Amanda Brennan, BA, MA

Job title

Principal Lecturer, Course Leader MA Acting for Screen

Profile

I am an acting coach, and a film director and producer.

After training at Dartington College of Arts I worked as a performer, director and writer, mainly in theatre. Much of my early work was devised and co-written with communities in various settings including youth clubs, youth theatres, alternative to custody centres and prisons.

My first teaching experience was in in higher education where I ran a range of classes in acting, directing, teaching skills and devising. During this period I became the Head of Performing Arts at Kensington and Chelsea College where I developed a large department with over 500 students in Drama, Dance or Music. In 2002 was appointed the Director of Studies at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art where I managed one-, two- and three-year Acting courses.

Between 2004 and 2010 I worked as a Specialist advisor and inspector for the British Accreditation Council and Ofsted in Film and Drama schools. I have also been an External Examiner on BA and MA courses at universities and for conservatoire drama schools.

I joined the staff team at Central in 2005 and co-wrote the MA Actor Training and Coaching and MA Acting for Screen, serving as leader for both courses until 2012. Between 2009 and 2013 I was the Programme area leader for Performance postgraduate courses and contributed to the development of other Masters programmes. I have spoken at several conferences including TAPRA, ELIA, How to Act, and have led workshops at national and international film festivals.

Courses

Acting for Screen, MA

Teaching Areas

  • Acting
  • Screen Acting
  • Michael Chekhov’s Technique
  • Qigong

Research areas

  • The accuracy of memory and the convention of flash back in film.
  • The energy and presence of screen performance.
  • Screen acting and the development of an inner life.

Key Publications

2016. The Energetic Performer: Actors and their Inner World (London. Jessica Kingsley).

2013. ‘Working with the intangible: Radiation a contemporary interpretation’, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 4.2, pp. 176-88

Practice

I have directed many theatre productions and toured nationally with various shows including an adaptation of The Overcoat by Gogol (Hen and Chickens), The Bald Prima Dona by Eugene Ionesco. (Gate Theatre), A Picnic on a Battlefield by Fernando Arrabal (Gate Theatre), Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca (schools’ tour for the Gate Theatre). I have also worked as a writer on Over the Edge, Rosemary Branch Theatre. Lyric Theatre, Riverside Studios.

As an acting coach I have prepared actors for theatre, film and television projects, this has included: Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children directed by Tim Burton (2016), The Night Out, HBO 2016,10,000 Saints directed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (2015),  X + Y directed by Morgan Matthews (2014) Enders Game directed by Gavin Hood (2013), Richard Third directed by Tim Carroll (Globe Theatre 2012), Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese (2011), Jerusalem directed by Ian Rickson (2011), Shakespeare Must Die directed by Ing K (2010).

I have been producing films since 2005, and have been the producer or executive producer on over 30 shorts and one feature. This has included: Nocturn directed by Col Spector (2014); Hen Party Executive Producer (EP) directed by Keir Burrows (2014); Angels and Gypsies  directed by Joe Ransom (2014) (EP); Healeys House (EP) directed by Rob Savage (2014, Winner Best Short Film Raindance 2016); The Befuddled Box of Betty Buttifint (2013) directed by Janis Pugh (Feature); Beautiful Death Directed by Janis Pugh (2012) (screened at Oaxaca & Aesthetica, Film Festival); Grace directed by Keir Burrows, (2012) (screened at Cambridge, Texas (Best Screenplay), Tribeca Film Festivals); Occupy Your Heart (2012) directed by Rebecca Gatward; The Man Who Wasnt There directed by Smita Bhide (2012); Donkey directed by Keir Burrows (EP) (2011) (Winner of Best Short Film Reykjavik Film Festival, Critics Choice at Tribeca Film Festival, screened at seventeen festivals.); Au Pair directed by Josh Appignanesi

(2011); Revolution Now, directed by Smita Bhide (2011) (screened at Norwich Film Festival); BUMP directed by Smita Bhide (2010); The Interview directed by George Milton (2010); Fiancée directed by George Milton (2010); All Mod Cons directed by George Milton (2008); Cock of the North directed by George Milton (2008 (screened Curzon Soho). I have also worked as a coach on Connoisseurs (2009) directed by George Milton (Winner at Rain Dance Film Festival 2011).

In 2008 I formed BASK films with actor Sara Kestelman to specifically produce a documentary project which was completed in 2016. Yes but Thats Not All (Semi Finalist MoonDance film Festival 2016, Awareness Award at Awareness Festival 2016) focuses on the story Nan Millard and the quest, following a stroke, to help her remember her past and enhance her communication skills. The film was shot in Paris, at the several locations across London.

As a director of drama I have made several short films in collaboration with BASK films, including Spaces Between Us, Beyond the Forest, Birthcloud, Letters to April.

I have been led workshops in Screen Acting internationally for several years, this has included Sofia Film Festival (British Council), Cairo Film Festival, React Production Company Bangkok, Catholic University Santiago Chile, Central University Bogota, New York University.

I regularly work as a consultant in business and have been an Associate trainer for APOD since 2013. Clients have included BT, The Big Lottery, Inner London Probation Service, Daily Mail, and the Police.

Trusteeship

Bold and Saucy. Company Director: Sarah Davey-Hull

E-mail

amanda.brennan@cssd.ac.uk