Directing Actors (Self-paced)

"Tessa really gives filmmakers the necessary tools to feel confident when embarking on a new project. She covers every single aspect of the directing role. I have been recommending this class to my colleagues!"

     —Julia P, Brentwood, CA

Sundance Collab offers a robust collection of online courses in the Sundance spirit of amplifying your independent voice as a storyteller. Join our global community to hone your craft, network with other creators, and develop career strategies to help you navigate the film and television industry.

In just eight weeks, an accomplished director will give you the tools to transform a script into a roadmap that takes your vision from ideas to final cut. In this introductory level self-paced course, you'll explore and experiment with how to approach your collaboration with actors from auditions to working on set.

Along the way you will:

  • learn how to look at a script as a director and conduct a scene analysis.
  • be able to create a world for your characters.
  • understand the actors’ process.
  • learn techniques to sharpen your communication with actors.
  • develop an approach for casting, rehearsing and meeting with actors.
  • learn how to effectively block a scene.
  • understand how to work with intimacy coordinators and stunt coordinators.
  • understand the on-set process and best practices as a director.
  • prepare to shoot your project by creating a production binder.
  • create a Director’s Journal and preparation checklist.

This course is ideal for:

  • directors with a first project they plan to direct.
  • directors who have directed before, but want to get a better understanding of the basics and best practices for working with actors.

Applications for this course are considered as they are received and applicants are accepted on a rolling basis until the course is full or the deadline has passed, whichever comes first.

Sundance Collab 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.