Directing Essentials - Introduction to Film Directing | Raindance London


Directing Essentials

(29 customer reviews)


  • Directing A Casting
  • Working with Actors
  • Directing The Camera
  • Keeping Your Eye On The Prize – Directing For the Edit

Next date: Thursday 20th May, 19:00 – 21:00 UK time

*Concessions available
*10% early bird discount
one month before start date
*20% less
for Raindance members Join HERE and save
*Call us +44 207 930 3412 Monday – Friday 10 – 6pm

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About Directing Essentials

Filmmaking is a big business. A novice film director is presented with many different approaches to learning the craft. There are the basic directing essentials which our range of film directing courses cover. However, all directors really need to have one key skill: being able to communicate clearly and dynamically with their creative and technical teams.

In this intensive taster session, Simon Hunter will demonstrate effective ways of sharing your vision with your main collaborators, the producer, director of photography and cast.

Who should attend?

Directing Essentials is for anyone with an interest in the human aspect of how movies are made. Writers, producers, actors, technicians, as well as directors – these are all people who need to get their visions and ideas across to their colleagues quickly and efficiently.

What will I get?

During the class, Simon will pass on key tips, work on a short scene with professional actors and show how to make more of your shot choices before and during the shoot.

Topics covered in Directing Essentials include:

  • Developing Your Vision – Know your Story
  • Directing A Casting
  • Working with Actors
  • Directing The Camera
  • Keeping Your Eye On The Prize – Directing For the Edit

Especially relevant if you are looking for a informative and inspiring kick start or refresher, this is the place to find it!
Why not check out the career advice at the Directors Guild of Great Britain?

About the tutor


Simon Hunter has directed over fifty tv commercials and three feature films. His directing debut was the horror movie LIGHTHOUSE in the year 2000 and he went on to direct the ed Pressman’s visual effects-laden sci-fi movie THE MUTANT CHRONICLES in 2008. Simon’s first feature, Lighthouse, was released theatrically in 2002.

Simon subsequently became a much sort after commercials director before returning to features. Simon flew to Qatar in 2014 to direct 20 episodes of a Scifi adventure series set in the desert. The filming took place in Qatar, Jordan and India.

In 2017 Simon directed his passion project, EDIE which tells the tale of an older lady who climbs a mountain in Scotland at the age of eighty-three. The multiple- award-winning film had an enthusiastic and successful theatrical release in the UK and has sold to multiple territories.

Simon lives in the German capital, Berlin. Since 1999 he has regularly lectured for RAINDANCE and other organisations.

Read Breaking in as a Film Director by Simon

What They Are Saying

It was all fantastic! Watching the way Simon interacted with the actors was really unique and interesting too – a practical way of teaching.
Z McCarthy

Learnt some new things. And Simon is very approachable which helps the learning process. Thank you!
Tom Sahara

Did you know?

  • Raindance members attend Directing Essentials for FREE? You can join online >HERE< and start saving immediately
  • This course is FREE for our HND and postgraduate/MA/ students
  • The Raindance Guarantee: If this course fails to meet your expectations, let us know at the break and we will make a full, 100% no-questions-asked refund

Ask a question about Raindance Full Time Degree Courses

Next date: Thursday 20th May, 19:00 – 21:00 UK time
Address: Live Online via Zoom
*Concessions available
*10% early bird discount one 
month before start date
*Free to Raindance members Join HERE and save

Secure your place now:


  • Directing A Casting
  • Working with Actors
  • Directing The Camera
  • Keeping Your Eye On The Prize – Directing For the Edit

Next date: Thursday 20th May, 19:00 – 21:00 UK time
Address: Live Online via Zoom
*Concessions available
*10% early bird discount one
month before start date
*Free to Raindance members Join HERE and save

Secure your place now:

Choose Date and Location:

29 reviews for


Directing Essentials

  1. Lara Genovese

    Well organized in a concentrated quantity

  2. Keiko (verified owner)

    So Informative, practical, and worth attending!

  3. Lucy Linger

    Great evening with excellent quality actors and a real hands on feel. Amazing value. Highly recommend

  4. Luke Chadwick

    Highly informative and extremely informative. A definite must for anyone wanting to understand how your role as a director affects everything from in depth script analysis to coaxing truthful performances from actors. Chris Thomas’s teaching style is both candid and highly inspiring

  5. Serena (verified owner)

    Very insightful into the world of Directing and a great overview for anyone not familiar with the task in the world of film.

  6. Matt Brothers (verified owner)

    Great little starter course that covers some basics (script analysis, director’s role, working with actors) in surprising depth for the time allocated. It’s certainly a worthwhile middle ground between jumping into a project clueless and spending more on a day long course. Great give-and-take teaching style means we all felt involved and the demonstrations evolved and adapted to new ideas and input.

  7. Joe Temple (verified owner)

    Hugely informative and inspiring class in a very supportive environment. Chris Thomas was extremely engaging and used great examples as well as fantastic actors. A wonderful experience of my first Raindance class…I hope to attend more in the future!

  8. Gelsomina (verified owner)

    Such a liberating experience! I learnt so much in 2 hours!

  9. jaydene Campbell (verified owner)

    Good preview course. I would recommend this course for anyone starting out and wanting to understand the essentials to directing. Take this course especially if your not sure what you want to do; writing or directing.

  10. Christopher Labinjo (verified owner)

    A great evening that left me buzzing. I found the session informative, amusing and insightful. Packed full of information that was both entertaining and helpful. Condensed and to the point. Loved the participation of the actors and enjoyed watching the directing demonstration, I could feel the emotion of the scene. Highly recommended.

  11. Henry (H MAN)

    Great class, very informative with the time given. I like the physical demonstrations as well, as it gives more than what youtube and books can offer, as well as insight in to Chris’ personal style. For the price it was well worth it.

  12. Jess Dowse (verified owner)

    Really good overview of directing. Pretty in-depth for the time given and some really insightful takeaways!

  13. Tim Astley (verified owner)

    Definitely recommend. Only two hours, but a lot of well-delivered and incisive information. Great workshop/demonstration with actors at the end which really consolidated a lot of the things talked about throughout.

  14. Mary

    The session was absolutely packed with information and totally de-mystified the directing process!

  15. Barbara Vonau

    This was very useful for me as a fletching screenwriter. I will proceed to the Directors foundation course, even though this is not my line of development, but I think it is very important for me to know how the whole film making process works and what I can do as a writer to accommodate the needs of the rest of the film making team

  16. Rajeeva (verified owner)

    Absolutely loved the course. Chris explained essential aspects very well. Directing two actors at the end was brilliant.

  17. Jennifer Orji (verified owner)

    good information on what to do next and how a director can change the acting to get what they need

  18. Sam (verified owner)

    Informative and inspiring – just would have liked to see some practical examples of directing! But I guess that’s what the other courses are for 🙂 all in all great overview of the film-making journey with some great insights!

  19. Keiron

    A very valuable couple of hours presented by the knowledgeable and engaging Chris Thomas, including a practical demonstration of working with actors which was particularly useful to see.


    It gave a very comprehensive over view of what is involved in directing

  21. fshenton

    I attended this last night and can highly recommend it. It was truly impressive how much Chris managed to cover in only two hours, including a live demonstration using two actors to show the impact of good direction.
    I’m now seriously considering taking more direction courses, some of which Chris also runs, to go even further/deeper 🙂

  22. Daniel Shehata (verified owner)

    Simon knows what he’s talking about and is very helpful with avoiding typical mistakes fresh filmmakers make! Amazing

  23. Ana Ramos (verified owner)

    Simon says… film it!
    A very insightful masterclass with encouraging pratical tips for aspiring directors. Great!

  24. BEATRICE COLBRANT (verified owner)

    A very interesting and vibrant presentation about the art of directing which implies a variety of tasks, whether you are considering making a short or producing your first indie movie. Simon Hunter is a passionate speaker, always ready and happy to offer his professional experience as an incentive to make your first steps into filmmaking. The main things to take into consideration remain the script, the performances and therefore the casting. Know your story, put dates in your diary and go ahead. Hunter quotes Hitchcock : “Drama is life without the boring parts cut out”. Seems a good start. Make the audience have emotions and take your character through action in the moment and on the screen. Do not forget to ask yourself questions. What is the purpose of the scene? What is the most important person ? Let the story guide you and don’t let the technology scare you. Like me Hunter likes sequence shots (plans sequences in French). Since I saw the opening scene of Orson Welles’s “A touch of evil” and the amazing effect which a plan sequence can produce I have become an unconditional believer in the magic of the technique. Hunter, who gives many practical advice taken from his personal experience, also remains modest during the whole presentation. He should not. He made “Lighthouse”, an excellent horror genre film and the best black and white images I have seen since Ingmar Bergman, also made 20 years before Robert Eggers’s recent film “The Lighthouse”, another very atmospheric film. It seems that lighthouses bring the best in some of us. Hunter also made “Edie”, the story of an old lady who starts climbing a mountain at the rather old age of 83. Sounds like me. It is never too late in life to plan new challenges and with Hunter you believe miracles are possible.

    Simon Hunter is also in charge of the “Directors Foundation Certificate”, a 5 week workshop on line about the skills, knowledge and professional requirements it takes for those wishing to direct for the screen, which will be held every Thursday, starting from 24 September. It looks unbelievably interesting.

  25. Sylvia Stewart (verified owner)

    I was impressed by Simon’s passion and down to earth approach to sharing his knowledge. This 2 hour webinar is certainly a wonderful introduction to the main 5 week course. I wanted to sign up to learn more! If my schedule allows, I just might.

  26. Helen McKenzie Ross (verified owner)

    Excellent introduction to Directing Essentials, presented by the lovely Simon Hunter. Thoroughly enjoyed it. The session was well prepared and well paced, with plenty of examples. Highly recommend it.

  27. mm

    Elliot Grove

    Your detailed comment are both instructional and informative and entertqining! It was wonderful to have you art this event and to hear your feedback.

  28. Nina Romain (verified owner)

    Simon’s course was very enjoyable and informative – highly recommended.

  29. Toby Clarke (verified owner)

    Top quality training and so much packed in to 2 hours

  30. Alan Hamwan (verified owner)

    Thank you so much SIMON, It was a great lesson, Really interested.

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