Bill Britten

Drama and Performance Programme; Acting and Directing for Camera Tutor, Drama Centre London.

I studied psychology at Oxford University, then trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama.  I worked extensively on stage and screen with credits including work at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, Chichester Festival Theatre and the National Theatre and regular characters in the TV series Chandler & Co and The Choir.

I have directed over 40 episodes of television drama, including Eastenders, Holby City, Dream Team, Night & Day and My Parents Are Aliens, as well as television films and short films, one of which was nominated for a BAFTA.

I regularly coach TV presenters and professional performers, including 6 months spent coaching the dance group Diversity in preparation for a movie.  I also work internationally as a leadership and communications coach.  I have been teaching Acting and Directing for Camera at Drama Centre London since 2003 and my book Stageto Screen: a theatre actor's guide to working on camera will be published by Methuen in 2014.

What I teach

The camera makes contradictory demands on actors: the need to be spontaneous, truthful and totally emotionally committed, whilst simultaneously being on top of complex technical requirements.

Acting for Camera classes build on the work done elsewhere at Drama Centre London to encourage students to be utterly present, in particular pursuing Meisner's ambition that acting is living truthfully in imaginary circumstances.  We then move on to incorporate the technicalities of screen acting, including what the actor is required to do to make the shot work, and managing his or her own resources during the arduous process of shooting.

In Directing for Camera classes we explore how to manage the complex dynamics of the set and work in partnership with actors to enable them to be at their most creative, whilst having a broader understanding of all the creative tools at the director’s disposal.