Sept 20 - Nov 21
Directing Actors Workshop
Registration is open until August 23, 2021
Harrison James

Course applications are now being accepted. APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Monday, August 23 at 2pm PT. 

Acceptances start after the deadline, and occur on a rolling basis.

Learn how to break down your script and elicit the performance that you want from actors with an experienced instructor as your guide. In this live, online course, you will break down scenes from assigned films for narrative and psychological transitions and then apply the concepts to your selected script in preparation to work with your actors.

In lecture sessions, you will analyze clips from feature films and television series, complete interactive exercises, and discuss concepts with course advisors. Weekly homework designed to prepare you with the critical tools needed to direct actors with confidence is reviewed by your advisor. 

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Review the foundations of directing actors.
  • Improve your understanding of how to build character.
  • Learn techniques to sharpen your communication with actors.
  • Breakdown your script down to performance beats.
  • Develop an approach to rehearsals and directing on set.
  • Learn how to pre-empt problems on set and find solutions.

This course is ideal for:

  • Directors seeking to build confidence working with actors by acquiring and applying strategies and practices.

Course enrollment is capped at 50 participants, with a participant to advisor ratio of no more than twelve to one. To apply, you should have a short or feature screenplay that you plan to direct to work on throughout the course OR be willing to use a produced script selected by instructors.


The course will be held live in our virtual classroom. All sessions are recorded for registered participants who are unable to attend live. If you have any questions about the course, please email

  • DURATION: Eight weeks, September 20 - November 21
  • SCHEDULE: Monday, 10am - 12am PT
    • Extended first class session: Monday, September 20 - 10am - 12:30pm PT
    • No Class: Monday, October 11 
    • Extended last class session: Monday, November 8 - 10am - 12:30pm PT
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between Nov 15 - Nov 21
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, August 23 at 2pm PT

Sundance Co//ab provides accommodations and support services to participants with disabilities. Accommodations and services are designed to meet the needs of each participant. Please email us at to arrange for services. 


Click the yellow “Apply Now” button on the top right of the page.

Harrison James studied directing at Boston University where she received the Dean’s Grant for Filmmaking. She then attended the American Film Institute Conservatory as both a Screenwriting and Directing Fellow. Her screenplay STILL LIFE was a finalist for the Sundance Lab. She is currently writing and directing VENICE BEACH CC, a series, and SHOOTING STAR, a feature about a Marine who comes home from Afghanistan and re-enters his life, changed. more...

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