x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Second chance to enrol in acting workshops

We talk to Canadian filmmaker Greg White about his upcoming On-Camera Scene Study Workshop taking place at Ductac Mall of the Emirates.

Greg White, also the founder of the online casting portal castMEonline, says the workshops, beginning on Thursday at Ductac Mall of the Emirates and continuing throughout the month, will cater to recent developments in the local entertainment industry.

Several of the students who enrolled in the first acting workshop have the possibility of being cast in a forthcoming short film to be directed by the Emirati filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja and produced by White.

Titled The Neighbour, the film is part of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority initiative Soul of Dubai, with an objective to highlight the city through various artistic interpretations, starting with film. The three Soul of Dubai shorts - the other two directors commissioned are Ali Mostafa and Khalid Ali - will be presented at the forthcoming Gulf Film Festival.

"Short films are true pieces of art. It is therefore great and important that Dubai is taking on this initiative because it will help develop the industry further, as well as attract international productions to the city," says White. "There is a real activity in smaller independent work where crew and talent are getting the right experience."

The workshop

The On-Camera Scene Study Workshop aims to equip individuals 18 years and older with the skills and confidence to land roles in film, television and commercial production. Participants will learn how to navigate the typical audition, what is involved in being on-set, rehearsal processes and working as a professional actor including regular TV appearances. Each of the scenes will be cut and edited so students can then include them in their professional showreels.

"The workshop allows people to really get out of their comfort zone, so the effects will be immediate. It can also be used as an opportunity to improve one's public-speaking abilities," says White.

The workshop will also focus on an area providing more opportunities: acting in television.

"So many new things are happening in television all around the world. Look at Modern Family, Arrested Development and shows such as The Office. I would say TV series, commercials and independent film work can offer great regular work," says White. "From an industry perspective, television is a critical foundation for industry development and sustainability."

The instructor

In addition to his writing, directing and production credentials, White has recently launched an indie-genre distribution label in the Middle East, Isis International Pictures. One of the films he has secured for local distribution is the psychological thriller Leave, featuring the Breaking Bad starBryan Cranston. Others include the documentary Transcendent Man about the life of Ray Kurzweil, and Hypothermia, starring Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead).

"Through Isis International Pictures, I will be acquiring small independent films for regional distribution across genres such as sci-fi, action, fantasy, horror, thriller, comedy and documentaries," says White.

His first feature film, Separation, will be released in North America in April by Anchor Bay and Gravitas Ventures, and stars Peter Stebbings (Immortals, Defendor) and Al Sapienza (The Sopranos).

Later this year, he will start filming his second independent feature film in Canada, the horror Warehouse, which he co-wrote with the American writer and producer Kraig Wenman.


To register, call 050 364 7765 or email info@castmeonline.com. There is a 10 per cent discount for anyone who read about the workshop in The National