School Conservatory.

  2. Complete Your AMDA Audition +

    Admission and scholarship consideration to AMDA require an audition. AMDA offers a robust calendar of auditions including regional auditions, campus auditions, live-online auditions and video submissions. Scheduling your audition will prompt a phone call with one of our enrollment specialists to help you prepare for a successful audition.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: To better prepare for your AMDA audition, we strongly encourage ALL applicants to review the Audition Instructions page prior to scheduling an audition or submitting a video submission.
  3. Phone interview with Admissions +

    This interview is an opportunity for us to get to know you, your educational background, and your interest in attending AMDA. We will be calling you, but if you would like to schedule an appointment for this interview, please email admissionsteam@amda.edu with the best day, time, and phone number to reach you.

  4. SUBMIT YOUR PERSONAL ESSAY +

    Towards the bottom of the application, space is provided for you to write a personal essay (500 words minimum) on the following topic: "Describe a challenging experience in your life and what you learned from it." Remember, this is an important part of your application, so answer thoughtfully!

    If you submitted your application but still need to submit your essay, click the button below.

  5. Submit One Letter of Recommendation +

    Please request and submit one letter of recommendation from teachers, school leaders, guidance counselors, coaches, or anyone familiar with your background and potential. Your recommendation letter must be written in English and signed and dated. To help with this process, please feel free to use AMDA's recommendation form by clicking the link below. Recommendation letters/forms may be submitted via email to docs@amda.edu or by mailing to the address on the form.

  6. Submit Your Academic Records (Transcripts) +

    Send an official transcript from your high school and (if applicable) college. Official transcripts from every educational institution that you listed in your application must be forwarded to AMDA. Please select one of the following options for submitting your official transcripts:
    1. If your high school or college uses the free service Parchment, please click below.

    2. If your high school or college does not use Parchment, please send the transcript request form to your guidance counselor/transcript office and request that they send your transcript(s) to AMDA using the address on the form.


    Important Note: The minimum grade point average (GPA) required for AMDA's programs is 2.0 out of 4.0 or its equivalent in other grading systems.

A cinematic camera films a scene of three actors in cocktail attire
Actor in front of camera with view of camera and camera operator
A sitting actor looks, unsmiling, across a table as cameraman zooms in on a shot focusing on his eyes
Two actors share a laugh in front of the camera
students gather around camera monitor
An actor reciting a monologue in front of a camera