Directing for Camera II - Spring Term

By:
Andrew Hiss
May 18, 2015

Directing II builds on the basics of progressive shot design studied in the fall in Directing I.  In the spring, students focus on scene analysis and breakdown; they study the role of performance in film, and they practice and workshop directing the actor.  Students learn how to weave performance and camera together, each complimenting or opposing the other (and, in some cases, getting out of the way of the other, allowing the moment to shine though unencumbered.)  The focus, as in the first semester, is on the clear articulation of drama and story, starting with individual moments, and building to satisfying climax. 

To accomplish these goals, each student works in two groups; acting in one group and directing the other.  This term, students have broken down, rehearsed, directed, acted in, produced and are now in the process of editing scenes from Ordinary People, Happiness, Smoke Signals and Moonstruck.  In the final week of class, students will present their completed projects – an entire semester’s worth of work – and will receive final feedback and criticism from me as well as providing feedback to and critiquing each other.  (Feedback is based on the criteria of story and directing we have been studying all year.)  

For fun, we will also look at the original version of each scene as a way of comparing the different choices actors and directors can make.  (Students are given scenes at the start of term they have not seen and are asked not to look at original scenes while preparing their projects.)  On the last day of term, the completed projects will be screened as part of in-house celebration of MPA work done this year.  This has been a very good directing class this year!  I'm excited to see their final projects.

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