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

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The guiding force of any narrative film is the director. This workshop is for emerging film directors interested in the craft, process and techniques of directing. Casting, rehearsal techniques, script, storyboarding and scene analysis, camera placement, and collaboration are examined and experienced by each class member. Students explore and develop effective ways to lead, inspire, manage and direct the cast and crew’s creative energies in order to realize the director’s vision. Following lecture, exercises, and discussion of process, participants will cast, block, rehearse, and shoot at least one short scene in this workshop. This course is specifically designed to provide an understanding of storytelling techniques and story development through actors and the camera. It addresses the major practical issues associated with narrative filmmaking.


“A dream come true; I feel refreshed, motivated, and excited about my future in film after this workshop”

– Jeremy Hicks, Washington, DC

“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

“This is a week to change and challenge in more ways than you can imagine”

– Nora Hussey, Wellesley, MA

In addition to being offered on an individual basis, this workshop is also Week 1 of the 8 Week Directing Intensive

Image Credits: Alexis Mpaka, Christian Randolph

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Instructor: Mel Damski

Mel Damski is an Oscar and Emmy nominated director. He has directed 40 movies and hundreds of hours of television from MASH to Boston Legal to Scorpion. He was an executive producer and director of Psych on the USA Network for eight seasons. Mel directed 11 movies for the Hallmark Channel in three years. His documentary Still Kicking, The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, was nominated for an Oscar. Mel is a graduate of Colgate University and has an MFA from the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies. He has taught film studies at AFI, USC, NYU, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.