Develop effective ways to lead, inspire, and direct the cast and crew's energies to realize a creative vision

There are no available registration dates at this time.

NOTE: This course will be held in a live, online format using the Zoom Platform.
The class will run from 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM ET.

Limited scholarship opportunities may be available under the BILL LINSMAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND.  Details and application form may be found here.

The guiding force of any narrative film is the director. This intimate and immersive week-long course is for emerging film directors interested in the craft, process and techniques of directing.

In our virtual classroom, 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.

You will learn how to approach a script from a director’s perspective, how to conduct auditions and practice working with actors (via Zoom with actors connected from their own locations).  Other key crew members will visit the class and discuss their perspective on the dynamics of effective collaboration. Case studies and looking at scenes and dailies from the instructor’s past work will inspire discussion of how the choices a director makes in blocking and working with the cinematographer amplify a scene’s emotional impact.  We will examine the processes and techniques needed to create convincing performances while exploring the important role the director takes in the leadership of a production.

Using an accessible camera at your location (even a smartphone) participants will shoot at least one short film in this workshop. Regardless of whether you have another person to film, it will be driven by visual storytelling, and will tell a story.

Leave the week with an understanding of cinematic storytelling techniques and the dynamics involved in achieving a directorial vision.

The instructor may recommend films to watch at your location that might incur streaming costs of $10-15.


“Friendly atmosphere with a great educational experience.  The best!”

– Colby Clark, Clarks Summit, PA

“Highly recommended for any serious filmmaker”

– Wei Zhou (Jason), Mountain View, CA

Image Credits: Tor Rolf Johansen, Alexis Mpaka

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Instructor: Peter Werner

Peter Werner is an Academy Award-winning director with an extensive background in both television and film. His credits include Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Justified, Grimm, Unforgettable, The Wonder Years, and The Blacklist. Peter's AFI film, which he wrote and directed based on the short story "In the Region of Ice" by Joyce Carol Oates, was shown at the New York Film Festival and earned Peter an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. He has been nominated for multiple Emmy and D.G.A. Awards, and won an ACE cable Award for his HBO film, "The Image", starring Albert Finney. He holds Master's degrees in both Teaching and Documentary Film.