Get the real-world views of a director and producer on how to prepare a film and manage a set with confidence.

In this workshop, students will examine the dynamics of how to prep a film and gain a practical understanding of how a professional film set functions.  You’ll get both a director’s and producer’s perspective on how to shepherd a smooth-running production.  Guest speakers will provide additional insight.

Whether you are looking to understand how to command a production as a director or producer, deepen your understanding of how your craft role functions in the larger context of a set, or land a job on a shoot, this class will provide the proper foundational training for you to walk onto a film set with confidence.  

The decisions that determine whether a project will run effectively and efficiently or run into difficulties typically happen during the crucial phases of planning and pre-production.  While this class will consider all aspects of production, we will pay particular attention on how to prep for a successful shoot.

The class will examine how to match prep to what the project is, how to secure actors and negotiate their deals, how to work with agents, choose department heads and make the right hires to assemble and manage a successful team, how to prepare and read a budget, and consider where and how to spend the money.  We’ll explore the art of troubleshooting problems and potential pitfalls, and how to navigate the divide between budgetary limitations and the creative needs of the production.

The best-equipped filmmakers know what their collaborators do and we will examine the dynamics of effective collaboration. We’ll examine how a director plans and collaborates with a cinematographer, a production designer, editor and audio team, as well as the value of look books and storyboards. You’ll understand the roles of a production manager, line producer, assistant director and script supervisor. 

Students will examine case studies, break down and schedule scenes, and learn how to navigate routine and hypothetical challenges.

Along the way, we’ll consider the differences between features and TV, union and non-union shoots, as well as indie and studio.  We will also cover the new normal as it relates to set safety, health protocols, and intimacy coordination. 

Leave with a new understanding of how to steer a production to a successful finish.