Film Directing for Actors Series

This is a series of classes designed for the actor who wishes to cross over into directing. It provides comprehensive and in-depth explanations to help you understand essential concepts needed to be successful as a director and realize your dream! 

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The Introductory Class

After hundreds and hundreds of auditions and waiting for that perfect role to come along, that still, small voice inside your head, the one which says “And, I also want to direct” finally is ready to be heard. In this introduction to Film Directing for Actors, you’ll learn what you need to take the bold step into creating your own work to showcase yourself as an actor and director or make that film that’s inside you waiting to come out.

The exciting thing is that you are further down that road than you realize. Much of the training you’ve received as an actor strongly translates to directing. In many ways, you are better situated to direct than filmmakers who study directing as a career – while you were studying acting!

In this class, we’ll explore others who have successfully done what you are thinking about doing – so you see the path clearly. We’ll look at the additional elements, beyond story and character analysis, that you need to know to be a successful director. How cinematography and editing, two things that don’t exist in theater are used to effectively tell a cinematic story. Together we’ll take that dream that you have and turn it into a concrete plan to take the next step in your artistic evolution.

The class serves as an introduction to the three-part advanced level Film Directing for Actors offered. You’ll get a clear sense of Bob Degus, your instructor, and come away with both the motivation to take this step and the confidence that you can pull this off.

The world needs your viewpoint and stories told from YOUR perspective, from your life experience. This class will help you see that that “dream” you have IS not only possible but very probable if you have the courage to walk the path. And let’s face it, you’ve already done the hardest step – choosing to be an actor – against herculean odds and countless people saying you are crazy. Why not live the full dream?

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Advanced Class: Story Structure For Short Films

In this advanced class for Film Directing for Actors we’ll look at how to create a compelling story that will translate to a successful short film for the screen. Specifically, we’ll look at how the story structure beats, which are similar to those in a feature film, are different in award-winning short films. You’ll learn how to select the best story to showcase yourself as an actor and director.

We’ll look at examples from award-winning short films to learn what they’ve done to be successful. How they solved the complex production problems to make short films that act as calling cards for the directors and actors that appear in them. How very likely you have all you need to pull this off around you, you just need to look at your resources differently and make the decision to go for it.

Your instructor, Bob Degus, is a 25-year+ member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In addition to a successful feature-film producing career, he produced to Oscar-nominated short films and as an Oscar voter has seen more than 3,000 shorts. He’ll share with you what he’s learned about what makes the best short films and why they win awards.

Class available July 2022

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Advanced Class: The Art of Visual Storytelling

In this second advanced class for Film Directing for Actors, we’ll take a deep dive into perhaps one of the biggest differences between storytelling in theatre and books – and film - how the camera and composition are used as a character to help bring the story to life.

While much of an actor’s training directly translates and has prepared them to direct their own work – the art of cinematography, as used by a director, is critical for an actor to add to their toolset if they are to successfully make the transition from actor to actor-director hyphenate.

We’ll look at countless examples from award-winning short films and features, of both scenes from scripts and the finished film, to give you a comprehensive knowledge of how the art of cinematography is used to enhance an actor’s performance and tell a better story.

 

By the end of this class, you’ll have the language you need to collaborate confidently with your cinematographer. You’ll know what type of shots might best convey the emotion you are trying to evoke with your story.

 

The good news is that you already know much of the cinematic visual language - as you’ve grown up watching movies and television! This class will reveal how to discuss those concepts you subconsciously already understand with your film crew in a way that gives you the confidence to lead a set and know you are making the best visual-creative decisions for your film.

Class available July 2022

Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Advanced Class - The Puzzle of Editing

In this third advanced class for Film Directing for Actors – we’ll look at where the film is made – in the editing room. This is another area in which traditional acting training will not have prepared the actor for directing. Most people think the film is made “on-set,” in reality the pieces are gathered on set and the film is made or put together in post in the editing room.

Like the previous two advanced modules, we’ll draw from real film examples looking at how award-winning directors use editing to tell their stories. Again, our focus will be on making an award-winning short film, as editing shorts is slightly different from features and television.

This class will teach you what you need to know about editing so that during production you can be sure your shot-lists or storyboards are giving you all the elements you will need to have when it comes to editing a movie.

In theatre, the rehearsal process (before opening night) serves as the period where the director shapes the piece, adding and subtracting things to make it work. Film uses editing for that shaping process – after the film is shot. So, it’s especially important for actors wanting to direct to have a thorough knowledge of this essential part of filmmaking. We’ll also explore other aspects of post-production, like sound design and music, and how the director uses those to help tell the story.

Class available July 2022