Jun 23 - Aug 29
Directing: Core Elements
Registration is now closed for this session.
Rebecca Murga

Course applications are now closed. APPLICATION DEADLINE WAS: Wednesday, May 26 at 2pm PT. 

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


Learn the core elements of directing fiction films—from pre-production to working with actors and more—with experienced directors as your guides. During this live, online course intended for those new to directing, you’ll learn how to assemble your crew, work with actors, and translate work from script-to-screen by directing and filming a scene.


In class sessions, you will analyze clips from full-length feature films that exemplify important concepts, complete interactive exercises, and discuss concepts and raise questions with others in your course. Weekly homework is reviewed by your course advisor and is designed to prepare you to direct and shoot your exercise scene. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session focused on your scene and questions you may have about the field.


By the end of the course you will:

  • understand the creative role of the director in every phase of production.
  • analyze a script and break down a scene.
  • learn the fundamentals of directing actors including casting, rehearsal, and on set work to obtain the best possible performances.
  • block a scene.
  • use tools for mapping your shoot, such as storyboards and lined scripts.
  • learn the fundamentals of creative storytelling in post-production.

This course is ideal for:

  • those new to directing.
  • documentary filmmakers making the transition into fiction work.
  • directors without formal training who would like to sharpen their skills with professional guidance.

Course enrollment is approximately 36 students per session, with an advisor to student ratio of twelve-to-one.



COURSE DETAILS

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 collab_courses@sundance.org.


  • DURATION: Nine weeks, June 23 - August 29
  • SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 9am - 11am PT
    • Extended first class session: Wednesday, June 23: 9am - 11:30am PT 
    • No Class: Wednesday, July 28 - Production Week
    • No Class: Wednesday, August 11 - Sundance Institute Week
    • Extended last class session: Wednesday, August 18: 9am - 11:30am PT 
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between Aug 23 - Aug 29
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, May 26 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 accessibility@sundance.org to arrange for services. 




TO APPLY

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

Instructor
Rebecca Murga is a Chicago-born, Latinx filmmaker who produces and directs films, commercials, and documentaries for clients such as ABC, CBS, HBO, Mundo FOX, AT&T, and A&E Networks. She is currently the Director of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW), a hands-on training program committed to increasing the number of women and gender non-binary artists working professionally as narrative screen directors. more...
Advisor
Darius Dawson is an LA-based director currently in pre-production to direct second unit on Peter Farrelly’s next feature, set in New Orleans and Thailand. His short films have screened at many festivals and garnered several awards. His AFI thesis, A RODEO FILM, won the 2019 DGA Student Grand Prize Award, the Golden Tadpole at the 2020 Camerimage Cinematography Festival and was selected as one of five films to take part in HBO’s Short Film Competition in Miami. more...
Advisor
Asher Jelinsky is a Los Angeles based director and writer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. Their latest film MILLER & SON was shortlisted for the 92nd Academy Awards and won the gold medal Student Academy Award, the BAFTA Student Film Award, and the Cannes Lions Young Director Award. Asher’s short films have garnered awards and nominations at over 70 film festivals around the world including Clermont-Ferrand, BFI London, and Palm Springs among others. more...
Advisor
Alexandra (Alle) Hsu is a Chinese-American director/producer, born and raised in Southern California. She received her MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Film Directing and Production. Prior to Tisch, Alle earned her BA from Scripps College, double majoring in Media Studies and Asian Studies. Her undergraduate thesis documentary, WOMEN: CULTURAL REVOLUTION TO CAPITALIST REVOLUTION, was part of the Pomona College Museum of Art’s “China Insights” Exhibit and received a museum grant in 2011. more...

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