Working with actors can be one of the most rewarding experiences for a film director – or one of the most traumatic! And the difference between a good experience and a bad experience usually comes down to one word: TRUST!

Directing Actors Workshop with Peter D. Marshall

Actors begin by trusting the director – and it’s the director’s trust to lose. If an actor feels they cannot trust the director to know a good performance from a bad performance, the actor will begin to monitor his own performances.

And when an actor begins to watch himself, he begins to direct himself – and when he does this, he starts to become Director Proof.

As Mark Travis says in his book Directing Feature Films, “As far as relationships go, I think the one between actors and directors is the most challenging. It is simultaneously demanding and misunderstood.

Yet it’s very clear that actors and directors all have the best of intentions for making this relationship work. I have not met a director who did not have a clear idea of what she wanted. And every actor I have worked with has an intuitive instinct for their character and how a scene can be played.

Why then does this relationship so often begin to fall apart when actors and directors begin talking to each other? The answer is quite simple: different languages and different ideas of how this relationship should or could work.”

This 2 day workshop is sponsored by Raindance Vancouver.

Directing Actors Workshop with Peter D. Marshall
The main objective of this Directing Actors workshop is to demonstrate how directors and actors can work effectively together to build trust; to maximize performance on set; and understand how to work together cooperatively in a tense, time-sensitive and often challenging creative environment.

On Day One, the focus will be on the Director’s script preparation, as well as live demonstrations of the audition process, the script read-through and the cast rehearsal.

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

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

– Recognize the importance of the actor/director relationship
– Effectively breakdown and analyze every scene in your script
– Manage a proper casting session that gets results
– Organize a constructive script read-through
– Create productive rehearsals with your actors
– Improve your skills for getting believable performances from actors

This 2 day directing workshop is limited to a maximum of 20 filmmakers.

Day One

1. Introduction
2. The Director/Actor Working Relationship
3. The Film Director’s Performance Mantra
4. The Director’s Script Preparation
5. The Director’s Audition Process
– What Directors Look for in the Casting Session
– How it Works: The Audition (Casting Session)
– How it Works: The First Callback
– How it Works: The Second Callback
– What Directors Look for when Reviewing Auditions
– Creating Good Character Descriptions (Bios)
6. DEMO: How to Conduct a Proper Casting Session
7. DEMO: The Script Read-Through
8. DEMO: The Cast Rehearsal
9. The Blocking and Rehearsal Process
10. The Director’s 9 Part Scene Breakdown Process
11. CLASS WORK: Prepare Scenes for Day 2 Presentations

Day Two

1. CLASS EXERCISE: Scene Presentations with Actors
– Participants collaborate to direct a scene with professional actors
– Participants get hands-on directing experience working with professional actors
2. Playback Scene Presentations for Class Review
– The scenes will be recorded for playback and class discussion
– The actors will also participate with creative and constructive feedback
3. That’s a Wrap

To find out the location and registration fee for this 2 day film directing workshop, please visit Raindance Vancouver.

I hope to see you there




I’m Peter D. Marshall and I created this film directing blog in 2007 as an online movie making resource center for Independent Filmmakers like yourself.

Peter D. Marshall

(As of April 18, 2696 film making posts have been published on this blog!)

For over 40 years I’ve worked (and survived) in the Film and TV industry as a Film Director, Television Producer, First Assistant Director and Creative Consultant. (See IMDb Credits.)

In 1999, I started my website, ActionCutPrint which has grown into a major film directing resource for Independent Filmmakers featuring online movie making courses, film directing articles, film and television books and filmmaking workshops.

In 2000, I started publishing my free monthly film making ezine, The Director’s Chair which is read by over 6000 filmmakers in 105 countries around the world. (You can read 161 back issues here.)

To fulfill my goal of mentoring and teaching, I developed several filmmaking workshops that I have presented over the past 19 years (Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Haiti, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Regina.) I am also a directing instructor for Raindance Canada and the Vancouver Film School.

I also offer Film Directing Coaching services via Skype. So why hire me as your film directing coach? Along with my international teaching experiences and my 40 years of professional filmmaking experience (as a TV Director and Feature 1st AD), I feel I have the necessary qualifications to help you achieve your dreams of being a creative and successful independent film director.

So if you want to keep up to date on the latest Online film and television resources, please Bookmark this Page Now or Subscribe to this blog to read daily film making articles written by myself and other film makers from around the world.

Contact Peter D. Marshall

The Feature in this month’s issue of The Director’s Chair is Understanding Human Behavior (Part 1). “All good directors must have at least one thing in common: to be ‘witnesses’ and ‘observers’ of universal human behavior. As a storyteller, this means you must observe people going about their daily lives to find out what motivates people to take action. In other words, you need to make it a priority in your life to discover what makes us tick – and find out why do we do things. Once you know the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of how the characters in your script should interact with each other, as well as having the proper “psychological tools” to direct actors during rehearsal and on the set.

SUBSCRIBE to the current issue of “The Director’s Chair” and get two free bonuses: (1) Day One (41 pages) of my 261 page Online film directing audio course, “The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar” and (2) the first 30 pages of my 165 page “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course For Independent Filmmakers.”

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by Thomas Seymat. Tinseltown is about to get a lot more digital as players coming from the online entertainment industry invade the big screen. They bring their savoir-faire, honed by the data they gathered from years of producing videos on the Web. Brian Robbins, founder and CEO of AwesomenessTV which specialises in content for Gen […]

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by Andrew Pulver. Darren, sales manager at a plastics firm in Milton Keynes, is a force to be reckoned with in the British film industry. In part, he’s the reason why  – low-budget, morally dubious and about as disreputable as it’s ever been – is the genre that refuses to die. At least, Darren would […]

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by Jeremy Polacek. As much as it is written about, participated in, and put down, revolution exists largely as an undertaking that’s watched (notwithstanding Gil Scott-Heron’s famous dictum). The revolution can be painted or sculpted, but more often than not it has been filmed, and most of all, viewed. This was already true in the early […]

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by Gary Collinson. As filmmakers we all start out with grand ideas of making the next big hit at Sundance or becoming the new Tarantino, maybe even getting a studio offer. Some are in it for the art, some for the glory, others for the money. Or so they say. The reality can be very […]

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by Mathew Scott. Indian filmmaker Balaka Ghosh seems to be summing up the predicament faced by so many documentary makers in Asia when she says it wasn’t so much the making of her most recent production that gave her sleepless nights, but the thought of the impact its release might have on its subjects once […]

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Portuguese cinema legend Oliveira dies aged 106

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by AFP. Portuguese cinema legend Manoel de Oliveira, whose film-making career ran from the silent era into the digital age, died on Thursday at the age of 106. The award-winning director made more than 50 films, including features and documentaries, over the course of a career that began in 1931. And despite his fragile health, […]

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