Preparing to Direct Your First Feature Film

You’ve explored the short-form format and now you’re ready to take the next step towards making a feature-length film. In this online weekend-long intensive for fiction filmmakers, you will learn from an experienced director what they wished they knew before embarking on the journey of the first feature - from casting and pre-production planning, to post-production, hiring key collaborators and finding your audience.

What you bring to the course:

  • Some experience in filmmaking in an academic or professional setting, or a certificate of completion from Sundance Collab’s Directing: Core Elements. (You do not need to have a screenplay or active project to participate.)

What you’ll get from the course:

  • How to break down your script as a director.
  • Tools for how to shape and present your vision including mood boards and lookbooks.
  • An understanding of what to look for in key collaborators.
  • An understanding of the casting process and how to approach breakdowns and auditions.
  • How to work with a casting director, conduct auditions and make offers.
  • Tips for working with actors.
  • An approach to creating a rehearsal plan.
  • An understanding of important production considerations from physical preparation to leadership on set.
  • Tools for shotlisting.
  • An understanding of important post-production considerations from editorial to sound, music and color.
  • How to prepare for festivals and distribution.

This course will:

  • provide tools and techniques that apply to any project.
  • connect you with other creators via a discussion board where you can discuss core concepts and share your work.

Intensive Schedule

Friday, March 31:

  • 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - PT

Saturday, April 1:

  • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PT
  • 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. PT

Sunday, April 2:

  • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PT
  • 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. PT

Course enrollment is approximately 50 participants.

This Intensive is not eligible for any Course Pass discounts.

Space is limited. 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.