Film Directing Course: Process and Practice for Stage and Film

John Jacobsen, Emmy Award winning director and host of the PBS series The Artist Toolbox; co-founder and former Executive Director of TheFilmSchool, has written, directed, and produced feature films and commercials in Los Angeles, worked on and off Broadway in New York, and recognized as one of the experts on STORY. Robin Lynn Smith, Founding Partner and Artistic Director at Freehold, has worked for the past thirty years acting, directing, and teaching in Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and New York and is acknowledged as one of the best directors in Seattle.

This course is designed for directors seeking practical and high standard setting experience working with actors, camera and editing. Because of the intense and focused nature of the course, we limit class size to 8 directors in order to give each participant hands-on experience and lots of one-on-one work with the instructors and actors. We interview actors and directors to join the class, and students will work on a variety of different projects, focusing on what it takes to write a good scene; how to get honest and specific performances, where to put the camera and how to edit. Working with theatre text will give directors and actors an opportunity to work with actors in layered, proven material in which a rich subtextual life is necessary; then directors will move onto filming a short film (your choice is to shoot some scenes you have written, to shoot scenes we provide, or even shoot a narrative short limited to five minutes) with either a cast we help provide or your own cast. The proven beauty of this course is that you will rewrite, shoot and edit that short three times, thus giving the instructors and you the ability to improve it again and again, until we celebrate the work with the public in a gala screening at the end. This is one of the few courses in Seattle where directors get to work hands on with actors, text, camera and master teachers. This class is an excellent follow-up for students who have taken Directing and Acting for the Camera at Freehold.

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