Sept 15 - Nov 14
Directing: Core Elements
Registration is now closed for this session.
Rebecca Murga

Course applications are now closed. APPLICATION DEADLINE WAS: Tuesday, August 24 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. Designated 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 50 participants per session, with a participant-to-advisor ratio of 12-to-1.



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, September 15 - November 14
  • SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 9am - 11am PT
    • Extended first class session: Wednesday, September 15: 9am - 12pm PT
    • No Class - Production Week: Wednesday, October 20:
    • Extended last class session: Wednesday, November 3: 9am - 12pm PT
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between Nov 8 - Nov 14


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 accessibility@sundance.org to arrange for services.

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
Kim Spurlock is a Vietnamese-American filmmaker based in New York. She holds an MFA in Film Production from NYU. Kim has written, produced and directed multiple award-winning short films including Buổi Chiều, a Vietnamese language ghost story that premiered at Slamdance before winning the Jury Prize at the Vietnamese International Film Festival, and the Student Academy Award Winning DOWN IN NUMBER 5, a Southern Gothic tale of a coal miner pushed to his limits for the love of his son. more...
Advisor
Ioana was born and raised in Romania, where she lived through a communist dictatorship and a traumatic socio-economic transition before becoming an immigrant to the US. She is an alumna of the Cannes Cinefondation Residency, the Sundance Screenwriting and Directing labs, and the Torino Film Lab. Her work as a director has been part of the official selections at the Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Tribeca, and AFI international film festivals. more...

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