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 March 27, 2684 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 159 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 isDoes a Good Story Really Make a Good Film” by Jeffrey Michael Bays. “Maybe story isn’t really that important anymore.  I’ve heard so many times in seminars, how-to books, film classes, and I’ve even said it myself – that story is the most vital thing in a good film.  We repeat this basic tenant so often that we don’t even think about it anymore.  We just assume it’s true.  Of course it’s true, isn’t it?”

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.”

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




The Complete Mark Duplass Filmmaking Bible on Becoming a Successful Director

March 28, 2015

by Oakley Anderson-Moore. You want to be a successful filmmaker, but you’re a nobody in nowheresville with no connections. Well, the Duplass Brothers started out just the same way, and now they are admired, household names in the independent film world. How did they do it? On the ground at SXSW 2015, No Film School covered […]

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Lights, camera, action! Polish cinema back up and rolling

March 27, 2015

by AFP. An Oscar in Hollywood, a Silver Bear in Berlin and a public that is returning to theatres in droves after more than a few dismal years: Polish cinema is back. The revival comes in large measure thanks to a savvy system of film financing forged a decade ago to capitalise on the explosive […]

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On Palestinian Cinema: An Interview with Film Director Najwa Najjar

March 25, 2015

by Isis Nusair. Najwa Najjar is a Palestinian filmmaker based in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. She has worked in both documentary and fiction. Her debut film was the feature  Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009), and her second feature Eyes of a Thief (2014) was nominated for an Academy Award. This interview with Najjar was conducted following […]

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Kubrick in Ireland: the making of Barry Lyndon

March 23, 2015

by Paul Whitington. Stanley Kubrick was born in The Bronx on July 26, 1928: his parents were Jewish, and his father, Jack, was a doctor. As a child, he was bookish, and though his intelligence was obvious, he did not excel in school. When he was 13, his father bought him a Graflex camera. Stanley […]

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Indie Filmmakers, Fear and Procrastination

March 21, 2015

by Gary Collinson. Every aspiring filmmaker on the planet thinks that they have a great idea, great script, a unique story and way of telling it that engages audiences. Otherwise – why would we bother? You must have belief in your own ability – right? Well, yes and no. In order to give up everything […]

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Hollywood: The land of Sequels

March 20, 2015

by Tomas Shore. Sequels are everywhere these days, most summer blockbusters these days are released with a view to having at least 2 more films mined out of the concept. With book franchises this can be spread further still. The Harry Potter films established the now common practise of splitting the final book in two. […]

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Is Netflix’s Move Towards Traditional Distribution In Favor of Filmmakers, But Against the Theaters?

March 18, 2015

by Sarah Salovaara. The notion of boycotting day-and-date releases seems a bit extreme since it’s a widely practiced distribution strategy for several years running, but that’s just what AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike are planning with Cary Fukunaga’s Netflix-acquired Beasts of No Nation.  The exhibitors informed Variety that they will not screen the film for the sole reason that […]

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The Oscar-winning experiments that might change the future of film

March 16, 2015

by Fred Wagner. Birdman and Boyhood became the toast of the Oscars not just because of their merits as movies, but the extraordinary ways they were made. Together, they have upended the form of mainstream cinema: Boyhood was put together in 12 years, while Birdman appears to have been shot in one seamless take, with […]

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Drones Are About to Change How Directors Make Movies

March 14, 2015

by Angela Watercutter. I’m facing off against Thor. With a drone. Well, that’s the story I’ll tell, anyway. I’m in Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn, trying to learn how to fly Horizon Hobby’s 350 QX3 AP Combo drone. Winter Storm Thor—not, alas, Dashing Hunk Chris Hemsworth Thor—is threatening to drown my drone in frigid rain. […]

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Note to Hollywood: we’ve arrived, say black women filmmakers

March 13, 2015

by Sandy Cohen. Three black women released films in 2014, more than ever before in a single year. But that’s three films out of the 373 released in the US. “The ecosystem of filmmaking is problematic for women and people of colour,” says Stacy Smith, director of the University of Southern California’s Media, Diversity and […]

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