Directing Methods: Creating a Solid Foundation Through Collaboration

Intermediate, Advanced—Spring

This is a scene development, writing, and directing methods class that builds on skills acquired in Acting for Screenwriters and Directors or in another related course. Thoughtful and rigorous viewing of feature film clips, original short films, Web series work, and accompanying screenplays will fuel discussion of what “works” or what doesn’t and why. In the course, students will write short, two-to-five-page vignettes. The idea is to capture a moment that can stand on its own and/or be the foundation for a larger piece that can be revisited and expanded upon in conference or in another class. Within the group, the screenplay texts will be analyzed, dissected, and discussed with an eye toward translating them to the screen. When the scripts are camera-ready, the students will rotate through assigned production responsibilities for each individual project, building an understanding of the mechanics and many moving parts involved in rendering a screenplay scene to the screen. Everyone will write and direct scene work. The focus will be on creating an environment that is inclusive and collaborative rather than authoritarian or competitive. The class includes hands-on tech lab workshops that help students with foundational skills in lighting, cameras, sound, and editing. Students will be required to keep a weekly journal of the journey, as well as to deliver a final conference project.