Break through obstacles, learn to be focused and centered on a set

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A Director Prepares


As a director, everyone looks to you for the answers.  Everyone. Your actors require you to be any combination of mother, father, therapist, coach, friend and fan. The hardest part of stepping into this role is you don’t get a lot of practice before you actually have the experience of making a movie. Even as you’re dealing with everyone’s questions and insecurities, you’re having to navigate your own.  

Learn how to be focused and centered on a set.  Discover how to constructively communicate with your collaborators, overcome distractions, and break through the obstacles that keep you from being the most effective director and visual storyteller that you can be.  

Whether you are gearing up for a multi-week intensive or carefully examining your options and the road forward in your creative life, this two day intensive will help you take your work to a new level.

Find out why students have called Valerie Landsburg’s classes transformative and life-changing.  A director, actor, writer, and coach, Valerie has been on film sets since she was seven. Everything Valerie learned and refined over the years, she received while working with well-known actors, writers and directors who answered her questions, shared their secrets generously and cheered her on. She is here to do the same for you.

The Workshop will be structured as follows.

Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Why Me, Why This, Why Now?   Becoming the director you hope to be.  

Through Q &A, discussion, writing, and using your creative imagination you will explore how to have a personal base with which to approach the work. The better you know who you want to be on your set, the easier it gets to work with everyone else.

Oh, The Many Hats You Will Wear.

For a visual storyteller everything is important.  What compels us both in art and in life are the details. In a table read setting we will dissect sections of shooting scripts from several genres. Explore how the creative people around you contribute to the process and the multiple layers you are the final word on. In pairs and as a group we will share our own thought processes as we have to make these decisions.

Saturday Evening  

The screening of a new film directed by Valerie Landsburg.  Followed by Q&A.

Sunday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Dance of Working With Artists

Experience the basics of Valerie’s process as an actor, as a director working with other actors, and as a coach on other directors’ movies. Step into the actor’s shoes to understand their needs and process.  Then each participant will direct a provided scene with another member of the workshop. If you can help to bring out the best in your actors you can do the same with anyone involved in your projects.

Getting The Most Out Of What Comes Next

We will end our time together examining, revisiting, debriefing and sharing.  Engage in a few exercises to revive your creativity when the tank is low. Put into place specific goals for the work you intend to follow this weekend workshop with.  

Whether you are an emerging filmmaker or an experienced professional, you’ll leave the weekend with a new understanding of how to be effective on a film set.

Lunch each day is included. Lodging is available on campus $75/night, private room & bath.

Header Image:  Christian Randolph

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Instructor: Valerie Landsburg

Valerie Landsburg is an actor, director, and writer.  Although she has a large body of work, with four decades in film, television, and on stage, she is best known for playing Doris Schwartz on the hit television series Fame.  Her latest film as a director, Love & Debt, was acquired for U.S. release and is currently available on Amazon, Spectrum, Cox, Xfinity, and YouTube Movies. The film features Tom Cavanagh, Bellamy Young, and Bailee Madison.  Her other directing credits include the action-thriller Bound by Lies starring Stephen Baldwin and Kristy Swanson, and Trixie’s Score. Other acting credits include Nip/Tuck, The Unit, Columbo, Empty Nest, Beverly Hills 90210, and Murder, She Wrote.  On Broadway she acted in Neil Simon’s I Ought to Be in Pictures, and appeared off-Broadway in Surviving Grace and Woody Allen’s The Floating Light Bulb.  A long time improviser, she has frequently performed at the Groundlings Theater.