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Film Workshop – Chemistry Behind the Camera: The Director and DOP Relationship

The Director and the Director of Photography (DOP) relationship is one of the most important collaborative relationships on any film set.

Not only does a director need a DOP who has all the visual and technical skills to make a film “look great,” the smart director also wants a DOP who has the creative sensibility to understand the subtext of the story and the nuances of an actor’s performance.

Like any relationship, every Director and DOP relationship is unique because each one will have their own professional experiences, artistic sensibilities and personal insecurities.

The main objective of this workshop is to demonstrate how a director can create a strong personal, technical and creative working relationship with their Director of Photography.

I will be partnered with a professional DOP and together we will show you (through discussion, examples and “role playing”) how the director and the DOP must share a common ground to tell the same story.

By the end of this 2-day workshop, you should be able to:

– Recognize the importance of the Director/DOP Relationship
– Know what questions to ask when hiring a DOP
– Improve your skills when working with a DOP during prep
– Understand how to effectively communicate with a DOP on the set

October 25 & 26 – Toronto, Canada

“Chemistry Behind the Camera- The Director/DOP Relationship”
Raindance Toronto
Contact: Jaimy Warner
Tel: (416) 572-4372
Toll Free: 1-(855) 595-7246

“The Chemistry Behind the Camera weekend was so filled with real world filmmaking information, experience, activities, direct interactions, fun, and laughter that–simply put–it became the single best workshop that I’ve been to in awhile. It brought together two incredibly talented professionals willing to share their knowledge and skills with an amazing number of talented young guns. It was two days of non-stop learning filled with so many great comments and feedback–feedback that you can’t get anywhere else aside from a University course.” (Jason Henke, Twin Cities, MN. USA)


On Day One, the focus in the morning will be on discussing the importance of the Director/DOP relationship. In the afternoon, the DOP  and I will “role play” the key scenarios in this relationship – from script analysis to location scouting to shooting.

The Director/DOP Relationship

  • Hiring the DOP
  • Creative concept meeting
  • Analyzing the script
  • Creating the director’s vision
  • Budget concerns
  • Working with the crew
  • Working with the cast
  • Location scouts
  • Shot lists and storyboards
  • Set etiquette
  • Post-production relationship

DOP and Director Instructor “Role Play”

  • Script/concept meeting
  • Location scout (Exterior/Interior)
  • Shot lists/storyboards
  • Block/Rehearse/Shoot one scene
  • Divide class into 5 groups to work on scenes for Day 2


On Day Two, the class will be divided into groups and have the opportunity to participate in directing a scene with professional actors and the DOP. Each scene will be recorded and played back for discussion and review.

  • Each group (5) directs a scene with DOP (Peter as 1st AD)
  • Last shot of each scene is recorded and then discussed by entire class
  • Playback video of scenes and discuss
  • Wrap up and networking drinks

How to contact Peter D. Marshall

If you are interested in finding out more about the “Chemistry Behind the Camera,” please 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