Learn the art and craft of directing a film
This 5-week director’s foundation certificate gives you the basics of directing to help you launch your career as a film director by learning how to articulate a screenplay into your own distinct vision.
In week 1 develop your skills at determining character, back story and motivation and learn to identify the key beats of each scene that you need to capture. Gain knowledge of how this translates into directing actors, blocking scenes and articulating shot lists. Expand your understanding of the role and responsibilities of the director in prep, production and post in conjunction with other key creatives. We’ll bet you’ll feel like making a movie when you’re done!
Week 1: The Director and the Script
The script is the blueprint for a movie. The director’s job is to read and interpret the screenplay. Discover how a good director translates the written word into the visual elements on the screen.
- Analyzing and reading the script
- Discovering the true story
- Identifying key moments
Week 2: The Grammar of Directing
Directors use a variety of shots and lenses to compose their scenes and create a vocabulary of cinematic techniques and processes. Directors must learn the do’s and don’ts of film grammar.
- Camera placement and technique
- Framing and composition
- Storyboarding and Pre-Vis as directing tools
Week 3: The Director and the Rehearsal
The director’s challenge is to communicate his/her vision to the cast. Learn to run a rehearsal and create mood and tension by inspiring the actors and using the tool of staging.
- How actors work
- Creating characters for the screen
- Tools for communicating with actors
- Rehearsal process and staging
Week 4: Directing the Shoot
In this session we will look at how a director prepares and operates in the production phased on set or location.
- Shot Lists and Scheduling
- The Director’s focus on set
- Preparing to shoot
- Good communication under pressure
- Making decisions and staying flexible
- Shooting for the edit
Week 5: Directing the Edit
In the edit, the audiovisual material collected during the shoot is reorganised to tell the story in the best way. The director must thoroughly understand the editing process.
- Time scale and project management explained
- Viewing rushes and making decisions
- Working with sound and music
About the Instructor
George D’Amato is a feature film, television and commercial filmmaker. Informed by global travel, his unique visual style has garnered television clients such as The National Broadcast Company (NBC), National Geographic, The History Channel, and Discovery.
“BLUR”, released in 2016, is D’Amato’s feature indie film debut as director, producer and co-writer. BLUR screened at the Raindance Film Festival. Also, in pre-production, “Swipe Right” is a feature film that explores the world of online dating via Tinder, the downloadable dating app.
A notable commercial director and producer as well, he has had a roster of Fortune 500 clients: Apple Computers, General Motors, AT&T, The Ford Motor Company, IBM, Volvo, Hyundai, Budweiser Brewing Company, Molson Brewing Company, Nestles, Drug-Free America, and ESPN. George is currently directing “ART or WAR”, the documentary features social commentary artist Viktor Medic. Additional directing awards include the Gold Cleo, the One Show, Gold Bessie, Bronze Bessie, and Craft Award for Directing, Directors Guild of America, Golden Marble, and two commercials in the Museum of Modern Art permanent collection.
Education: NYU Film School – MFA The Actors Studio – N.Y. Second City Improv Stand-Up Comedy
Specialties: A stunning visual artist.