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Film Workshop – Essentials of Film Directing

A director is a storyteller, project manager and visionary. Many hats to wear and many responsibilities to balance. Most first time or early directors stumble into the job or fake it on their first shoot, but here’s a workshop that will provide the guidance, tools and tricks gleaned from both the best of Hollywood filmmaking to the most current successful indie film and television projects.

Day 1 introduces participants to the essential roles of the film and TV director and looks at:

  • The director as storyteller (it’s always about the story)
  • The critical elements of the business and politics of film (this is what they don’t teach you in film school)
  • The director’s pre-production activities (building your team)
  • Script and scene analysis (preparing to move from page to screen)

Peter D. Marshall’s “Essentials of Film Directing” workshop was a great way to spend a weekend with fellow filmmakers. I especially liked how Peter stressed the importance of establishing trust and mutual respect when working with actors. The workshop was entertaining, interactive and a pleasant environment to listen and learn about new philosophies. Audrey Hellmer, Screenwriter, Vancouver, Canada.

Day 1 Course Outline

1. Introduction
2. Class Exercise (Plot Demonstration)
3. How to Make a Movie 101
4. 7 Step Film Directing Process
5. What is a Director?
6. Directing a Film – What is Expected?
7. The Three Types of Director
8. The Business and Politics of Film
9. How to Work and Survive in “The Business”
10. Differences Between TV and Feature Films
11. The Director’s Pre-Production Activities
12. The Director’s Top-Three Creative Team
13. The Reductionism Breakdown Theory
14. Practical Breakdown of Scripts and Scenes
15. The Classic Three-Act Structure
16. The Director and the Script
17. Script Analysis Overview
18. General Script Analysis
19. General Scene Analysis
20. Power of Film Montage (Editing)
21. Six Film Editing Guidelines
22. Mise-en-Scene / Subworld
23. The Director’s Visual Concept

Getting Ready for the Film Set

Day 2 introduces participants to the complex, in-depth world of the film director and covers the director’s visual concept, character analysis and development, text and subtext and the casting process.

Day 2 Course Outline

1. Understanding the Language of Film
2. The Psychology Behind the Shot
3. Shot Lists and Storyboards
4. The 5 Stages of Shooting a Scene
5. What is Blocking?
6. The 5 Groups of On-Camera Players (The Talent)
7. The Four Types of Actor
8. Observing Human Behavior and Emotions
9. The Kuleshov Effect
10. Motive Determines Behavior
11. Character Analysis and Development
12. The Director-Actor Relationship
13. The Actor’s Language
14. Text and Subtext
15. Character Objectives
16. Action Verbs
17. Result Directing
18. Class Exercise (Shot Listing Demonstration)
19. Working with Actors
20. The Casting Process
21. Director Casting Guidelines
22. Class Exercise (Objectives & Subtext Demonstration)
23. That’s a Wrap

Mr. Peter D. Marshall is very inspirational to a new Indie filmmaker like myself but also to the seasoned veteran filmmakers I met that also attended his Film Directing Essentials workshop.  As an instructor, he breaks it down in a way that is straightforward and really easy to understand and uses examples from his invaluable set experiences as a Director and AD.  Thomas Ma, Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada.

How to contact Peter D. Marshall

If you are interested in finding out more about the “Essentials of Film Directing,” contact me to find out the dates for the next workshop or to discuss how we can bring this workshop to your city.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter D. Marshall