Emmy-nominated Alan Myerson began his career in New York directing off-Broadway productions and taught acting before moving to Chicago to direct Second City and then back to New York to direct the original Second City company that had moved there. He was a founding member of the Directors Unit of the Actors Studio. In 1963 he moved to San Francisco and founded The Committee where he was the director and producer in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York on Broadway through 1974. During that time, Alan taught acting at U.C. Berkeley and at San Francisco State. He has written feature films including Universal Studios' It's Showtime! and has directed theatrical features, television films and pilots, and more that 200 television episodes. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is listed in Who's Who in America. Alan has been nominated for Emmy, DGA, and CableACE Awards. Theatrical and television movies include Police Academy 5, Private Lessons, Steelyard Blues, Hi Honey, I'm Dead, Bad Attitudes, and Holiday Affair. TV series include Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Friends, Frasier, The Larry Sanders Show, ED, JAG, Gilmore Girls, Picket Fences, Miami Vice, Crime Story, Hunter, Laverne & Shirley, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, and Archie Bunker's Place. As well as teaching Directors' workshops in Rockport at Maine Media Workshops, he is an adjunct professor at USC, teaching graduate directing students.
This Workshop is for still photographers who want to enjoy the delight in making something collectively as we explore the craft of filmmaking while guiding a short project from conception to completion. Using professional actors and video equipment each participant in this Workshop will make a short narrative film or two as an introduction to some of the tools, practices and the exciting process of making films.
There are significant similarities and differences between the two art forms of still photography and filmmaking— both in approach and in their unique cultures. Still photography is, for the most part, a solitary endeavor, while filmmaking is a group effort. Still photography by definition makes a single discrete image while filmmaking makes a constantly changing series of images — moving pictures. However, as Stanley Kubrick (a fine photographer turned great filmmaker) once said, “Anything you can do with a Nikon you can do with a Panaflex film camera.”
Both crafts are entranced by the magic of light, both capture events/objects/people through lenses, both depend on an idiosyncratic eye behind the camera, both develop an intimate relationship with one’s creative process — and both demand a high degree of self-awareness that grows as we open ourselves up to others and the world. At Maine Media Workshops practitioners of the two disciplines have been somewhat separated from each other as the artists go about exploring their separate crafts and approaches — but we have much to learn from each other. The issues of staging, of coordinating groups of people, of inspiring and guiding performances of cast and crew, of creating drama or comedy by placing the camera to make the most fitting frame and to tell the most compelling story, to execute a dynamic vision — these are all areas where an understanding of the craft and tools of filmmaking can help enhance the experience and craft of still photographers.