Director’s Foundation Certificate

(13 customer reviews)


Raindance members get 20% off this course.

Next start date: Tuesday 2nd June, 18:30 – 21:00
Five Thursday evenings
Address: Raindance Film Centre, 10a Craven Street, London, WC2N 5PE

* Concession rates available. Proof of eligibility will be required.

Want a discount? Become a Member, or log in if you are a member.


About the Directors Foundation Certificate

The director is ultimately responsible for every image and sound that appears on the screen –  and thus for a film’s artistic success or failure. This five-week film directing course provides a detailed overview of the skills, knowledge and professional requirements for those wishing to direct for the screen. The information covered in the Director’s Foundation Certificate includes how a director works with and interprets the screenplay, working with actors in rehearsal and on-set, and the technical aspects of directing. It will also cover what a director does on the day of the shoot, and then working with the editor.

What will it cover?

Week 1: The Director and the Script

The script is the blueprint for a movie; it is the director’s job is to interpret the screenplay and then bring it to life. Students will first discover how a good director translates the written word into the visual elements on the screen.

  • Analysing the script
  • Discovering the true story
  • Identifying key moments
  • Finding additional visual elements

Week 2: The Grammar of Directing

Directors use a wide variety of shots and lenses to compose their scenes and create a vocabulary of cinematic techniques. It is especially important for directors to learn the do’s and do not’s of the grammar of directing.

  • Camera placement and technique
  • Framing and composition
  • Storyboarding and previsualization as directing tools

Week 3: The Director and the Rehearsal

One of a director’s biggest challenges is to effectively communicate his/her vision with the cast. Therefore, it is crucial for directors to learn how to run a rehearsal in addition to creating mood and tension on-screen by inspiring the actors. In addition, this class involves working with and directing real actors.

  • Working with actors
  • Creating characters for the screen
  • Tools for communicating with actors
  • Rehearsal process and staging

Week 4: Directing the Shoot

It is the director’s job to oversee the production on set and on location. Using professional camera, lighting and sound equipment this class will involve shooting with a plan to having enough material to then produce and edit for the final class. • Shot lists and scheduling • The director’s focus on set • Preparing to shoot • Good communication while 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 organised to tell the story in the best way. It is especially important for the director to thoroughly understand the editing process.

  • Time scale and project management explained
  • Viewing rushes and making decisions
  • Working with sound and music
  • View an edit from last week’s rushes

What will you achieve?

On completion of the Directors Foundation Certificate, students will have acquired the skills, knowledge and confidence to then undertake their first directing projects.

How will you be taught?

A mix of lecture-style, demonstration and also practical instruction with tutor guidance. Weeks three and four will also involve working with actors. In addition, there will also be some further reading and additional activities suggested.

Who should attend?

The Directors Foundation Certificate is suitable for beginner directors, as well as those interested in finding out more about directing for the screen. It is also suitable for those seeking to refresh their existing knowledge.

About the tutor

Chris Thomas has been teaching and developing film directing courses for film directing with Raindance since 2000, with a strong emphasis on storytelling and communications skills. Chris learnt his key skills from acting and directing in the theatre where the focus was always on using limited resources and engaging the audience’s imagination; it was a natural shift for him into filmmaking. As a teacher, Chris prioritises clear communication and encourages his students to harness their individual talents through the methods he demonstrates. He first and foremost believes learning is a two-way process, and as a filmmaker, it never ends. Recently, Chris has shot the teaser trailer for the psychological thriller, Dead of Winter and also the short film Emma’s Last Date. He is currently in development with his dark comedy feature script, The Devil You Don’t.

What they’re saying

Chris’s enthusiastic personality and his pearls of wisdom such as “you don’t see with your eyes… they’re just there to filter information to the brain”. Chris has an engaging, highly enthusiastic personality and I was quickly drawn in to his vast skillful knowledge of film production. Steve Grimes

The structure was excellent – starting with the basics and then moving through the technical side, before watching a movie being made. It was a great beginners’ film directing course, and made me feel confident that I could make a film. Chris was an engaging teacher, incredibly passionate and inspiring. He was also down to earth and approachable. He made filmmaking accessible and far less intimidating than before. Shahyar Niroomand

Additional Resources

Did you know?

  • Raindance members save 20% on this course? 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 Film Directing Foundation Certificate

13 reviews for


Director’s Foundation Certificate

  1. Francesco

    I found the course inspiring to say the least! Not only did it cover all the key aspects of directing but also it made me realize I could have a go at directing a short film right away, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  2. Laura Gregory

    I really loved doing this course! I learnt so much about the different techniques and approaches to directing that I will refer back to whenever I make my films in the future

  3. Peter Williams (verified owner)

    The course was absolutely fantastic, both informative and entertaining. Chris is a terrific tutor with an infectious passion for his subject. The modules on screen acting were worth the price of admission alone.

  4. Elisa

    I thoroughly enjoyed Chris’s impeccably prepared course and learnt something new at every lecture. I also realised I need further study before I am more comfortable directing actors.

  5. Edmund Ng

    It gave me the insight into the director’s role and skills required for collaboration with actors, also a guiding light for my further research in directing or acting, management and technical skills, etc.
    But, Wondering why I still have not received the certificate for completing the course. Lost in the post?

  6. Luba Balagova

    I had the privilege of being at the director’s course, run by Raindance professionals. The course has been brilliant in bridging the gap between the “fun” of biggest mistakes the directors make and the real tips to follow for not making your owns! I would say about the course – it’s fun and knowledgable. The passion that Elliot Grove puts into the whole educational part of Raindance comes across well with every professor he is inviting to these courses. At the end of the course you have the same confidence and passion for what he and his colleagues were teaching. All in all a fantastic course. I’d like to come back sometime because you always learn amazing stuff from Raindance.

  7. Gavin Saville

    A thoroughly enjoyable course.Thought provoking and fun. The script mining stuff was excellent… encouraging directors to delve into the script a bit more, and then maybe again… dig out that performance and script gold.
    All of it was good. Instruction wise it’s a 5 star, however, the remote login could be improved a bit. I had to remote in for one of the classes. It was OK but not as good in the quality of session you get from being there in person. That’s kind of a given but the remote could be improved. I wider frame set mid way back in the study room might be a good idea. (maybe a fixed bracket on the wall or something). That said, that’s logistics and stuff… nothing to do with the content .. Bravo on that.

  8. Marion

    I honestly enjoyed the course. I found it very useful and interesting. The tutor provided excellent examples from films and from his own experiences including tricks and tips and what not to do. Every night the course was well organized and covered a very different area of directing. At the end I felt very knowledgeable about directing basics and it’s vocabulary and confident to go on to further studies.

  9. Serena

    Chris is an excellent teacher, full of passion for the craft of Directing and really helps to guide you through the process. Highly recommended.

  10. Nicolo’ Riboni

    An in-depth class about directing. Chris is a great teacher, very helpful and experienced. If you are starting your career asa director or just want to know a bit more about the craft I can recommend this course. Great lectures and examples.

  11. Andrew G

    I would highly recommend this course to all aspiring filmmakers, whether you’re working on your first short film or have already have a solid body of work behind you. I wish I had done this years ago, every session was packed full of useful information and having only directed work that I have also written I found the first couple of sessions particularly insightful on working with other writers and ‘script mining’.

  12. sophia.carrgomm

    I found this course incredibly useful and helpful. I was about to embark on directing my first short film and it gave me insights and the confidence I needed, even if it was confirming what I already knew instinctively. It was great meeting other filmmakers too. It felt like the classes were great for newbies and also for those coming back to the industry or wanting a refresh. I thought the way the section with directing actors was doe was particularly good, having trained and worked as an actor myself sometimes people who aren’t in that field specifically can get it very wrong. However Chris was brilliant with them and with explaining about exercises to help with the performances. Chris was a really lovely man who knew his stuff. I am so glad I took the course, I couldn’t recommend it more.

  13. Jerome Rehioui

    I did attend the courses with Chris in early 2013: Great teacher and great methodology: I often use what I learnt from Chris in my everyday work (Producer/director). Chris doesn’t teach theory too much, he gives practical and efficient technics and advice to directors. Some of my fellow students even said they learnt more in this course than in 3 years studying films at uni! To sum up, this course is great, inclusive, affordable and with a good vibe!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.