Introduction to Directing

Live online course

The director works with every department head to create the film you see on screen. From the set to the shot choices to the costumes and the edit, the director is consistently making decisions to create a visionary cinematic journey for their audience. But what does it truly mean to be a director? Where do you start in your journey to become one and what do you need to know before you step on set?

With an experienced film director as your guide, this four-week course will provide you with a fundamental understanding of the craft. By looking at scenes from existing films, discussing different directing techniques, and analyzing case studies, you will learn the director's visual language and the tools they have available to them. Whether you are preparing to direct your first film, transitioning from another industry position into directing, or generally have an interest in directing, this course will provide you with an entry point into the art of filmmaking.

What you bring to the course:

  • an interest in fiction film directing. Creators at any level of experience are welcome to apply. (You do not need to have a screenplay or active project to participate.)

What you’ll get from the course:

  • An understanding of the director’s role in every phase of prep and production
  • A breakdown of the key crew positions and what to consider in your hiring process
  • Best practices for collaborating with your creative team
  • Dos and don'ts on set
  • An overview of composition and shot types
  • Blocking basics
  • Approaches on how to work with actors
  • Analyses of of different directing techniques
  • Setting the tone for the film
  • An understanding of the director’s role in the post-production process

This course will:

  • provide tools and techniques to apply to any project.
  • connect you with other creators via a discussion board where you can discuss core concepts and share your work.
  • showcase successful film directors and their approaches.
  • allow you to pose questions to the instructor in an open forum. Interaction with the instructor will take place only in the classroom.
  • recommend reading and viewing, but not require outside class work.

For an additional fee of $150, you may elect to meet with your Instructor for a one-on-one session during the course term. 

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.