Master Classes are in-depth, interactive learning experiences focused on craft and career building and led by renowned industry experts. Topics include fiction and documentary filmmaking, TV writing and production, and navigating and succeeding in the entertainment industry.

How do you choose your next project? How do you reinvent yourself? These are just two of the many questions you may struggle with as you look at a career in filmmaking. As you advance as a writer and director, you may find that you’ll need to prove (and re-prove) yourself to get your next project off the ground, or to land the job.

In this live and interactive Master Class with award-winning filmmaker and actor, Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me, Black Nativity, Harriet, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody), we’ll discuss different types of pitches, what not to do, how to navigate set-backs, and general advice for building and sustaining a career as a writer and director.

You will also learn how to best identify and foster your creative voice in order to build a cohesive portfolio. Gleaning from Kasi’s own experience establishing a successful long-running career, this class will give you the tools you need to carve your own path in the film industry. 

Topics include:

  • Identifying your creative voice
  • Tackling the dreaded “what’s next?” dilemma
  • Building (and keeping) momentum from your previous work
  • Navigating your career as a multi-hyphenate
  • How to pitch for a directing job and present your “take”
  • How to make an existing project your own

Table of Contents:

  • 0:00 - 1:24 Welcome and introduction from Sundance Collab
  • 1:24 - 11:22 The evolution of one’s artistic voice
  • 11:22 - 20:44 What goes into developing one’s artistic voice
  • 20:44 - 25:36 What is your North Star?
  • 25:36 - 26:15 Thought Exercise 1
  • 26:15 - 43:00 Q&A 1
  • 43:25 - 49:54 The art of strategy
  • 49:54 - 1:00:28 Proving yourself with each project and staying true to your voice
  • 1:00:28 - 1:09:50 Collaborating and evolving
  • 1:09:50 - 1:12:09 Planning for the future
  • 1:12:09 - 1:31:05 Fighting for your vision
  • 1:31:05 - 1:45:04 Q&A 2
  • 1:45:17 - 1:50:01 Directing projects you don’t create
  • 1:50:01 - 1:54:01 Getting collaborators to understand your vision
  • 1:54:01 - 1:55:34 Practical industry advice
  • 1:55:09 - 1:55:34 Thought Exercise 2
  • 1:55:34 - 1:57:06 Working in TV
  • 1:57:06 - 1:59:55 Leadership style
  • 1:59:55 - 2:14:15 Q&A 3
  • 2:14:15 - 2:16:50 Closing sentiments from Kasi
  • 2:16:50 - 2:20:32  Q&A 4
  • 2:20:32 - 2:21:57 Wrap up from Sundance Collab

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Kasi Lemmons is an award-winning director, writer, actress, and professor who has been a staple in Hollywood for nearly three decades. Her acclaimed 1997 feature directorial debut, EVE'S BAYOU, was recently inducted into the National Film Registry, and is considered among the first to showcase the beauty of African American Southern culture. The film received the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, and the National Board of Review bestowed her with a special first-time director award. EVE'S BAYOU marked Samuel L. Jackson’s debut as a film producer and helped launch the careers of actresses Megan Good and Jurnee Smollett. more...

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