Planning & Directing

Stuff You Need to Know

Your characters, their stories and the ways they intersect will be the elements that elevate your script and make it original.

How to Take Your Script Idea from Concept to First Draft

If I ever balk at a huge upcoming project, my husband will say “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”...
Even though every project varies based on the budget, shooting schedule and resources, the rule of thumb always remains the same for every director: have everything in order before the cameras start rolling.

How to Prepare for Your First Directing Gig

Directing your first project is like getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time. You read through the manual, attended the...
Man looking straight into camera.

Look Me in the Ear: the Psychology of Eyelines

For effective communication, begin production with a clear idea of your viewers’ role. Consider how camera angles may change the relationship your viewer has to your subject.
Steven Spielberg rehearsing with dinosaur

How to direct actors to get the best possible performance

The pre-production process is important for your entire production team. Once actors are cast, they are often overlooked until it's time to shoot, with...
example storyboard

5 Tips for More Useful Storyboards

Put that pencil to work!

How to direct an inexperienced crew

When you’re working on a tight budget, you have to take the help that you can get. Sometimes, that means relying on an inexperienced cast and crew to complete your project.
How to Apply the Three Act Structure to Nonfiction Video - CNN’s “Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain”

How to Apply the Three Act Structure to Nonfiction Video

We all know how important three act structure is in narrative filmmaking;  it’s been used in storytelling of all sorts for eons, and if...
The Key Role of the Director Off-set

Why the Job of a Director Starts Long Before the Shoot

For the director, this process begins in the pre-development stage of their project. The first stage of the creative process is the script. The...
Woman working on a laptop

How to Evaluate a Screenplay

As an up-and-coming director, you jump at the opportunity to direct your first feature film. When you get your hands on a script being...
How to Shoot a Professional Video by Yourself

How to Shoot a Professional Video by Yourself

Early in my video career, I wanted to make a film to enter into a local short film festival. Just one problem: none of...

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What's New

John Ford: The technique of one of America’s greatest directors

John Ford is one of those directors who had a profound impact in the industry. “The best director in the world” - Ingmar Bergman The "king of directors” - Frank Capra "A John Ford film was a visual gratification” - Alfred Hitchcock "I have respected John Ford...

What does a film director do?

Directing involves a plethora of skills, disciplines, and humane qualities. The director is the captain of the ship, but without experienced sailors, the vessel will inevitably sink.

Women’s History Month: Celebrating women in film

The film industry has always been a beacon of discovery and creation. The many contributions of women in the industry are influential, but have been overlooked and are less recognized than their male counterparts historically.

Everything you need to know about livestreaming

The popularity of livestreaming continues to increase and isn't slowing down. We're here to show you the best strategies and techniques.

Why pre-production is essential for all videos and films

Some consider it tedious work, but pre-production can not only save you money and time. It can also enhance the creative process.

Production planning and why it’s essential

Even the simplest program depends on planning. Production planning, or production logistics, can be so complex that Hollywood production companies devote whole departments to it. It is an essential part of the pre-production process. You can cover the essentials by wrangling just five elements:...

Everything you need to know about blocking

Writers spend most of their time worrying about the words that the characters on the screen will say. Sound engineers worry about how to...
5 Famous directors

5 Famous directors and what we can learn from them

The best way for aspiring film directors to improve their craft is to study and learn from the works of famous directors from the past and present.
People with scripts standing in a casting call line

Casting calls: finding talent for your production

Casting actors and talent is an important part of the pre-production process, and it's something that shouldn't be taken lightly. There are a few...

What does a production designer do?

Before there can be any lights, cameras or action on a set, there must first be… a set! Enter the illustrious set director—better known in theater, television and film as a production designer.

How to write a treatment for your next screenplay

A treatment is a document that informs the reader about the story you are telling in your screenplay. Some writers use it as an outline to flesh out a story. Others use it to secure funding and support from producers, investors, and agents. Because there are numerous ways you can use a treatment, there are multiple formats you can use.

What is a DIT and what do they do?

Ever heard of a DIT? DIT stands for Digital Imaging Technician. With the advancement of digital cameras, this position was created to assist camera...

Why Kathryn Bigelow is a trailblazing director

Kathryn Bigelow is an Oscar-winning director best known for her films "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty." She is the first and only woman to win an Oscar, which certainly solidifies her reputation as a trailblazer in the film industry. Bigelow makes a remarkable impression with her visceral aesthetic choices, which center repeatedly around violence.

The 10 Best Film Schools In The U.S.

Receiving an education in filmmaking, television production or documentary filmmaking is an important first step in starting a career in the entertainment industry. Not...