Go deep into the art of directing in this Eight-week intensive, guided by industry professionals

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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 understands 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. 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.

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


2021 Courses included:

The Director's Craft

In the first week of the intensive students are introduced to the primary responsibilities of the film director. Casting, rehearsal techniques, script, scene analysis, 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. In the first week of the intensive students are introduced to the primary responsibilities of the film director. With the guidance of accomplished director Geary McLeod (EMPIRE, GREY’S ANATOMY) 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, 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.

Directing Actors for the Camera

The second week is a practical laboratory that explores the process of directing both actors and the camera. Led by industry professionals with extensive experience in both directing and cinematography, students block, rehearse, and direct a team of professional actors in short dramatic scenes. They focus on exploring ways in which the camera and the shot design can be implemented to most effectively help tell their story. Examine the directorial and collaborative processes and the techniques needed to create convincing performances and effective scene coverage in the service of a creative vision.

Story Structure and Character Development | Wayne Beach

In Week Three students examine the essentials of screenwriting: concept, character, story, plot, dialogue, and structure. Guided by a professional screenwriter, you will examine the importance of visual storytelling, the process of shaping story, creating compelling character arcs, constructing scenes and sequences, writing effective dialogue, and the fundamentals of suspense and tension. This week will afford students valuable insight into the screenwriter's process, and its relationship to that of the director.

Creative Producing for Film & TV | Eric Mofford

To successfully launch and complete a project, a director must learn the dynamics of working with a producer - and sometimes how to be their own producer. Students 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.

The Art of Editing

Whether you want to be a director who edits your own films, or prefers to hand them off to a professional editor, understanding the dynamics of the editing process is crucial 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. Students will be given various types of footage to practice with throughout the week and will create edits to be critiqued in class. This course will give directing students valuable new perspectives, 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.

The Camera and Visual Storytelling | Steven Fierberg ASC

Here the focus will be on one of the director's most important responsibilities: crafting their 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 students the opportunity to work with emerging camera operators and DPs. Led by a deeply accomplished Director of Photography, you’ll learn the “language and grammar" of shot design, point-of-view, composition, camera placement, and movement. The course will be heavily project-based and students will collaborate to shoot original concepts. By week's end, participants will have created a short portfolio-quality cinematic piece and worked with an editor to see their vision to completion. Projects are screened at the Friday night showcase of student work.

Directing Master Class

Spend two weeks with one of today’s most accomplished directors. In weeks seven and eight of the intensive, get an intimate view into the process of a master director. Combining scene analysis, screenings, and discussion of case studies, the class examines the planning, casting, shooting, and editing of scenes and sequences from their acclaimed body of work. Students will explore how to make the choices that bring a unique point-of-view to the direction and filming of a scene and how to achieve the overall vision for a production. You’ll learn how to think outside of the box and identify the elements that can amplify a scene’s power in bold and unexpected ways. Then students will direct their own scenes, receiving guidance on how to communicate with cast and crew to get the most out of each. This extraordinary opportunity to spend two weeks with one of today’s most accomplished directors will transform your understanding of the director’s art and craft.