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Directing Program Course Description

DIRECTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM      3 Quarters (10 weeks)                    


TITLE:            THE DIRECTOR’S KEY 1                                         (D101) 30 Hours

A Clear Vision for Directing Actors into Solid Performances.  Designed for better understanding of Self and the Craft of Acting. By journeying into the world of personality types, directors strengthen their skills; achieving clear and concise communication in filmmaking, an organized environment to work in, remarkable characters, solid performances, and a dynamic visual landscape.    (3 hrs per week)

TITLE:            PHOTOGRAPHY 1                                                    (P101) 30 Hours

This course is an introduction into the visualization of the Screenplay with the use of Lenses and Cameras. The ABC of camera-work, visual art, and understanding how to manifest the director’s visual concept using the knowledge of lens types, camera angles, and the higher art of photography for motion pictures. An exploration of the basic on set workflow that allows the director to communicate his visual concept to the Direction of Photography team. Definition of positions within the DOP- department and the art of, “how to involve the actors”, in that process for the best visual outcome. (3 hrs per week)

TITLE:            EDITING 1                                                                 (E201) 30 Hours

This course offers an introduction into basic editing tools; the importance of selecting the best shots, and how to create a scene in the editing room for the highest possible expression of character development, as well as for visual storytelling, and narrative development regarding plot, drama, and tension. The director learns to understand the nurturing of emotional impact for the audience and the importance of postproduction in achieving high quality outcomes for the motion picture. Knowledge on the workflow of the editing room is provided, discussion on the positions of the postproduction team, and communication skills to manage and oversee the entire postproduction process to insure the director`s basic message, intention, and impact on the audience are achieved. Course includes basic overview and the ABC of software options for editing. (3 hrs per week)

TITLE:            VISUAL CONCEPT / STYLE / STORYBOARD       (D390) 15 Hours

Cinema is a visual medium. In this class, students will develop an understanding of the relationship between the story/script structure and the visual structure of the film. An introduction into story / mood boards and how to develop a visual style that inspires and guides the Art Direction Departments. Casting, colors, costumes, production design, make up, editing styles, color grading, and sound-styles are explored. The director is primed to develop his individual signature and his own expression for motion pictures.   (1.5 hrs per week)

TITLE:            DEFINING THE SCREENPLAY                                (G201) 15 Hours

From the idea to the page, students will learn screenplay structure, character development, plot points, the creation of each act, and scene by scene breakdown. Well known screenplays are used as a model for analysis and the viewing of them as a finished product in film allows the student to see how the written word is interpreted on to the screen. Students utilize the principles taught to begin writing their short film, which they will shoot in the third term.
(1.5 hrs per week)

TITLE:            SOUND 1                                                                               (T200) 30 Hours

In this course the students learn the tools of Location Sound and Post-Sound for a director to be able to dissect. An exploration into the artistic and technical knowledge the director needs to communicate with his Sound Team to establish his individual artistic “Sound-Style” that fits to his Visual Style. (3 hrs per week)

 TITLE:            HISTORY OF FILM                                                   (G111) 30 Hours

A comprehensive examination of the history of film, from the first moving images through the films of today. An exploration of what makes the medium of Cinema unique amongst the arts. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of film critics and theorists as well as films from the silent masters, to the cutting edge directors of today; providing them with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the complexities of this art form. Focus is on the emotional impact the director creates for the audience. Inspired by the visual and audio style of Steven Spielberg, his style is used to define creative components of how to create the highest Hollywood Quality. (3 hrs per week)

TOTAL: 18 hours per week


TITLE:            THE DIRECTOR’S KEY 2                                         (D102) 30 Hours

Exploring the Dark Side of the Characters, Script Analysis, and the Sanford Meisner Acting Technique. An introduction to the basics of human psychology through Addiction, Disconnection, Abusive Patterns of Behavior, Control Release Cycles, Curses and Spells and how the director can use this knowledge to strengthen the characters in a screenplay and the actor’s performance. THE DIRECTOR’S KEY 1 (D101). (3 hrs per week)

TITLE:            THE REHEARSAL PROCESS                                   (D121) 15 Hours

Once the directors have acquired a basic knowledge in “the actor’s language”, they will move into what an actual rehearsal process would consist of with the actors in order to insure and extract their best performance. Writers can take this course and test out their material, as well as, their hand at directing. PRE-REQUISITE: THE DIRECTOR’S KEY 1 (D101). (1.5 hrs per week)

TITLE:            STAGING THE SCENE                                              (D122) 15 Hours

Staging is one of the director’s most powerful tools. Directors will learn the basics of stage blocking, how to enhance performance and create powerful visual pictures with this essential skill. Writers can take this course and test out their material, as well as, their hand at directing. PRE-REQUISITE: THE DIRECTOR’S KEY 1). (1.5 hrs per week)

TITLE:            PHOTOGRAPHY 2                                                    (P201) 30 Hours

In this course the director is educated in the use of advanced tools that are established in the DOP (director of photography) department, and necessary for technical, creative, and artistic choices. Included are skill-tests for practice. Different styles of Photography are taught with advanced techniques for using a variety of film-lenses, frame-rates, possible Codecs and Styles that must be defined and coordinated with the Postproduction process. (3 hrs per week)

TITLE:            LIGHTING 1                                                              (L101) 30 Hours

This course teaches the director about the knowledge he needs to “paint with light” to express his style and photography technique. The director is taught how to communicate his vision to the DOP, Pre-production, Lighting, Set, and Postproduction teams. The student gains basic knowledge on the different types of lamps available, what each lamp creates for the scene, and the atmosphere for each single shot. (3 hrs per week)

TITLE:            EDITING 2                                                                 (E202) 30 Hours

Focusing on one editing software, advanced editing skills are taught both technically and artistically. Furthermore, the details of Postproduction tools that create styles, color -grading, filters, and a basic understanding of Sound-design that should be set up in the editing room are discussed. Editing 2 also teaches the importance of the storytelling arch and the general tools to move the narrative short or feature into a story full of tension and emotional impact. (3 hrs per week)

TITLE:            WRITING THE SHORT FILM                                 (S121) 30 Hours

Like the short story, the short film is a specific genre with its own set of rules and demands. In this workshop, students will learn the basic elements of this unique and demanding form. They will sharpen their writing skills and develop advanced character and structural elements to finish the scripts they began in term one. PRE-REQUISITE: DEFINING THE SCREENPLAY S101 (3 hrs per week)

TOTAL: 18 Hours per week





TITLE:            PHOTOGRAPHY 3                                                    (P301) 15 Hours

This course makes use of the tools learned in Photography 1 and 2 and lets the student practice, experience, and define his own style as a director throughout principal photography. It focuses on teaching practical skills through exercises accompanied by individual artistic and technical coaching for each student on their short films, as they go into production in this term. This course advises and encourages the student to define their own understanding of how to use all the tools learned thus far for the creation of their own “Hollywood-Expression”, in the Art of Motion Pictures. (1.5 hrs per week for the first 5 weeks)

TITLE:            SOUND DESIGN                                                         (T201) 15 Hours

The student learns the importance of Sound-Design and Post-Sound work, in relation to the different departments of Sound, such as film-music and foley-art. An exploration into different styles and an examination of each student’s shooting scripts in order to define the individual Sound-Style which fits best and supports the story. (1.5 hrs per week for the first 5 weeks)

TITLE:            PRODUCTION DESIGN                                             (D103) 15 Hours

Utilizing the shooting script of each student, an introduction to the basic understanding of Production-Design is provided, in correlation to other departments under the supervision of the Art-Director: Costumes, Colors, Set Design, Make Up, Color-Grading and Lighting. Each student is coached individually to define his Production Design for his project and how to approach it as a director. (1.5 hrs per week for the first 5 weeks)

TITLE:       OVERVIEWING THE SET                                           (D104) 15 Hours

The student learns to bring into focus the desired emotional impact to be created for the audience. This course teaches communication skills for the set and how to manage the artists and the actors on set, so they will work and team up for the director`s vision. The course gives examples of stress relief techniques for detachment, how to stay psychologically strong in high pressure situations, as well as how to communicate the director`s vision to all team members and motivate them, especially in the last stressful periods of the project. (1.5 hrs per week for the first 5 weeks)



TITLE:            EDITING 3                                                                 (E203) 15 Hours

This course will coach, teach, and assist the student to edit the material they’ve shot to a high Hollywood-quality final cut ready to submit to international film-festivals. The student learns editing styles, technical tools, and artistic tools to improve and sharpen the emotional impact for the audience. The focus is on the narrative arch of the story that is built up throughout the editing timeline. (1.5 hrs per week for the second 5 weeks)

TITLE:            POST SOUND                                                             (T201) 15 Hours

We teach and coach the student the best completion of the Sound-department in Post-production, including location Sound, Sound-editing, Sound-design, Film-score, and additional foleys and Voiceover, if needed. We focus on the student’s project to finish. We explain the mixing process, leveling and exporting the final Sound stream for the theatrical screening. (1.5 hrs per week for the second 5 weeks)

TITLE:            COLOR GRADING                                                     (E204) 15 Hours

The students will learn how to color grade the final cut of their film to ensure the best visual outcome. (1.5 hrs per week for the second 5 weeks)

TITLE:            AFTER EFFECTS                                                      (E205) 15 Hours

The student will learn to add credits and other basic visual effects, as well as, creating and finalizing the master file, how to use different codes, and awareness of the right frame rates for their own project. (1.5 hrs per week for the second 5 weeks)

TITLE:     TEST SCREENING / FESTIVAL ADMISSIONS                        (G301) 15 Hours

This course shows and advises the students to which festivals the student`s final project might be worth to submit, as well as, how to find access to the selected festivals, how to put together a press map and further marketing materials. (1.5 hrs per week for the second 5 weeks)


This course is a summary of all the acquired skills taught in the program and a lecture on how to apply them for final quality management. The course sharpens the eye and the objectiveness of the director, to review his final product and to decide on his last final changes, if necessary, as well as, to bring across, what defines “Hollywood-quality”. Each student should learn how to accept imperfection and understand which tools might be useful to achieve successful improvements. (1.5 hrs per week for the second 5 weeks)