THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors
October 30, 2000 Scene 1 – Take 7
Published once a month.
Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
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3. Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
4. Quote of the Month – Thoughts on Rock and Roll
5. Feature Article – Quick Reference Directing List: Part 1
6. Directing Tip – Actor Walk and Talk
7. The New Media – Film Makers and the New Media
8. Film Links of Interest – Box Office Charts
9. Out Takes – Movie Cliches: Cars and Driving
10. Share This Ezine
11. Suggestions & Comments
12. Copyright Information
13. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
Welcome to Issue # 7 of The Director’s Chair (October 30, 2000)
a) The Feature Article this month is a Quick Reference Directing
List containing a few directing “rules and guidelines” I have
collected over the years.
b) Calling all Volunteers! 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 contact me at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter D. Marshall
2. ACTION-CUT-PRINT! – A Web Site for Film Makers
If you are a Film or TV Director; a working professional who
wants to Direct; a film student who would like to learn more
about Directing; or a “student of film” who just wants to know
more about Film Making from the pros, Action-Cut-Print! is for
Take a moment now to visit
http://www.actioncutprint.com/home.html where you will find over
1000 Online Resources for Film Makers; where you will learn
Directing tips and techniques from the pros; where you can share
your production knowledge with others; and where you will
discover the very best strategies and techniques for promoting
and marketing your own Film and TV Web Site.
3. BACK ISSUES OF “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:
4. QUOTE OF THE MONTH – Thoughts on Rock and Roll
“The amount of noise which anyone can bear undisturbed stands
in inverse proportion to his mental capacity.”
5. FEATURE ARTICLE – Quick Reference Directing List: Part 1
Quick Reference Directing List: Part 1
I have read many books and articles on Film Directing over the
past 20 years. As I read, I underline or yellow certain sentences
or paragraphs that contain valuable information. I then take
these marked sentences and type them into a Quick Reference
Directing file on my computer where
I sort them into specific categories, print them out and keep
them in my binder for quick reference.
The following list contains just a few of the “rules and
guidelines” that I have accumulated over the years. In future
articles, I will include more of these valuable tips and
* image structure and style
* what is the PRIMORTAL IMAGE (to take the audience into this world)
* design a MOTIF (concept)
* repeat a motif it becomes a style
* decide on what the audience is going to see
* devise a DRAMATIC METAPHOR (motifs & symbols)
* what is the pacing & mood
– formalism, constructive, balanced
* motion going LEFT to RIGHT (comfortable)
* motion going RIGHT to LEFT (conflict)
* anything that is centered has no statement
* anything that is off-centre has implied action
* what is the colour of the story
* stillness creates focus
* action creates focus
* what dialogue is the most important to be heard
* what is the RHYTHM of the story/scene/act (build on the heartbeat)
* PHYSICAL: ENVIRONMENT (red,orange, magenta)
– people who relate to the world by interacting with their
* PHYSICAL: BODY (yellow, physical tan)
– people who relate to the world through the sensation
triggered by their physical bodies
* MENTAL (mental tan, green, nurturing tan, loving tan)
– people who think about the world and their place in it
* EMOTIONAL & SPIRITUAL (blue, violet, lavender, crystal, indigo)
– people who live in a world where the intangibles of life
(hopes, wishes, dreams) are more important than the tangibles
– warm colours (red, orange, yellow)
– cool colours (green, blue, purple)
* CLEAR, BRIGHT COLOURS
– good physical, mental, emotional health
* MUDDY COLOURS
– depression, anger, self-pity
– anger, passion, rage, desire, vital force, achieve results,
– love and innocence
– wisdom, knowledge, search for a way out, relaxation, hope of
– healing, soothing, perseverance, tenacity, self-awareness,
– faith, spirituality, complete calm, contentment, loyalty,
– power, ego centre
– materialistic, sensation, money conscious, dispossessed and rootless
– extreme anger, people who hide feelings and things, ultimate surrender, No
– protection and love, positive energy, Yes
– neutral, remain uncommitted, insulated, unwilling to take
– sensitive intimacy, a magical state, erotic
6. DIRECTING TIP – The Walk and Talk
Two actors have to walk from Point-A (a hallway) and finish their
dialogue when they reach Point-B (an elevator or a door). A quick
way of deciding where they must begin (in the hallway) is to have
them start walking FROM Point-B to Point-A. Where they stop
(finish their lines) is where you can start them for the scene.
7. THE NEW MEDIA – Film Makers and the Internet
Netcasting; Webcasting; Streaming; Webisodic; Interactive
Programming; Broadband; Digital Technology; Encryption;
High-Speed Internet Access; Ebooks; these are just some of the
buzz words of the New Media – the convergence of the new
technologies (Digital, Internet, TV, personal computing devices)
and entertainment (television, movies, music, publishing).
It started with the music industry (MP3 and Napster) and the
publishing industry (Ebooks) and now Hollywood is slowly seeing
the light about using the Internet as a place for producing and
As Film Makers, we are constantly trying to find new sources for
financing and distributing our projects. With improved connection
speeds for the Internet, a host of Web Sites now exist where you
can show your films to to the world!
But…there are also many problems. You’ve heard about MP3 and
Napster being sued by the big guns in the music business and the
demise of POP.com before it even went online.
In this section, you will find links to articles and reports
about the New Media and how it will effect the Film Maker – now
and in the future.
1) Indies Go Digital – Jason Krause
Independent filmmakers have few outlets for their work. The Web seems
like the solution. But is there money to be made showing quirky films
2) That’s Entertainment! – Eric Savitz
When it came to entertainment, the Web was supposed to change
everything. It hasn’t yet. But it will.
3) We’re Ready for Our Close-ups – Susan Karlin
Entertainment sites are actively trying to deliver what Hollywood wants.
4) Big Changes For Small Films – Dennis Michael
Digital revolution comes to independents.
5) TITAN D.C. – Annlee Ellingson
Fox’s “Titan A.E.” Becomes the Latest Digital Cinema Showcase
With First-Ever Internet Feature Transport to Theatre.
8. FILM LINKS OF INTEREST – Box Office Charts
1) The Top Grossing Movies of All Time at the USA Box Office
2) Box Office Guru
3) Weekend Boxoffice
9. OUT TAKES – Movie Cliches: Cars and Driving
Movie characters driving in the city will get to park wherever
they like when they get to their destination.
When you are alone in the back seat of the car, make sure you sit
in the middle.
Sudden acceleration of a car (be it forwards, backwards,
stopping, skidding, sliding, or whatever) causes a loud skid,
even on dirt or wet roads.
There are always people carrying around large sheets of glass on
the street during a car chase.
The person behind the wheel is talking to and looking at their
passenger for the entire journey without actually looking at the
road, changing gear, signaling etc. (ex. “When Harry Met Sally”).
Cars chasing each other in the middle of a city will not suffer
enough damage to stop the chase.
People being chased by a car will keep running down the middle of
the road instead of ducking in somewhere where a car cannot go.
If someone has “fixed” the foot-brakes in the car, the driver
never use the hand-brake and the gears to slow down, at least not
until the last moment.
Cars often end up on cliff-edges with 2 wheels in the open air.
The good guys are saved just before the car falls over, the bad
guys join the car in the free fall, often caused by a bird
setting down on the part of the car hanging over the edge.
When a car falls off a cliff after a car chase, it usually
explodes before reaching the ground.
When speeding cars hit a parked car, they fly up into the air
while the parked car doesn’t even wiggle
After a car crash, no movie character ever sits and shakes for
five minutes, or becomes incoherent with shock.
All cars seem to run on kerosene rather than gasoline (hence the
copious black smoke when they burn).
Whenever you see someone driving, even on straight and smooth
roads, they are sawing at the wheel hard enough to be running an
obstacle course. The car doesn’t swerve at all, of course.
Not only do movie cars always park right in front, but they are
never locked. Even convertibles with their tops down, in NYC, are
still there hours later.
There’s never an annoying wind disturbing the coiffures of
There are no stop signs in movie land. Wherever you have to
drive, no matter how close or far away it is, you never have to
stop before you get there.
Film cars do not have inside rear-view mirrors. Most of them do,
however, have an appx 1″ gray spot on the inside of the
windshield where the mirror would normally mount.
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Copyright 2000, Peter D. Marshall/Celtic Fire Productions Ltd.
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