ALRA Acting Schools in London & Manchester

Research Project 2: Movement and Imagination

Young, Gifted and Sam

Please check out Michael Peace and Tom Sidney’s fantastic new website with a trailer for their new film and production company. We are proud to be supporting this innovative graduate film company through our inaugural year of developing the Research Department at ALRA.

During their research they explored how movement can influence a rehearsal process for film and worked extensively with Kieran Sheehan and Michael White as mentors throughout the process.

Whilst training we are in a bubble, it is important to be in that bubble but once it bursts you will be hit with reality.

Once drama school has finished we automatically think we are now in the real acting industry, but that isn't true. There are hundreds of graduates coming out of drama school each year trying to squeeze themselves into the industry. We are not there yet. The harsh reality is people don't really care who you are, you need to make them care. You need to create your own opportunities.

We believe that you provide your own opportunities as an actor by creating your own work. So that is what we are doing.

Our idea is to make our own short film. We chose to do this as we feel we can reach a wider audience. In today's world, people's attention span is very short, we live on social media and the Internet. Our aim is to create something that keeps the audience interested.

Our main target audience is of course people in the industry, mainly Casting Directors, they are extremely busy people, so we need to make them want to see us. They will receive tons of emails every day, sometimes hundreds, so you need to grab their attention. We will invite them to screenings, send the film over to them, or let them know which festivals the film is a part of.

Making a film is incredibly expensive, of course we don't have millions (or thousands) to spend, so we are using what we have. Our phones, more specifically our iPhones. After intense research, we have found that many film makers start off with creating films on their phone. This is cost effective but the result can be surprisingly good. The most important find in our research was a film called 'Tangerine', which was shot entirely on an iPhone 5. We decided to copy the filmmakers of tangerine. "Smart people borrow - geniuses steal".

The equipment they used to make the film was a Moondog Labs Anamorphic lens and a Steadicam Smoothee. So, we invested in the same to make our film. It has been a lengthy process getting to where we are. The script was workshopped for months.

Now we have our script we have been rehearsing. Our rehearsal process has focused on movement as preparation for screen acting. This unique process, to our knowledge, is only taught at ALRA. This way of working involves Laban and Michael Chekhov techniques * and allows us to bring a strong atmosphere to our film. Nobody else will be working like this so it will hopefully allow our work stand out.

Rehearsals over, we are now at the stage of shooting the film. The problem we have found whilst shooting is location, this is why the script took so long to finalise because the location needed to suit the story but also be a safe place to film. We have been through two test shoots, this helped us to fail and fail again so that when it comes to the real and final shoot we will know as much as we can to make the result the best it can be.

Listen to this podcast from Tom Sidney, an ALRA North graduate, about what he and two other North Grads did after they left ALRA. Their company - Young, Gifted & Sam are a film company with a focus on Movement.

Listen to this podcast from Matt Holt: an Alra Post Graduate Success Story

* If you want to learn more, you might be interested in enrolling in one or both of the following summer workshops:

Research Projects
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5 tickets for ALRA showcases | that's alumnights

At each Friday night performance of any ALRA show there will hold back 5 complimentary tickets for our ALRA graduates.

To find out the forthcoming shows, please see the ‘What’s on’ section of the website.

Alumnight tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis; to book tickets please email

Please note: ALRA still offer free tickets to all ALRA shows to alumni that are within their first year of graduation.

To learn more about ALRA’s graduate package please email

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