4Reelz film school begins operation

Brenda Young

Round Rock Leader contributing writer

Offering a creative outlet for film enthusiasts of all ages, the 4Reelz School of Film opened a 2,500-square-foot facility in Round Rock three months ago, and the school is adding to its cast of students.

“We’re already running our regular, year-round classes. We’re also gearing up for our summer camps, starting when school gets out, which includes classes in filmmaking, stop motion, wardrobe and makeup, set design, prop design and very hands-on creative design classes,” said school director and founding member Nicholle Walton-Durban. “Our school provides training to both children and adults, with our youngest class starting at the age of six. We have a beginner’s improv class for six- to ten-year-olds, and we have specialized classes for almost everyone.”

The school’s afternoon, evening and weekend classes accommodate most schedules, and the summer camp centers around 7- to 17-year-olds, according to Walton-Durban. All core classes include acting, screenwriting, editing, film composition, editing and production.

“The founding partners are from film backgrounds and casting companies, so we’re a production company and a casting company. I had done a summer camp for kids before, and when I decided to create a year-round facility, it was not just for summer camps, but for a facility that allows everyone to come together, express themselves creatively and train in business/technical skills with information of what’s actually going on in the industry,” she said.

Walton-Durban said everyone associated with the school, including co-founder and casting professional Karen Hallford, is an artist in their own right. Everyone is excited about the opportunity to not only create, but prepare students to become competitive in the business end of the film industry.

“At the end of the day, we are all in the business of making money,” she said. “Part of our original agreement was we definitely wanted our instructors to actually have industry affiliations and experience.”

There are approximately 10 instructors at 4Reelz. Walton-Durban, who is a wife, mother, performing artist and producer with Edgen Films, said the school only brings in working industry professionals to guide the students. For instance, the instructors have all had actual working experience in their field of expertise, preparing them with the knowledge and information they need for film industry success.

“I’ve always had a lot respect for Nicholle Durban – she has a lot of experience – and being able to work closely with her was a good opportunity for me,” said instructor Oryan Landa. “I was a high school teacher for seven years, so even though I work as a full-time actor now, I have a lot of experience in education. I love teaching and sharing my knowledge and experience to pass on what I know.”

Landa said the opportunity to teach acting while working as a full-time actor pursuing his own career goals is what drew him to teach acting at 4Reelz.

“I really do this because I want to. There are so many people that jump into acting in their 20s, 30s and 40s who don’t have any real foundation in the craft,” Landa said. “I like to give an area of technique so actors have a handle on their craft and can go out to work independently as artists and have some idea of what they’re doing.”

4Reelz is located at 2851 Joe DiMaggio Boulevard, Bldg. 13. Students interested in signing up for classes are invited to visit the school’s website at http://www.4reelzschooloffilm.com/.


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