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The Director’s Chair Issue #136 – November 15, 2012 (Truth, Justice and the Cinema!)

Free Monthly Ezine for Independent Filmmakers

November 15, 2012                Scene 13 – Take 11

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Website: http://actioncutprint.com
Blog: http://filmdirectingtips.com


Dear {!firstname},

You are receiving “The Director’s Chair” because you (or
someone using your email address) requested a subscription.

PRIVACY STATEMENT: This Subscriber List is a private mailing
list and will not be made available to other companies or
individuals. I value every Subscriber and respect your


1. Introduction
2. Bonuses for Subscribing to The Director’s Chair
3. Advanced Blocking Workshop – What is Blocking?
4. FEATURE ARTICLE: Truth, Justice and the Cinema!
5. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
6. Filmmaking Links of Interest
7. Product Promotion and Film Workshops
8. Subscribe and Unsubscribe Information
9. Copyright Information

1. Introduction

Welcome to Issue #136 of The Director’s Chair November 15, 2012

1. Feature Article – The feature article this month is called:
Truth, Justice and the Cinema! by Eric Sherman. “Though I was
raised in the film business, I am growingly astonished as the
“hardball” tactics used by the old industry moguls are being
replaced by out-and-out scoundrels and dishonest tactics, from
the lowest to the highest levels of the industry.” (Read
article below.)

2. Please send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice
to: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

2. Two Bonuses For Subscribing To The Director’s Chair

Thank you very much for subscribing to this ezine.

BONUS #1 – Here is the link to download Day One (30 pages) of
“The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar.”

BONUS #2 – Here is the link to download the first 27 pages of
the “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course.”

3. Advanced Blocking: 2 Day Filmmaking Workshop with
Peter D. Marshall (December 8 & 9, Toronto, Canada)

What is Blocking?

“Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.”
Martin Scorsese

Blocking is simply the relationship of the camera to the
actors. Essentially, it is the physical movement of the actors
relative to the position of the camera.

However, when a director starts to plan the blocking of a film
scene, he is thinking not only about his shots and camera
positions, but he also needs to take into consideration other
items affecting the scene such as lighting, window placement,
vehicle movement, extras, stunts, special effects and of
course, time and budget.

Where you put the camera (picking shots and angles) is
determined by: what’s important in the scene; what is the
scene about (scene objective), and what do the characters want
(character objectives) and your choices can either enhance or
detract the audience’s understanding of what the scene is
really about and what the characters are feeling.

Viewer emotion is the ultimate goal of each scene, so where
you place the camera involves knowing what emotion you want
the audience to experience at any given moment. All actor
movement must have a precise purpose and goal so a director
needs to make sure that every move actors make has a specific

You want to reveal a character’s thoughts or emotions through
actions because actions are more revealing of a character than
dialogue. So when blocking actors, you want to drive the
blocking emotionally so no actor movement is done aimlessly.

Audiences will assume that every shot or word of dialogue in a
film is there to further the central idea. Therefore, each
shot you use should contribute to the story or the idea you
are trying to convey.

REMEMBER: Blocking is like a puzzle – keep working at it until
the whole scene falls into place. And there is never one
interpretation of how a scene should be blocked.

To help you enhance your blocking skills, I have partnered
with Raindance Canada again for another weekend workshop
called Advanced Blocking on December 8 & 9, 2012 in Toronto,
Canada. http://bit.ly/OycJmd

This 2-day hands-on workshop concentrates on constructing
shots and blocking actors in a scene and is designed for
directors and actors who want to better understand the
complicated process of scene analysis and blocking actors on

In this workshop you will also have the opportunity to
participate in blocking a scene with professional actors and
the scene will be recorded to play back for discussion and


1. Introduction
2. The Actor/Director Relationship
3. Tools of the Director
4. Tools of the Actor
5. The Actor’s Language (21 Words & Phrases You Must Know)
6. The Director’s Acting & Blocking Mantra
7. Reveal – Reveal – Reveal!
8. The Psychology of Movement
9. What is Blocking?
10. Shot Composition, Depth & Rule of Thirds
11. The 180 Degree Rule
12. Basic Blocking and Staging Techniques
13. The 7 Part Scene Breakdown Process
14. Ten Questions Directors Must Ask Before Blocking
15. The 10 Step Actor/Director Blocking Process
16. Demonstration of 10 Step Actor/Director Blocking Process
17. Class Exercise (Prepare Scenes for Day Two)


1. Practice: Scene Presentations with Actors
2. Review Video of Scene Presentations
3. That’s a Wrap

Who Should Take this Course

Film Directors, Screenwriters, Actors, Producers who want to
more deeply understand the techniques directors use to create
great shots and block scenes on set and directors and
producers who wish to better understand how to communicate and
work with actors.

For more information on how to register for this 2 day
Advanced Blocking workshop, please contact Tiska or Jaimy at
Raindance Canada. http://bit.ly/OycJmd

4. Feature Article: Truth, Justice and the Cinema!

Truth, Justice and the Cinema! by Eric Sherman.

Though I was raised in the film business, I am growingly
astonished as the “hardball” tactics used by the old industry
moguls are being replaced by out-and-out scoundrels and
dishonest tactics, from the lowest to the highest levels of
the industry.

While I can’t disclose much yet about the legal cases on which
I’m working as a consultant and an expert witness, I have come
up with a few basic principles which, if you follow them, will
assist in protecting you from the alligators, vipers and other
consuming beasts.

1.  ALWAYS DELIVER WHAT YOU PROMISE.  You must, against any
and all odds, be a man or woman of your word, for yourself if
no one else.  That is the professional thing to do.  

Therefore, a corollary to this is:  ONLY PROMISE WHAT YOU CAN
DELIVER.  There can be a tendency to stretch beyond your
capabilities.  Creative people in the film industry, especially
if and when they smell money, sometimes make promises that are
simply not achievable.¬† This gives us all a bad name.¬† I’m not
suggesting that you only play it safe – but I am suggesting
that you FIND OUT what you or your assembled team CAN deliver
before you put any family jewels on the line.

2.¬† IF IT ISN’T WRITTEN IT ISN’T TRUE.¬† Make NO assumptions.¬†
If you write or sign a contract, know what every word means. 
Have a good legal dictionary (e.g. Black’s Law Dictionary) and
a good English dictionary (e.g. Oxford New American
Dictionary) at hand.¬† You MUST understand what you’re
signing.  You only have yourself to blame if you sign a
corrupt agreement. 

If you don’t understand a word, find out what it means, either
by looking it up or asking.¬†I’ve been in this business my
whole life, and I still ask questions.  As often as not, if I
don’t understand a word, neither does the person who wrote
it.¬† A REAL business person not only doesn’t think less of you
for asking, he/she will respect it. If ANYONE makes fun of you
for wanting to know, this is not your friend.

I’ve stated in an earlier article that your best friend can be
your attorney.  All of the good ones with whom I work ALWAYS
ask, prior to any negotiating, what I want from a certain
business relationship – specifically, they ask what is
absolute, and what is negotiable.

BOTH SIDES CAN WIN.  No one likes to be taken advantage of,
and, in fact, it’s on you if you allow it to occur.¬†
Conversely, if you take advantage of another, you probably
will end up paying a heavy price.

There’s a fine balance between money and creative – both sides
must have an opportunity to succeed.¬† If an investor’s funds
are entirely at risk, and if he has no recourse if he loses
all his money, what is that worth to him?  To you?  At the
same time, the creative artist gives the money person a
playing field.¬† That’s worth a heckuvalot itself.

4.  RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH.  In this Information Age,
with Google, et al, having so very much data available, go to
a search mode, and type in the person or company you’re
considering working with.  Read EVERY article and interview
you can.  Find out how happy and healthy their employees are. 
Find out how many lawsuits they’ve been involved with. ¬†

These guidelines are offered to you because they work.¬† I’ve
been a filmmaker, teacher, and private consultant for many
years, and I’m shocked to tell you that I’ve never been sued
and never sued anyone.  This is because I practice what I

Hope this helps you!

Eric Sherman

Eric provides consulting services to industry leaders as well
as new-comers, to artists as well as business people. He helps
writers, actors and filmmakers achieve their goals. For a
complete list of books, videos and services please visit
www.ericsherman.com for more information.

5. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion (Free Advertising)

The Director’s Chair gives you an incredible opportunity to
get Free Advertising for your services and your films.

Each month, I give two subscribers an opportunity to promote
themselves, their company or their productions in this

So if you want over 5800 filmmakers around the world to know
about you and your films, please send me your “shameless
self-promotion” to: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com.

Please limit your promotion to 300 words. I reserve the right
to edit the promotion for length, spelling and formatting.


(1) Leon Laubscher: Having been a photographer for just over 6
years, I had the amazing opportunity to “fall” into the film
making world after meeting up with my now good friend and
awesome producer Richard Lackey. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3432513/

Having hit a quiet time in our careers we ventured forth into
the world of Indie Movie Making and have had nothing but fun

Our first short we worked on was “Inside” a suspense, thriller
about a man who had to face himself while alone in the great
outdoors, and then we moved on to something a LOT more

With the help of a very experienced director in Dubai, Jac
Mulder http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4769490/, I was given the
amazing opportunity to be a First Time Director, and Richard
the title of Producer, after Richard and I co-wrote “Murder at
the Manor” (A diemersfontein wine murder mystery

Right now I’m producing a TV series and will be well on our
way to selling it to Satellite TV channels once we finish the
“second” pilot (long story).

For a look at my work look at:

I’m also a member of Stage32 and you can see my profile here:

Thank you for this opportunity to introduce myself to you all.
And as always if you ever need a director/ creative director
or writer… please shout my way: mailto:leon@light-art.co.za

Look forward to hearing from you all soon.

Leon Laubscher

Light-Art Photography & Promotions
Art! At the speed of light.
(m) 072 099 1434
(f) 0866 9 44456
(skype) <skype:light-art-photography?call>light-art-photography

present their first feature length film, “Calling”.

Written by Robert Parsons, Directed by Jared Burt and Produced
by Julius Malco & Robert Parsons, “Calling” is a dramatic
comedy which follows the lives of five call center employees
who are forced to re-evaluate their lives following corporate
layoffs due to offshore labour.

“The issues we tackle in Calling present the harsh reality
that many people around the world are facing in the current
economic climate,” said Robert Parsons. “Most people will feel
some sort of connection to the story and the characters, both
in a fun and dramatic way.”

“Calling” was produced over a two-year span with no budget in
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The cast list features many
new-comers and local theatre players from the Saint John area
who dedicated their time and talents to the production. This
includes Suzanne Short, star of the local indie film “Margaret
and Deidre”. Her experience and talent was a huge boost for
the team when she agreed to play her role in “Calling”.

Our premiere on Sept 13th sold out 115 seats and our second
screening on Sept 22nd has sold out as well.

Website: http://www.callingthemovie.com
Trailers: http://www.callingthemovie.com/trailers


Julius Malco
Producer – Let Em Laugh Productions

6. Filmmaking Links of Interest

1. Great Advice for Filmmakers from Legendary Directors

2. 6 Filmmaking Tips From Steven Soderbergh

3. 10 Filmmaking Apps Under $10.00

4. Barry Levinson Explores iPhone Filmmaking

5. Credit Card Movies: How to Fund Cinematic Dreams

6. A Case Study in How to Release Your Short Film Online

7. Eli Roth hails virtues of DIY filmmaking

8. Acting Is an Art, Actors Are a Business

9. Hollywood embraces crowdsourcing as Amazon moves into moviemaking

10. Indie Filmmakers and the Digital Dilemma

7. Product Promotion And Film Workshops

From time to time, I will contact you to inform you of film
workshops, filmmaking products or Online courses that I feel
are beneficial to filmmakers like yourself. Of course, you are
under no obligation to purchase anything – I only offer this
information as a service to subscribers of this free ezine.

8. Subscribe and Unsubscribe Information

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Forward it to your friends and associates.

6. Reprint This Ezine: This Ezine may be reprinted with
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9. Copyright Information

Copyright (c) 2000-2012
Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved