Go deep into the art of directing in this five-week intensive, guided by directors whose credits include The Sopranos, House of Cards, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy, and more.

Jul 15, 2024 - Aug 16, 2024

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $10995
Workshop Duration: 5-weeks (Jul 15-Aug 16, 2024)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 16

SOLD OUT!  Email [email protected] to be placed on a waitlist.

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. 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.

In addition to the workshops included in the 4-week Directing Intensive, this 5-week version of the Directing Intensive begins with The Camera & Visual Storytelling, a workshop where the focus will be on crafting shot design to convey a scene’s emotional truth and to practice visual storytelling. This week the intensive will merge with the concurrently-running Cinematography Intensive to afford directing students the opportunity to experience the dynamics of collaboration between a director and cinematographer. Please note that this workshop is graded for intermediate-to-advanced students. A brief statement of experience will be requested upon registration.

Please note: Each of these workshops can also be taken individually if you are looking to take a specific class. Please contact Registration for information on room & board fees for intensives at [email protected]

The 5-Week Directing Intensive (Jul 15-Aug 16, 2024)

Week 1: The Camera & Visual Storytelling

Filmmaking at Maine Media with Fierberg -Camera and Visual Storytelling

In the first week of the intensive students Students learn the language and grammar of shot design, composition, camera placement, and movement. The subtle differences in camera operating styles and their effects on the viewer are addressed through exercises and screenings. Films will be analyzed in the context of how various DPs may approach their shot design.

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Week 2: The Director’s Craft

In 2023 this class was taught by director Geary McLeod, ASC, DGA (EMPIRE, GREY’S ANATOMY).

In week two, students are introduced to the primary responsibilities of the film director.  With the guidance of an accomplished director, 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. You will explore and practice casting, and rehearsal techniques, as well as script and scene analysis. Discover how to constructively communicate with your collaborators and break through the obstacles that keep you from being the most effective director and visual storyteller that you can be.

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Week 3: Directing Actors for the Camera | John Coles

directing actors for the camera
In 2024 this class will be taught by director John Coles (HOUSE OF CARDS, THE WEST WING, HOMELAND).

In week three, learn the language that leads to effective performances. Guided by accomplished director John Coles (HOUSE OF CARDS, THE WEST WING, HOMELAND), this workshop will focus on scene analysis, exercises, and techniques to take directors deeply into the dynamics of directing actors. What does an actor need from a director in order to deliver the best performance? How do directors and actors embrace the freedom to risk that can lead to breakthroughs? Preparation sets the stage for compelling and inspired work. Throughout the week, students explore and rehearse scenes with a team of professional actors.

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Week 4 & 5: Directing Master Class | Allen Coulter

Allen Coulter teaches Maine Media directing students by Tor Rolf Johansen
Director Allen Coulter teaching an on-campus workshop at Maine Media.

Spend two weeks with one of today’s most accomplished directors. In weeks three and four of the intensive, get an intimate view into the process of master director Allen Coulter whose credits include THE SOPRANOS, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, SEX AND THE CITY, HOUSE OF CARDS, and NURSE JACKIE. The class will examine the planning, casting, shooting, and editing of scenes and sequences from the instructor’s acclaimed body of work, learning how to think outside of the box and identify the elements that can amplify a scene’s power in bold and unexpected ways. Then you will observe as this director prepares to shoot a scene, collaborates with his cinematographer, and rehearses with professional actors. You’ll watch the production of the scene and then his approach to editing it. In the second week, students will have the opportunity to direct their own scenes with the instructor’s guidance. A professional cinematographer and a team of professional actors will support the class.  Students will explore the dynamics and nuances of scene coverage and point-of-view, the motivation behind camera moves, and be guided by Allen on how to communicate with cast and crew to get the most out of each. These two weeks will transform your understanding of the director’s art and craft.

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Please note: An hour-long training session on Set Etiquette and Safety will be required of anyone registered for a workshop that involves production. Students only need to participate in this session once during their time on campus.

Faculty (More to be announced for 2024)

Instructor: John Coles

John Coles is an award-winning director and producer of films, television, and theater, known for work that features compelling performances from some of today's most respected actors. He was nominated for an Emmy and a PGA award for his work as an Executive Producer and Director on the Netflix phenomenon House of Cards.  Other directing credits include the Emmy Award-winning Showtime series Homeland, the Disney+ series The Right Stuff,  the Epix original series Berlin Station, 11/22/63 for Hulu, and Amazon’s Mad Dogs. Recently he directed and executive produced USA’s hit drama The Sinner.  Other credits include Bates Motel, Power, Damages, Justified, Sex and the City, and The West Wing.  He has also directed and executive-produced Elementary, Thief, Unforgettable, 3LBS, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, New Amsterdam, and Wonderland.

Instructor: Allen Coulter

Allen Coulter is an American television and film director, winner of a Golden Globe and nominated for 7 Primetime Emmys and 5 DGA Awards. He is celebrated for his work on several series central to the “Golden Age of Television,” including THE SOPRANOS, SEX AND THE CITY, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, DAMAGES, NURSE JACKIE, SONS OF ANARCHY, RAY DONOVAN, HOUSE OF CARDS, and VINYL. Other credits include GET SHORTY, LAW AND ORDER, SIX FEET UNDER, THE X-FILES, RUBICON, EXTANT, and FOR ALL MANKIND. Recently he directed the pilots for SUPER PUMPED and TULSA KING. In his television work, he has collaborated with filmmakers such as David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Michael Mann. 

His feature films include HOLLYWOODLAND starring Adrien Brody and Ben Affleck and REMEMBER ME starring Robert Pattinson.

Coulter was raised in College Station, Texas, and after studying theatre direction at the University of Texas at Austin, moved to New York City to pursue his career in film.