Filmmaker Intensives: Pre-Production for Directors | Raindance


Filmmaker Intensives: Pre-Production for Directors

With: Viktoria Szemeredy
Dates: Tuesday 19th January, 19:00 – 21:00
Duration: Three Tuesday Nights
How much? £219
Location: Live Online via Zoom

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At a glance

  • Learn the steps of turning the script into a completed film.
  • Learn what it takes to find your unique voice in filmmaking.
  • Explore different possibilities before making decisions on set.
  • Bring your ideas to the table through open discussion and questions in each session

Pre-production is the crucial step before you get to the set. As a director, you’re the person who everyone else will be relying on to make the script come to life. Pre-production done well means that you’ll be entirely available for the opportunities that arise on the set, and you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of success for the rest of the project. This class will take you through the main steps of pre-production, and how you as a director can optimise this time to make your film the best it can be.

What will this course cover?

Week 1 – Working with the Screenwriter

Either you write your own story or work with a screenplay writer, the script is only the blueprint waiting to come alive in images. It is the director who interprets the script, breaks down a scene into its essence and finds the subtext behind each line. 

This is also the initial phase of closing the gap between dream and reality. During this workshop, we will learn about 

    1. analysing a scene
    2. starting to build the visual world according to subtext
    3. how (and why) to create a pitch-deck for cast and crew.

Week 2 – Working with the Cinematographer

In order to find your unique voice in filmmaking, it is not always enough to find an appropriate camera angle from which everyone and everything is clearly visible. Getting familiar with the vocabulary of cinematic techniques helps you to use the camera not only to tell the story but to create subtext as well. 

During this week you will learn how to create  

    1. a shooting script
    2. a storyboard (no drawing talent is needed)
    3. and a shot list.

Week 3 – Working with the Actors

You might already have brilliant character profiles; however, it is going to be your actors who will turn them into flesh-and-blood people; characters, the audience will sympathize with or fear for. 

Alternatively, you might follow David Mamet’s no-nonsense approach and believe that “There is no character, there are just black marks on a white page – it is a line of dialogue.” Whatever your conception might be, your actors will be your translators when it comes to telling the story.

So, this time we will talk about 

    1. casting
    2. developing characters with your actors
    3. developing chemistry among them through improvisation
    4. and the rehearsal in the presence of the cinematographer.

About the Tutor

Viktoria Szemeredy is an award-winning screenwriter and director based in Budapest, Hungary. After a career as an emergency doctor and psychotherapist, she followed her passion for storytelling and joined the MA in Filmmaking at Raindance, which she graduated from in 2019. 

Her short films Pintu (2016), Butterfly Daughter (2018), Metaphorms (2019) have been screened at international film festivals around the world. Her latest project, U Up? (2020), was shot against all odds during lockdown.

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Feedback from students

I’m attended the AMAZING Directors Pre-production for Directors course. Just wanted to say thanks again for the amazing course I took part in: it was full of everything I need to know! -Rich

Many thanks for your amazing teaching. I haven’t learned as much from someone in a very long time as I did from your class in the past three weeks! -Marie

Thanks a lot for your classes, always so interesting to listen to you, and also to take in your peacefulness and positive attitude. -Anna


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