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“Essentials of Film Directing” 2 Day Workshop with Peter D. Marshall (Toronto, Canada, June 23 & 24)

I will be teaching a 2 day film directing workshop (Essentials of Film Directing) in Toronto on June 23 and 24, 2012. This event is sponsored by Raindance Canada.

As of June 17, 39 filmmakers (from Canada, USA, South Africa, Haiti and Singapore) have registered for this 2 day intensive workshop.

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.

Raindance presents 2 intense days of straight-shooting talk, action and exercises from the acclaimed Peter D. Marshall, to help you become a confident director who knows what to do, from pre-production to yelling ‘that’s a wrap!’

Peter D. Marshall comes to Toronto for these two comprehensive and intense days, a must have for any filmmaker wanting to reach the next level of career success as a film or television director in the competitive film or TV industry.

Saturday, June 23: The Director as Story Teller

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)

Day 1 Course Outline

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

Sunday, June 24: 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. Mise-en-Scene / Subworld
2. The Director’s Visual Concept
3. The Psychology Behind the Shot
4. Understanding the Language of Film
5. Storyboards and Shot Lists
6. Class Exercise (Shot Listing Demonstration)
7. Observing Human Behavior and Emotions
8. Motive Determines Behavior
9. Character Objectives
10. Character Analysis and Development
11. Class Exercise (Power of Observation)
12. Text, Subtext and Context
13. The Actor-Director Relationship
14. Working with Actors
15. Action Verbs
16. Result Directing
17. Class Exercise (Creating Drama with Objectives & Subtext)
18. The 5 Groups of On-Camera Players (The Talent)
19. The Four Types of Actor
20. The Casting Process
21. Director Guidelines – Casting
22. Director Guidelines – Working with Actors on the Set
23. That’s a Wrap

Testimonials and comments from some of Peter’s past film workshops:

“Peter is a great instructor. He is very willing to share with us his experience in film directing. He creates a very relaxed and cordial environment for the class and gave us the opportunities to ask and share ideas in class. He is quite knowledgeable in the subject and he said many key concepts that left lasting impressions. Its been a great experience learning from him.” Kevin Peng – Singapore

“I have taken several directing courses and Peter’s course by far, takes the gold star. This impressive, condensed seminar saturates years of experience and learning and presents it in an easy to use package. A definite recommendation.” Trevor McWhinney – Vancouver, Canada

“Peter’s course in directing is a great insight into the process of film direction from a practical perspective. Combining theory with nuts and bolts, I got a good idea of how to make the emotional content of a scene work – and how to isolate the problems when it doesn’t. Great involvement in the process.” Chris Baudat – New Westminster, Canada

“Really, really enjoyed the class! Been waiting for a class like this for a long time, and it has finally happened. All my answers are there. What I have been looking for all the years that I have been directing, has all been put into perspective. All a clearer picture. I have gained so much from this experience and treasure. Thank you..” Ian Seymour, Singapore

“I found Peter’s workshop very informative. The workshop was a great opportunity to open my mind and refresh my ideas. I now have a new perspective on the power of moviemaking and the realities of the Director’s role. Thank you Peter.”  Aaamir Shaikh – Pakistan

 “I found this seminar to be extremely beneficial. As an editor, I learned more about directing, acting, shooting and everything in between than I would have expected. This seminar will help me a great deal as an editor and Peter’s words and enthusiasm will stick with me. You can tell that Peter Marshall has a passion for this industry and his work. Thank you.”  Brett Miles, Calgary, Canada

For more information on how to register for this 2 day Toronto workshop, please visit: Essentials of Film Directing.

Hope to see you there 🙂


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