Directors' Prep: Everything You Need to Know Before You Shout ‘Action!’
Duration: 2 days
Capacity: Approx. 15-20 participants
Fee includes a free copy of the book 'The Film Director Prepares' by Jonas Grimas.
This workshop is for filmmakers intent on making an entry into directing or producing TV drama. It describes the process of preparation for production, and applies equally to preparation for directing or producing a low-budget feature film.
Introduction by Jonas Grimås:
“I have worked as a director for 25 years making films for the cinema, television dramas and documentaries, both in the UK and in Sweden. I realised very early on in my career that a film is made in the preparatory stages of a production.
Naturally, I have come to refine my work during pre-production over the years.
No two projects are the same; the problems and challenges are different, sometimes unique. But as a director, there is a series of steps you go through each time you set out to tell a story through a visual medium, and each step involves a number of other people necessary for the realisation of your film.
The course will take a very practical approach; participants will study a screenplay that has already been produced for television and we will work our way through each step, as outlined below. We’ll conclude by watching the finished film and asking could have been done differently or better."
"The way Jonas Grimås teaches makes it clear that you could not have acquired the information otherwise... Looking back, his course was like a mosaic that brought together every piece that I had understood from previous film work and education - and made it make sense." Katharina List, 'Directors' Prep' participant Jan 2014. Read full testimonial.
The script for a 45 minute television drama will be distributed. Participants will be asked to spend some time studying it individually.
The following issues will then be addressed as a group:
1. The Project
- Should I pick this project or not?
- How to balance money / career / personal interest.
2. The Producer
- How to create a working relationship with the Producer.
- Is it a marriage made in heaven, or hell – or indifference?
3. The Script
- How to read the script.
- Working out the narrative perspective.
- Set pieces.
4. Forming your Vision
- “The honeymoon period” – Making the film in your mind.
- How to research.
- Working out the money/time equation.
5. Working with the Writer and/or Script Editor
- The five point rule: Character; Action; Story; Plot; Script.
- How does the re-writing process work?
- The three key words: Vision; Integrity; Respect.
6. Heads of Departments
- The process of putting together a crew.
- Sometimes, rarely, you have free choice of crew members. Sometimes you have none. How to identify your vital allies you need, to make a crew your own.
- Plotting and picking your locations.
- Studio & Location – the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Working with a Location Manager.
8. Round-up and question time.
The group will be asked to contemplate the following question overnight: What is this script really about, beyond the story? Responses to be discussed at the start of day two.
Day two will start with a discussion: What is this script really about, beyond the story?
9. Planning your shots
- Why do you plan them?
- Floorplans, shotlists or storyboard?
- Making use of digital tools.
- Preparing with a casting director.
- How to conduct a casting session.
- What to look for in your cast.
11. The Technical Recce
- Who is this for, and how can you make the most of it?
12. The read-through
- How to prepare.
- Do’s and don’ts for the read-through itself.
The workshop will conclude with a screening of the finished film, followed by discussion and general question time.
Books cost £10 per copy, plus postage (£2 UK, £5 Europe, £7 most other countries). Postage costs will be confirmed before you submit payment.
Partcipants attending this workshop will receive a free copy on arrival!