“Directing the Film Actor” 3 Day Intensive Workshop: Sept. 24, 25, 26, 2010, Vancouver, Canada

by Peter D Marshall


“If there was an Oscar Award for what they do, Peter and Trilby each deserve one. Every time they teach.” Cecil Hamilton-Shimmen, Singapore

“Directing the Film Actor” is a 3 day hands-on workshop with Peter D. Marshall and Trilby Jeeves held in Vancouver, Canada that concentrates on the filmmaker’s main task: directing the actor!

This workshop was designed for filmmakers who want to understand the acting process and how to get the best results from actors.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: this 3 day intensive workshop is now full.


“I really enjoyed getting hands-on experience working with actors. Each time we ran through our own scenes and other’s scenes, ideas about the performance unfolded like onion layers. These workshops have really encouraged me to think creatively, to allow me to think outside my normal day-job role and explore the possibilities within me.” Annabelle Wilczur, Vancouver, Canada

“Directing the Film Actor”

What do actors want more than anything from a Director? Trust!

To find a character they are playing, actors must surrender completely to feelings and impulses. As a result, actors want to work with Directors who can create a safe place for them to perform and who also understand their vulnerabilities.

When dealing with the acting process, Directors need to focus on feelings and emotions. And when dealing with actors and their feelings, many Directors are uncomfortable and unsure of themselves.

Actors who trust a Director will usually have an easier time “getting out of their heads and into their bodies” – which makes for more believable performances.

Workshop Objective – The objective of this workshop is to explore the film director’s creative process in shaping an actor’s performance.

Day One – Covers the theory behind the director’s job, the importance of script and scene breakdown, character analysis and understanding the actor’s process.

Day Two – Covers acting exercises, guidelines for the casting session, and practical blocking and directing exercises.

Day Three – Each director will block and rehearse a scene with two actors. All scenes will be recorded for review and analysis as a group.


“Peter and Trilby are very sincere and dedicated! We shared so much during the 3 days. For this workshop, we directors, producers, and artists were able to understand more of each others difficulties and inner feelings during production period. You two have enlightened us so much. Thank you, God bless!” Taykok Peng Edmund, Singapore

3 DAY COURSE OUTLINE

DAY ONE

(1) INTRODUCTION

1. Circle Talk and Class/Instructor Introductions
2. Connecting Exercise

(2) THE DIRECTOR

1. What is a Director?
2. The Director as Story Teller
3. Three Types of Director
4. The Role of the Director
5. The Tools of a Director

(3) THE ACTOR

1. What is an Actor?
2. The Nine Categories of Actors
3. Four Types of Actors
4. The Actor’s Job

(4) THE ACTOR/DIRECTOR RELATIONSHIP

1. What does an actor want from this relationship?
2. What does a director want from this relationship?

(5) CLASS EXERCISE: THE DIRECTORS IMPROV

1. Dealing with Self-Consciousness
2. Feelings, Emotions and Vulnerability

(6) THE ACTOR’S LANGUAGE

1. Objectives
2. Text and subtext
3. Conflict
4. Action Verbs
5. Result Direction
6. Obstacles
7. Beats
8. Permission
9. In the Moment
10. Listening
11. Improvisation

(7) CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT & ANALYSIS

1. Observing Human Behavior and Emotions
2. Character Development and Analysis

(8) THE SCRIPT

1. The Three Act Structure
2. Drama and Conflict
3. Five Sources of Conflict

(9) SCRIPT AND SCENE ANALYSIS

1. Scene Objectives
2. Character Objectives
3. Beats

(10) CLASS EXERCISE

1. Breakdown a Sample Script and Discuss

DAY TWO

(1) CLASS EXERCISE: ACTING AND MOVEMENT

1. Mirror Exercise
2. Acting Exercise

(2) BLOCKING AND REHEARSING

1. The Psychology of Movement
2. What is Blocking?
3. Basic Blocking and Staging Techniques
4. The 180 Degree Rule
5. The Five Parts to Shooting a Scene
6. Director Questions for Blocking
7. Tips for Blocking and Staging a Scene

(3) THE CASTING PROCESS

1. The Director’s Acting Mantra
2. Director Guidelines for Casting

(4) WORKING WITH ACTORS ON THE SET

1. Tips for Rehearsing Actors on the Set
2. Directing the Actor

(5) CLASS EXERCISE – “THE BUS STOP”

Directors will direct one actor (Trilby). Each director will do the following:

1. Create a story and determine themes and objectives with the actor
2. Block and rehearse their scene with the actor in front of the class
3. Discuss their scene theme and objectives with the class

(6) FILM MONTAGE

1. Reviewing the Principles of Editing (Montage)

(7) CLASS EXERCISE

1. Directors Prepare & Breakdown Scenes for Day 3

DAY THREE

(1) SCENE PRESENTATIONS – TWO ACTORS AND DIRECTORS

1. Each director will block and rehearse a scene with two actors
2. All scenes will be recorded with one camera

(2) PLAYBACK SCENES FOR REVIEW

1. Review and analysis of the scenes as a group
2. Director Evaluations

(3) SUMMARY

1. Questions and Answers

REGISTRATION FEE This 3 day intensive workshop is now full.

COMMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS

“Really, really enjoyed the class! Been waiting for a class like this for a long time, and it has finally happened. All my answers are there. What I have been looking for all the years that I have been directing, has all been put into perspective. All a clearer picture. I have gained so much from this experience and treasure. Thank you..” Ian Seymour, Singapore

“Peter’s class is very inspiring and motivational. An excellent, comfortable and supportive learning environment. Looking forward to the next one.” Trevor McWhinney, Vancouver, Canada

“One of the best (workshops) I have attended in my career. Excellent teachers. Learned so much from them. Incredible.” Ram Murugese, Singapore

“This course raised my bar!” Wu Min Xiu, Singapore

” I appreciate Peter’s valuable experience and POV’s and the practise this course allowed me to play with and further develop my directing skills.” Frederick Heartline, Vancouver, Canada

“What a learning experience! Lots of fun. Can’t wait until the next one. It was a treat to actually work with actors.” Jennifer Kidd, Vancouver, Canada

“This was a great experience. Peter is a fountain of knowledge. His attention to detail is impeccable. I have learned a lot, as an actor, about the filmmaking process. Students and actors can benefit from his knowledge and experience.” Paul Herbert, Vancouver, Canada

Copyright (c) 2000-2010 Peter D. Marshall All Rights Reserved

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

deepak savant September 2, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Really it is great experience . I learn more and more from peters articles and I develop my skill in direction . peter is the” DRONACHARYA” of FILM MAKING ACADEMY

deepak savant ,.Mumbai , India

Peter D Marshall September 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Deepak, Thank you very much for your comments. Peter

DIANA DORNER September 12, 2010 at 12:28 am

Much appreciated all your articles, Peter!
Cannot but hope life will eventually open a
path for me to develop further according your
kind and inspired advices in direction.

Best regards and gratitude.
Yours sincerely,
Diana E.DORNER, CJ, RO

EVANS KUMI WADEWOR September 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I will be grateful to participate in any of your workshops slated for next year. Please let me know the cost involve and the support that you give to international participant in terms of acquiring a visa to attend the workshop. Thanks

farzin youabian September 19, 2010 at 10:49 pm

DEAR MR MARSHALL HI THIS FARZIN YOUABIAN REGARDING MR,JOHN WOO HE IS A VERY SERIOUS DIRECTOR ,AND I HAVE SEEN HIS WORK IN MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 WITH TOM CRUISE ,AND AT THIS TIME I DO HAVE THREE SCRIPTS WHICH I THINK IS REALLY NICE ,I AM HOPING TO DIRECT THESE FILMS AS WELL I THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK FARZIN YOUABIAN A WRITER AND DIRECTOR.

allison ayer September 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

when will the next course be, pray tell?

Peter D Marshall September 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Sometime in early 2011. 🙂

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