Indie Filmmaking Masterclass: Directing | Skill Collective | Skillshare

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Indie Filmmaking Masterclass: Directing

teacher avatar Skill Collective, a Collective offering skills

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      01: Introduction


    • 2.

      02: What makes a good script?


    • 3.

      03: How do I write a script?


    • 4.

      04: How do I interpret a script as a director?


    • 5.

      05: What is the process of casting actors?


    • 6.

      06: How do I work with actors on set?


    • 7.

      07: How do you create a world for the actor and the character?


    • 8.

      08: How do I choose my crew?


    • 9.

      09: How involved am I in the budget and the schedule?


    • 10.

      10: What do I do in post-production?


    • 11.

      11: What to do after the film is done?


    • 12.

      12: Thank you for watching


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About This Class

Indie Filmmaking Masterclass: Directing

Jozua Malherbe, film & television director, is going to be talking about directing and the basic principles of what it is that a director does.

During this course, he will answer the following questions to give you a clearer understanding of what exactly it is directors do on set, what their duties are and how a director fits into the magical chain of filmmaking:

1. What makes a good script?
2. How do I write a script?
3. How do I interpret a script as a director?
4. What is the process of casting actors?
5. How do I work with actors on set?
6. How do you create a world for the actor and the character?
7. How do I choose my crew?
8. How involved am I in the budget and the schedule?
9. What do I do in post-production?
10. What to do after the film is done.

We truly hope that this course will assist you on your journey as a director!

Be sure to look out for our other courses in the Indie Filmmaking Masterclass series.

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Skill Collective

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Hello, we are Skill Collective!

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1. 01: Introduction: Hi, I'm Joseph Villanova, and I'm a director living in Cape Town, South Africa. I graduated from film school in 2000 and four as a writer producer. My entry into the film and television industry was a p A. And then, later on the first assistant director. After doing that for six years, professionally, I got an opportunity to pitch on the film as a director, and in 2011 I directed my first beautiful. I spent the next six years directing primetime television when I really focused on the craft of storytelling. I mean, TV is a place where you could make the stakes and try things, which is exactly what I did in 2017. A directed and shot my last local television shows so that I could turn my attention back to producing, writing and directing future forms. And today I'm gonna be talking to you about directing on the basic principles of what it is better directed does in this course along, Sir, 10 questions to give you care, understanding of what it is, exactly what I do and what my duties are and how I fit into the magical chain off Fullmich . What makes a good script. How do I write a script Hot Going to pret a script as a director? What is the process of costing actives? How do I work with actors on set? How do you create a world for the actor and the character? How do you choose a crew? How involved am I in the budget and schedule of making a fool? Why don't I do in post production what to do? Once the film is done, let's live into it. 2. 02: What makes a good script?: the basis and blueprint for any form is the script. The importance can't be overemphasized. There's an adage that not all great scripts might become great forms, but certainly there has never been a bad script that has become a grateful. A good script is the first block, too, setting yourself up for success. So what makes a good script when you read a script? How can you know that this one is good and the other one is not? There is a question of taste. You may like something that I don't, but that is certainly just a tip of iceberg. So here are some practical things to ask yourself when reading a script to determine whether a script is good or not. Firstly, does the story make sense? That seems like a really elemental question. But often writers think that because it makes sense in their heads, others will understand it. And it's just not true. After you've read the script, you should be able to retell the story simply in a few sentences to anybody. If you find yourself over explaining or saying things like under you understand it, if you read it, then red flagged the script, it might need more work. Number two is the structure care While you're reading, can you feel the script ebb and flow? Were you surprised that parts of the script and when you finished, do you feel that you understand what the characters went through as as people? A good clear structure generally ensures thes things, the turning points and lawful surprise and intrigue, as well as ensuring the writer has addressed the themes on character philosophies. In some way or another, you could get really technical about structure. One shortcut is reading the 1st 10 pages, the middle 10 pages of Lost 10 pages, and by doing that, you should have a good idea of what happened in the script. But but I don't recommend this. And Number three are the problems that are being set up solved. A good script needs to address every question that it raises with a plot or character. A good script will close each door that it opened. Living is satisfied that there are no loses. So just to summarize, does the story make sense? Is the structure clear? And are the problems that are being set up all solved? These three principles will give you an indication on whether the script is any good to start with 3. 03: How do I write a script?: Each director has a voice, and often it is easier to find your directing voice by writing your own work. I want to be clear that not all directors right Many of the biggest name directors in fact out venture Kubrick Spielberg number credited as writers. But I assure you that they work extremely close with the respective writers to get the story that they want to tell. If some of you have an inkling that you might want to right here some things to think about . Try when writing the script. Tennis Laurie that you want to see. Don't be afraid to show the world what you find interesting and entertaining. Delve into the ideas that make you tick and draw from that. I'm not saying you have to be autobiographical but into your own in the world and find a story that is percolating. They're bringing to life. Writing is rewriting, and this, for me, is the hardest part of writing. It takes so much willpower and effort to complete a first draft, only to throw most of it away as you progress towards your shooting drop. This pain is an integral part of writing, and you can't get fit and strong without going through some pain. That's the process. You have to be okay with it. Read, read, read. There's natural talent and there's craft. Great writers have both, and the latter is practiced and knowledge. Read books and poems and scripts, nurture and love for the written word and specifically, a lover screenplay. Your scripts will just be better for it. Format is important for those stories. King, the way in which present that story to the reader, is equally important. Spend the cash to get the right software, watch the tutorials, read scripts and practice. Getting your screenplay into the correct form, right? Like a writer and not a director. You want the reader to have an immersive experience of the story and not read what the director wants to do with the scene. This might mean leaving out camera movements, blocking instructions and editing notes to at least keep them to a minimum and really add them only if they serve the story. Don't be afraid of failure. The wonderful thing about writing is that you can just delete what you don't like, So if it's a bad scene, try it again. Keep knocking at it. A trading idea until its Titan slick 4. 04: How do I interpret a script as a director?: Once the script has been approved, it's time for you, the director, to take the reins and begin your journey of interpretation. I spend a lot of time just thinking about the script, meditating the scenes and the characters and focusing on what it is. It makes me feel this feeling could be an image or a word, and sometimes even a concept. A good way to plot the journey of your interpretation is by having an ideas book, a place where you can practically store all the ideas that come to you while reading the script, saving or sticking pictures, making notes on the script and generally just putting everything down that you think or feel. Having a singular place for these ideas will help you later. Once I have a substantial amount of work in my dears book, I begin to look for patterns, ideas or visual elements that have repeated themselves and come up multiple times. This, to me, is an indicator that my intuition is onto something. The process of refinement is important because you'll have way too much focus on what the story is, what the heart is and how you intend to communicate that heart that idea. Get the broad strokes in place and communicate these to the each of these so that they can begin their own journey of discovery and interpretation. Think about the way you feel. You want to move with a camera type of sits and designs you want to introduce into the world. Colors and even character specific elements can be decided on at this point. Now I begin to work person what it is that I want to communicate from this scene. How do I want to pace the seat in which characters seen is this? And why? If you can't answer these questions than the blocking and camera positions begin to reveal themselves, and you can thus move, want to shock listing that story boarding, interpreting the Scriptures about intuition, taste, research and communications what it is that your intuition leans toward and how does what you like and your taste define that intuition. What in your research is creating a narrative layer that doesn't yet exist in the script? And finally, what are you trying to communicate? How are you going to do that? Each of these questions leads to a 40 tree, but you should explore to ensure that us, the director can defend your choices and know why you're doing something one way and not another way. 5. 05: What is the process of casting actors?: the costing room can be a very intimidating space for directors and actors. For actors, it's a place of unknowns. They don't know you, the director. They only have a small piece of the script, enough to make big performance choices based on a little bit of information that they have . What I tried to do in costing room is to set a president that there's no right or wrong in this space. I want to see what the active brings to the table, how they interpret what they read. And if it's not what I had in mind, I want to be open to that. I want to be surprised because then the audience will be surprised to. I work hard at making the actor feel comfortable. So when they perform, I'm not watching a ball of nerves. Tensions are running high, and I really don't need to exasperate that feeling maintains in the costing room is to see what I can coax out of an actor in a very short space of time. How Manuel can detect direction and very important. What is the actors proposal for this role? I always first ask the actor to show me what they prepared. Before I give notes for descriptions or even begin to talk about the character, I want to see an unbiased proposition. I make sure that I formed these cost ings because by the end of the day of costing, my brain is fried and my emotional capacity, much less so. I want to be able to watch these castings a couple of times over before starting to make firm choices by the 3rd 4th or fifth rounds of costing already start working with actors and exploring options for performances I've got as far as toe ask actors to write short buyers poems about the character or through the characters. Eyes on what I'm looking at is a point of view, and whether this actor and me have a similar point of view on a character, it doesn't have to be the same, but we need to be able to collaborate in the creation of this character. At the end of the day, the costing room is in neutral space. All the actors of the same scenes with the same character bios, and they have a small window to present what they feel they can do with a character. The playing field is level, and I can very quickly see who gets it. I try not to be too involved in the first round of costing because I get carried away with each person and spend way too much time wanting to develop an idea. The costing director will be able to help you in this process, especially to experience it. You should also rely on your casting directors opinion about actors and roles. They have the experience, and I have seen many, many actors in the industry, so they'll be able to guide you in finding and choosing the right actor for the role. 6. 06: How do I work with actors on set?: once we arrive on the scene and we're on the film set, I asked my technical team to step off Only my 80 and sometimes my dear pecan hang about. The state is quiet, and it's time for me and the active to workshop the scene. By this point, we've already had rehearsals and spent many hours talking about the character goals. Emotional world on the story will not work in the bras tax of the scene. Wait, is that to stand? And why does that to move, really, just getting into the practical elements of the scene, which might include Professore stunt and obviously blocking Once we've sketched the scene. Not like that, I'll do a few rehearsals with a cost, running the scene over and over and including the blocking props or soft version of the stunt. It's great that blocking as I go and try different things until all of us, myself and the actors are happy with how the scene floats. Once we have the outline of it, the 80 will call the crew back to the set and watch the rehearsal. Now, this is the time when the GOP in the art director will talk to me about shot selection and camera movement and what will be showing in the scene for the actors. Then go away, perhaps the makeup, or just take a break while the technical team set up for the first shock off the plan blocking and then funded in the same tradition is casting. My first take will always be the actors proposal. With as little interference from me as possible. I might cut the camera to do a reset on a C O. I might continue rolling, keeping the actor in that moment, just adding some direction and notes to affect the performance. This former free play has really served me, and it's a new style of directing that I've recently felt. Many actors are thrown off by the immediacy, an impromptu nature of shooting like this. But once they get into it, I can see how free they become to play experiment, try different performances all on the same line. Working with actors on set is for me and like mining for gold, I want to mind that performer by giving them performance puzzles to solve and asking them to try very different things with the lines. This is the only time I get to shoot a scene and I want to make the most of it. This is where I want that actor to use their skill as a storyteller and show me all the different ways in which this story can be told. 7. 07: How do you create a world for the actor and the character?: How does the active No, what I want from the character and how do I know what the actor is trying to do with the character by not being on the same page is your actor. You might end up spending way too much time on set trying to figure each other out. And on set is the last place where you want to find out that your idea of the character and the actors idea of the character is absolutely not the same. And what they're doing might be in total conflict with the rest of your full. To avoid these unpleasantries, I recommend creating a world for you on the actor, where the character can be explored in riel practical form. Talking about it is one thing, but actually writing in history for the character that's something else. Using practical exercises is a great way of exploring character and finding interesting details that can be added to the characterization and expanding the emotional world of the character. I like to create look books around my main costs, which include wardrobe ideas, props, habits and character traits. If you find that some of your character's kind of sound sane try using star signs of the Maya Briggs personality summaries as a starting point. These summaries give us basic human tropes to follow and might be a nice way for you to communicate to your actor what type of person the character is that you're creating. The script will give you basic visual summary and obviously reveal the plot points and define the character journey. But really, it's your job as a director to link these points and to create a three dimensional human being, you need to understand the motivation behind the performance choice to know whether the characters actually being honest and being consistent within their emotional landscape. What makes you character tick. What do they do when they're not working? Knowing these sorts of details will inform your choices on set, And although no one will know why your lead character loves ice cream, the fact that you know this and understand why this is important will guide you in directing your actor and your author their annual deal in telling a more coherent and supple narrative, 8. 08: How do I choose my crew?: finding collaborators that share your vision or understand how to translate your crazy ideas into reality. Maybe a career long effort. There is certainly no one way to finding the team to go on this artist journey of making a fool. Full making as opposed to, say, like painting or composing or sculpting requires a team of artists to execute one work. You need specialists in each field of music, design, cinematography, sound logistics, finance, performance and so on to actually make the picture come to life. This a team of creative needs to work together on towards a common goal. Most more feet. I found my team by being involved in my industry by having my nose to the grown and getting involved in other people's projects. That way, I found my name to expand and exposed to people that are outside of my social comforts. If you stay only in your circle, then you'll mill around the same ideas, and you might ultimately suffocate your own creative awareness by challenging yourself with people who don't necessarily agree with you or have a radical personal creative voice might push you is the director to places that you might not have been able to access otherwise. This creative jousting keeps you honest, fresh and original. Before I crew up those, especially if I'm looking for a position where I need to work with someone that I've not worked with yet. I go through pretty rigorous interviewing process, much like the costing room. The interview is the same platform for all the creatives that enter. They have the same material, and what they bring to the table in that interview will determine our next steps. I like to plan questions before and people paid for the meeting. Knowing what the candidate has done before watch some of their work and spoken to some of the references will give you a good ideas to who they are. My questions in the interview will range from just normal creative ideas and sharing those two asking pretty personal questions about vision and person to person interactions. I mean, I want to know whether here and why they want to work with me as much as I want to communicate to them. Why would like to work with the biggest take away from my lost film has been to work with artists. Introduce now the sounds pretty straightforward, but it took me like a decade to get that. Each of my collaborators are in their own right artists, whether they're musicians, painters, writers that live creative lives outside of the film industry, the's collaborators could bring all of their experience of the table with a dialogue that goes beyond seeing. I could talk about what I wanted the film to feel like to smell like and then have the artist interpret that vision. I wanted my heads of department to put themselves into the movie, make this part of their art and ensure that my direction is clear enough that once everyone has put themselves into the phone, it still feels like one idea, like one car. Use a piece of work. Finding your crew is gonna be tough, because making a full is a very personal space to share with people and trying to navigate personalities, egos and conflict can be tough, but that's also the role of the director. You're the leader of this glorious, colorful troop who want to tell a story, and we'll be looking at you for guidance. I mean, when they feel they need it and approval when they have something to show you. So don't get in their way off a support, offer a clear vision and set the bar high. Don't let fools breakdown what others are trying to build and get rid of any toxic people on set as quickly as you can. There's no time for destruction, and sometimes personalities just don't get along. No, that's okay, but you'll have to ensure that it never, ever gets in the way off making your fault. 9. 09: How involved am I in the budget and the schedule?: Kubrick made it very clear that time is gold. His priority was always to have more time. He reused stationery from one production to the next to save money to have more time. I think you get what I'm trying to say. So how involved the mind the budget in the shade as involved as I possibly can? These two resource is time and money are the biggest real life factors that will determine the success of your shoot. The easier option is to say I'm the creative. Don't talk to me about money or should you. But the reality is that if you are not involved, then you have no say or understanding about why things are the way that they are and you have no control over how these precious resource is being spent. I try and work alongside my producer on the budget, communicating with them which scenes and sequences will need special attention sharing within my ideas on how I want to shoot sequences and where I want to spend time. I also want to know what the impact of my choices are so that I can prioritize early on and not get into a situation where my first week of shoot is great. But the last three weeks, all the money is finished like there's no coffee. Should I have a crane or 100 extras? These are the types of questions I want to be part of because ultimately on the day I left to shoot the scene with whatever ends up on six, I also work closely with a D on the shooting schedule as one of the pre production change. Now they might be logistics that I'm unaware of, but I'm acutely aware of which scenes are being shot in the same day because this tells me how much time I can spend on the moments or the beats of my story. Sometimes the 80 will think that a small scene is quite insignificant and kind of stack it together, where in fact, it's quite the opposite. Being involved in these non creative elements of making the film can have a huge impact on the execution of your creative vision. Everything you choose should be underlined with. Is this helping me tell the story better? And how can I buy more time? If you look at the budget and the schedule, you may realize that your script is too complex, for your resource is I mean, rather figure that out in the beginning, right? Set yourself up for success by working with your producer. Annual 80 from the finite resource is on the allocation off those resource is. 10. 10: What do I do in post-production?: you are going to make three fools. The film that is the script, the film that you shoot and the film that you end up with after the edit editing is the final writing process. Here you'll have the opportunity to play with all the pieces of the puzzle, But you mind while shooting you get to watch through all the takes and performances and look for the ones that stood out that we're honest that suit your taste and underpinned the style of your phone editing. To get to the first kind of your former is quite energizing. And it's also the time of the most self felt after this high off shooting for the reality of what you shot, maybe depressing at first. Trust me, we'll go through it. I mean, Christopher Nolan doesn't even watch anything until his form is cut to a certain type. This is all to avoid that empty feeling off. I will never work again. What have I done? I needed to learn to relax in post production and trust the process to sit back and enjoy the playful process of anything with a full can suddenly become anything, and each time you make another cut. The film reveals itself a little bit, but it's a process I like to watch through all my text with the editor and pick things that I like talking about how we could use the pieces as we go. Then I leave. I let the editor make magic. This, too, and throw will happen. Forest, long as my producer will allow me fall for as long as we can afford it. I want to watch it over and over, trying different things with a structure with scenes and performances to see if it creates a better way to communicate story. Once the editors look, it's still a rough diamond and the process of sound design, final mix, music, composition and grade will make your diamond shine. But you have to trust the process each time someone else puts their hand on the phone, it should. Chopping up should become a little bit clearer, and the story should be the loudest part of the experience. I also use this time imposed to show the form to people not everyone selected viewings or specific individuals to get feedback. Unlike pace and story and characters, I want to know that an audience is seeing what I'm trying to communicate. Do they get it or I too close to the full man? No one knows what the hell I'm trying to say. These feedback sessions can be scared, but if you look at it like a scientist, you'll find that this inquiry can be very healthy. Insightful. Make a distinction, though not all feedback will be useful. Getting constructive notes is useful, but hearing or someone would have done it or would have done it differently to you that's different, not useful. 11. 11: What to do after the film is done?: you are the biggest champion of your phone, and you should also be your own biggest fan. So once the film is done, you need to take it to the world and show it whether that means entering into full festivals, creating your screenings or finding a sales agent who can get it distributed. Look, at this point, you're gonna be tired, even exhausted on The truth is, this is where most filmmakers fall over. If you have the strength, I would work out on a strategy and what you and your producers can realistically achieve with maybe Austin what they fell into it and see how you can participate. The last thing you want is your film to go nowhere after all this hard work, you wrote yourself crew and certainly cost to get the film out there. Trust yourself, trust your picture and show it to the world. 12. 12: Thank you for watching: please be so kind to rate review and share this course with fellow filmmakers as it helps us to create more content for you in the future. I really hope that this video has been helpful and I wish you all the best in your film making journey.