Go deep into the art of directing in this 10 Week intensive, guided by industry professionals

Dates:  TBD
Levels:  All
Workshop Fee:  TBD
Class Size: 12

To realize their vision, a director must intimately understand not only the key creative and practical dynamics of their job – but also the roles of their closest collaborators during the development, production, and post-production process of a film.  It’s essential that a director understand story structure and character, and how to work with a writer – even as they may also sometimes choose to be their own writer. They will work closely with producers and often function as a producer. On set, directors need to understand the actor’s craft and how to speak the actor’s language. Their closest behind-the-camera connection will be to the cinematographer with whom they must share a common vision for the look and visual style of the film. After production, they’ll work intimately with an editor and will need to grasp the dynamics of flow, pacing, and how to sculpt a scene for the greatest impact. This extraordinary intensive offers a package of classes to equip the complete director. Each workshop is led by an accomplished working professional who will provide a uniquely qualified real world perspective on the realities of the craft, the art and business of filmmaking, and the dynamics of working in collaboration with one another to create and direct a film.


The Courses:

The Director's Craft | Alan Myerson

In the first week of the intensive students are introduced to the primary responsibilities of the Film Director. Casting, rehearsal techniques, script, storyboarding and scene analysis, art direction and collaboration are examined and experienced by each class member. With the guidance of a seasoned professional, students explore and develop effective ways to lead, inspire, manage and direct the cast and crew’s creative energies in order to realize the directorial vision.

Directing Actors for the Camera | Geary McLeod

The 2nd Directing class in this intensive is a practical laboratory that explores the process of directing both actors and the camera. Led by a professional with an extensive background in both directing and cinematography, students block, rehearse, and direct a team of professional actors in a short dramatic scene, while exploring ways in which the camera can be used to most effectively help tell their story.

Seducing The Audience: Launching Your Story & Characters | Wayne Beach

In Week Three, students examine the art of screenwriting, specifically how to craft defining first impressions, and grant an audience emotional access to a key character in their introductory scene. Students are invited to bring a new idea or a work in progress to the class. You will write and rewrite the first ten pages of your script, more if time allows. This opening will be workshopped and critiqued until it is a strong foundation for you to build your story and characters on. This week will afford students valuable insight into the screenwriter's process, and its relationship to that of the director.

Directing Episodic TV | Peter Werner

In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the development of high-quality episodic programming, leading to a growing need for directors with the skills to step into an existing production structure and quickly absorb the tone and style of the show. In this course students work with scenes out of TV series' and, guided by a career episodic director, experience the unique nature of working in this particular production environment. The student’s work is compared and contrasted to the real life dailies from a specific episode, giving them a first-hand look at the numerous choices a director must constantly be making to both advance the story and find a visual language appropriate for the scene and for the show.

The Camera and Visual Storytelling | Steven Fierberg, ASC - July 1-7

In the 5th Week of the intensive, the focus will be on one of the director's most important responsibilities: crafting their shot design to tell the story. During this week, the Intensive merges with the concurrently-running Cinematography Track, and students get the opportunity to work with emerging camera operators and DPs. Led by an ASC Director of Photography, who's major credits include "Entourage" and "The Affair", students learn the language and grammar of shot design, composition, camera placement and movement, participate in exercises and discussions on the most effective use of the camera, and by week's end, create a final, short, cinematic piece to be screened at the Friday Night Showcase of student work.

The Art of Editing - July 8-14

Whether you want to be a director who edits your own films, or prefer to hand them off to an expert who does it for a living, understanding the editing process is pivotal to becoming a successful visual storyteller. This course will include screenings, theory discussions, and analysis of films, and students will explore how pacing, shot selection, rhythm, and juxtaposition can be used to create emotional impact and advance a story. They will be given footage to practice with and create edits to be critiqued in class. This course will give directing students valuable new perspective, and the ability to keep a clear vision of their final edit in mind, when approaching the way they design shots and guide performances on set.

Unlocking Emotion: Tools for Directors & Actors | Caitlin Fitzgerald

For even the most experienced of actors, unlocking emotion within themselves and displaying vulnerability amidst the machinery and distractions of a film set, is always a risk. In this course students will learn how to break through the obstacles that inhibit an effective performance, and allow an actor the ability to be present and intentional in a scene. Through scene study, character investigation, exercises, rehearsals and improvisation, led by an accomplished actor, students will learn to be present in the moment, communicate constructively, and come to understand each other’s crafts. By the end of the week, actor and director will speak the common language that leads to an honest and powerful performance.

Putting It Together: Creative Producing for Film & TV

Among the most important things a director must understand to be successful professionally, is the dynamics of working with a producer. In this course students will get a chance to step into the financial and logistical world of filmmaking, and experience the perspective of the individual being tasked with bridging this world with the creative one. This workshop closely examines the role of the creative producer in overseeing the development and production of a project from conception to completion. The crucial dynamics of pitching a project and preparing a presentation to talent, financiers, studios, networks, and distributors will be explored. Through it all, you will be guided by a deeply-experienced producer who has shepherded many successful and award-winning films through all phases of development and production.

Directing Master Class | Karen Moncrieff

In this course, students will see first hand how the magic of film becomes reality from inside the process. The week combines lectures, screenings, scene analysis, and practical work. You become part of the crew to help (and observe) our guest director go through the process of preparing, rehearsing, photographing, and editing a scene. From this exercise comes the material for discussion, debate, and insights. Witness the most effective implementation of scene coverage, camera moves, and how the director communicates with cast and crew to get the most out of each. The class will also cover the dynamics of a director’s career path, and students will get insight from the instructor on their own personal experiences in the world of film production.

Shooting & Directing Branded Content

In the Final Week of the Intensive, students are given the chance to utilize their broad new set of skills and knowledge to produce and direct a short commercial. They will write scripts, plan visual approaches, cast actors, scout locations, and shoot branded shorts. They will work with an editor to "direct" their final cuts, which will screen at the final Friday Night Showcase of student work. This week will afford students the opportunity to use what they've learned in the preceding nine weeks in a real and practical directorial environment, and to demonstrate and observe the skill sets they've acquired that will help them get to the next level in their career.

Master Class: Catlin Adams on Film Acting

As an optional precursor to the 10 Week Track, students may take this 2-Day Acting Course taught by Catlin Adams, one of Hollywood’s most in-demand acting coaches. Catlin has coached such actors as Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, and Brad Pitt. This course falls on the weekend directly preceding the first week of the Directing Intensive.

Please contact Registration for information on room & board fees for intensives at [email protected].

This intensive is not eligible for any promotional offers that may occur.

Image Credit: Amanda Piela

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