The Director’s Chair Issue #24 – April 29, 2002 (Directing 101)

by Peter D Marshall

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THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

April 29, 2002          Scene 3 – Take 4
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Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Web Site: http://www.actioncutprint.com

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Dear Friend,

You are receiving The Director’s Chair because you requested a
subscription. Subscribe and Unsubscribe instructions are at the
end of this Ezine.

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 privacy.

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CONTENTS
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1.  Introduction
2.  Film Making Workshops with Peter D. Marshall
3.  The Busy Person’s Guide to Directing
4.  FREE Bonus for Subscribers
5.  Action-Cut-Print!
6.  Feature Article – Directing 101
7.  Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
8.  Directing Tip – When to Use a Second Camera
9.  Tips for Young Filmmakers
10. Film Links of Interest – SoundSpeedMovie.com
11. Film Scheduling Tip
12. Quote of the Month
13. Out Takes –  Dumb Laws
14. Share This Ezine
15. Suggestions & Comments
16. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
17. Copyright Information

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1. INTRODUCTION
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Welcome to Issue #24 of The Director’s Chair (April 29, 2002).

1) I have been contracted to do 4 Film workshops in Orlando,
Florida between August 12 and August 23, 2002. (See below for
more info)

2) THE FEATURE ARTICLE – Directing 101
A quick reference guide to directing.

3) THE DIRECTING TIP – When to Use a Second Camera

4) TIPS FOR YOUNG FILMMAKERS –
It’s not what you know, but who you know.”  Truth?

5) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – If you would like to contribute articles,
tips, links of interest, industry news, interviews, special event
dates or other resources to The Director’s Chair please email:
mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

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Enjoy.

Peter D. Marshall

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2. Film Making Workshops with Peter D. Marshall
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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT…

Film Making Workshops with Peter D. Marshall
Orlando, Florida August 12 – August 23, 2002

I have worked in the Film and Television Industry for over 30
years – as a Film Director, Television Producer, First Assistant
Director, Series Creative Consultant and Documentary Filmmaker.

I’ve been asked many times to share my Film and TV production
knowledge with others. As a result, I developed several workshops
that I have successfully presented over the past 15 years.

Between August 12 and August 23, 2002, I will be presenting four
film workshops at Creative Stages in Orlando, Florida. To find
more information about these workshops and to learn how to
register online, just click on the links below.

The Workshops in Orlando, Florida

1) “The Art of the Film Director”
August 12 – August 14, 2002
http://www.actioncutprint.com/ws-artofdirector.html

Three day workshop for Filmmakers. Discusses Film and Television
Directing tips and techniques and answers the question, “What is
a Director?”

2) “Directing the Actor”
August 15 – August 17, 2002
http://www.actioncutprint.com/ws-directingactors.html

Three day hands-on workshop for Directors. Concentrates on the
Film and Television Director’s main task: Directing the Actor!

3) “Designing the Film Shooting Schedule”
August 19 – August 20, 2002
http://www.actioncutprint.com/ws-filmschedule.html

Two day workshop for Producers, Production Managers, Assistant
Directors, Location Managers and Production Co-ordinators.
Focuses on the accurate preparation of the Shooting Schedule for
Television and Feature Film Productions.

4) “Acting for the Camera – A Survival Guide”
August 21 – August 23, 2002
http://www.actioncutprint.com/ws-acting4camera.html

Three day workshop for Actors. Designed to give Actors an
opportunity to learn “Film Acting Survival Tips” and help them
become successful working film Actors.

If you can’t make it to Orlando in August, but you are interested
in these workshops for yourself or your organization, please
contact me to discuss how we can bring these workshops to you.

Peter D. Marshall
mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
(416) 280-6043

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3. “THE BUSY PERSON’S GUIDE TO DIRECTING”
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Check out “THE BUSY PERSON’S GUIDE TO DIRECTING” where I review
the best Film and Television Directing Websites and keep you
updated on the best Directing Websites in my weekly Directing
45-Second Newsletter.

Each issue will include more filmmaking Websites, links to film
and TV directing articles, and a weekly Film Directing Tip.
http://wz.com/arts/Directing.html

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4. FREE BONUS FOR SUBSCRIBERS TO “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
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If you are a subscriber to The Director’s Chair, you are entitled
to get the first 3 chapters FREE to the eBook, �”Screenplay
Secrets – How to Create and Sell Compelling Characters in the New
Millennium.”

Markets for screenwriters are exploding: cable, Satellite, DVD,
WebTV, pay per view, and new forms are being developed daily…
There has never been a better time for writers to have their work
seen by millions… and it may never come round again.

SCREENPLAY SECRETS will let you inside this secret world. You’ll
discover exactly what it is the stars look for when they read
scripts. You’ll have the answers at your fingertips.

To get your 3 Free Chapters of �”Screenplay Secrets” just click
on this link: http://www.ctheshops.com/s.cgi?index-180

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5. ACTION-CUT-PRINT! –  A Website for Filmmakers
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If you are a Film or TV Director; a working professional who
wants to Direct; a film student who wants to learn more about
Directing; or a “student of film” who just wants to know more
about Filmmaking from the pros, Action-Cut-Print! is for you!

Take a moment now to visit http://www.actioncutprint.com where
you will find over 1200 Online Resources for Filmmakers, a Film
and TV Bookstore and Film Directing Workshops.

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6. FEATURE ARTICLE – DIRECTING  101
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Here is a quick reference guide I use each time I prepare to
direct a show.

1) THE SCRIPT

ACT ONE (Set Up)
a. who is the main character?
b. what is the premise or theme?
c. what is the situation?
d. what are the main character’s needs and goals?

ACT TWO (Confrontation)
a. what is the dramatic action (obstacles)

ACT THREE (Resolution)
a. how does the story end (what is the solution?)
b. what happens to the main character?
c. what happens to the other characters?

2) SCENE ANALYSIS

a. what is the INTENT of the scene
(what is the scene for dramatically?)
b. what are the MAIN ELEMENTS of the scene
(points to get across to the audience?)
c. what is the EXPOSITION
(what are the characters “doing”?)
d. what is the COMPLICATION
(the drama)?
e. where is the CLIMAX
(what is the turning point of the story?)
f. what is the RESOLUTION
(how is the theme resolved?)
g. what is the CONCLUSION
(how does the scene end?)
h. what are the MAJOR POINTS OF ACTION
(graph them out)
i. where does the IDEA CHANGE?
j. what are the important LINES OF DIALOGUE?
k. where is the RECOGNITION & REVERSAL SCENE for each character?
l. which character CONTROLS, or pushes a scene?

3) CHARACTER ANALYSIS

a. SUPER OBJECTIVE (“Power Over People”)
– what is the primal motivation of the character?
– what are the main needs of the character?
b. OBJECTIVES (“To Dominate X”)
– what does the character want (motives?)
– what are his active choices to achieve the super objective?
c. MAIN ACTIONS (“What They Do To X”)
– what the character DOES…
– to get what he WANTS…
– to fulfill his NEEDS!

4) CHARACTER BACKGROUND

a. what is the character’s background?
b. what was he doing just before this scene?
c. what does the writer say about this character?
d. what do other people say about this character?
e. what does the character say about himself?

5) CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

a. who is the MAIN CHARACTER
(involved with the question)
b. what is the CHARACTER SPINE
(motivation/goals/action)
c. what is the SUPER-OBJECTIVE
(the main needs of the character)
d. what is the OBJECTIVE
(what the character wants/active choices)
e. what is the CONFLICT
(inner/relational/societal/situational/cosmic)
f. what are the THREE DIMENSIONS
(thoughts/actions/emotions)

6) MOTIVE (INNER) DETERMINES BEHAVIOUR (OUTER)

a. CHARACTER EMOTIONS
– SYMPATHY
(audience identifies with the character’s problems and triumphs)
– EMPATHY
(audience understands the emotions that drive the character)
– ANTIPATHY
(audience wants to see the character “get what they deserve”)
b. INTERIOR COMPONENTS (form character)
c. EXTERIOR COMPONENTS (reveal character)
d. what are the MAIN ACTIONS
(what he does to get what he wants to fulfill his needs?)
e.  DIALOGUE (moves the story forward)
– motivated by the given circumstances in the scene
– should be consistent with character development

7) SUBTEXT(MES-EN-SCENE/SUBWORLD)

– what is the story beneath the story?
– what generates the action for a character?
– everyone has secret lives/fantasies
– what would it take to motivate this character?
– patterns of behaviour
– DIALOGUE  (what is the character trying to say?)
– conflicting worlds
(which characters are in conflict)
– what are the central MOTIFS/IMAGES/SYMBOLS?
– find the quality sensation the audience can feel
– director directs the STORY BENEATH THE MAIN STORY
(director designs the interior)
– generate the subtext to make it believable
– know the story on the surface
– know how to bring the story to life
– find out what generates the action before it happens
(all problems are solved from this concept)
– build an entire past life for your characters
– vicarious experience is as important as real life experiences
– understand behaviour

8) VISUAL CONCEPT

– image structure and style
– what is the PRIMORTAL IMAGE (takes the audience into the world)
– design a MOTIF (concept)
– repeat a motif and it becomes a style
– decide on what the audience is going to see
– devise a DRAMATIC METAPHOR (motifs/symbols)
– what is the pacing/mood?

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7.  BACK ISSUES OF “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
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To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:
http://www.actioncutprint.com/ezine.html

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8.  DIRECTING TIP – When to Use a Second Camera
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Shooting with a second camera is a must if you want to save time
on the set.

1) Action Scenes – you should always use several cameras during
Action and stunt scenes.

2) Dialogue Scenes – you will need to work closely with the DOP,
and the soundman, about when to use the second camera, what it is
covering and what lens to use.

3) Filming kids and animals – this will help you get the shot on
the first or second take as both children and animals will
never do the same thing twice.

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9. TIPS FOR YOUNG FILMMAKERS – by Cody Agenten
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“It’s not what you know, but who you know.”  Truth?

I was once told by an entertainment artist that if you want to
make it in Hollywood, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
For many, many years, I held this motto close to my heart, and
tried to make it a reality by making contacts with many
well-known people in the Industry.  Because I made all these
contacts, I felt assure that I would get where I wanted to be in
Hollywood.

Well, I got an e-mail the other day from writer/director Kevin
Smith, (Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, etc…), and he set me on the
right path, and I want to set all you reading this on the right
path as well.  Mr. Smith told me that this philosophy of mine was
completely backwards in thought.  Many very successful people in
Hollywood didn’t know a single person when they entered this Land
of Unreality, but they knew their stuff and what they wanted from
the industry. They had a fresh idea to bring to Tinsel Town, and
they were noticed because of this.

What’s the moral to the story?  Well, just because you know
somebody who can get you in the door at your Hollywood dream job,
don’t slack in the other, more important areas.  Don’t just
assume that they’ll help you or that they’ll get you a job.  Work
on your art and make it the best you can, then get it out there
and see what happens.  Persistence pays off in the long run.
Work hard and keep at it.  You won’t be successful all the time,
because if you were, there would be nothing to succeed at.
Period.

If he is reading this, thanks to Kevin for putting me on the
right path.

Cody

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Cody is a young filmmaker from Northern Wisconsin who is
presently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
To contact Cody, email: cody.agenten@gmail.com
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10.  FILM LINKS OF INTEREST
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SoundSpeedMovie.com – http://www.soundspeedmovie.com/

The SoundSpeed Movie Database is a website that provides a place
for people from the movie industry to find information on, and
discuss, location sound issues.

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11. FILM SCHEDULING TIP
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When you are preparing your first board (one liner), make sure
the Production Designer and the Location Manager go over it with
you.

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12.  QUOTE OF THE MONTH
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“What is essential is invisible to the eye. It’s only with the
heart that one can see clearly.”

Gene Wilder in “The Little Prince,” 1974

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13.  OUT TAKES – Dumb Laws
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Dum Laws of Texas

– When two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each
shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the
other has gone.

– It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time
while standing.

– You can be legally married by publicly introducing a person as
your husband or wife 3 times.

– It is illegal to possess an illegal drink.

– It is illegal to drive without windshield wipers. You don’t need
a windshield, but you must have the wipers.

– It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of
a hotel.

– A twenty five dollar annual fee is required to possess a dead
alligator.

– It is illegal to milk another person’s cow.

– A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their
victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to
explain the nature of the crime to be committed.

– The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it
contains a formula for making beer at home.

For more Dum Laws, check out: http://www.dumblaws.com/

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14. SHARE THIS EZINE
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Share this Ezine by email – forward it to your friends and
associates.

This Ezine may be reprinted with permission.
Email me at: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

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15. SUGGESTIONS & COMMENTS
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Send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice to:
mailto:comments@actioncutprint.com

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16. SUBSCRIBE & UNSUBSCRIBE INFORMATION
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17. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
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Copyright (c) 2000-2002
www.actioncutprint.com
Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved

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Copyright (c) 2000-2009 Peter D. Marshall / All Rights Reserved

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