Planning & Directing

Stuff You Need to Know

Freytag’s pyramid, dramatic structure and story arc

A first-class story is compelling from beginning to end. Freytag's Pyramid is a formula that describes the structure of most dramas.
example storyboard

5 Tips for More Useful Storyboards

Put that pencil to work!
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...
How to Craft Strong Characters

How to Develop Strong Characters that Draw in Your Audience

An outline for your screenplay is a great way to start, but developing strong characters will engage viewers in the story you’re telling. Would...
Working with Your DP

How to Effectively Collaborate with Your DP

Your Director of Photography can help bring your cinematic vision to life, but only if you work well together.
Film Crew on set.

Creative Collaboration: Building Team Dynamics for Your Production

When you start building a team for production, you are creating your most valuable asset.
How NOT to be an Overbearing Director

How Respectful Directing Leads to Better Performances

Directing is a tough job. The long hours and pressure of keeping a production on track require a strong leader. While the stereotype of...
Top 5 Scouting Tips Every Location Scout Should Know

Top 5 Scouting Tips Every Location Scout Should Know

Although you won't need to go to a special school or take any college courses to become a location scout, you will need a...

How A Shot List Makes Your Shoot Easier, Better and Cheaper

If you go back and look at your early work, it probably looks like it was directed by someone who needs a guide dog....
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.”...

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What's New

"Mommie Dearest" overacting

What is overacting and why you should avoid it (and when not to)

We're all told that overacting in film is something that you should always avoid. However, there are times when overacting should be used.
Script vs. screenplay: What's the difference?

Screenplay vs. script: What’s the difference?

There's a common misunderstanding regarding the topic of "screenplay vs. script." While these two terms may seem the same, they aren't.
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What you need to know about loglines

If you've ever wondered what a logline is and how professionals use it, look no further than this in-depth guide about loglines.
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What is a screenplay?

Screenplays are essential to movie-making. They are also necessary for those who want to get their ideas made into films.
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How spec scripts can jump-start your screenwriting career

Spec scripts are different than standard scripts. They can be great tools to start your screenplay writer career and get your movies made.

Film history: the evolution of film and television

Everything in this article is at the very least incomplete. There’s no way you can even begin to cram the almost 150 years of film history into one article. There are whole books written about every single entry here. Consider all of these stepping...
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An introduction to film studies

We often focus on the logistics of making films. However, knowing how to apply those techniques through film studies is just as important.

Everything you need to know about screenwriting jobs

While screenwriting may appear to be an obscure career, there are many rewarding script writing jobs out there.
Scene from "Man with a Movie Camera" (1929) Hands adjusting a camera

Film theory explained – a beginners guide

Often seen as dense and abstract, film theory can be a useful tool in understanding the meaning and impact of a film. But what exactly is it? Here’s what you need to know.
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The top 10 best film studies programs in the United States

There are many fantastic film studies programs around the country to help you learn the language of cinema and how to communicate with it.
Location scout

What does it take to be a location scout?

Location scouts are skilled masters of detail and work hard to make the director’s location wish list become a reality.
Casting director featured art

Casting director: the role explained

Casting the wrong people in your film can ruin even the best of scripts. It's up to casting directors to keep this from happening.
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How to write a script

Every video production needs some sort of script to ensure production moves smoothly. Here's a guide to help you write your script.

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...