Intro to Directing

Sydney - Mar 10 2018

AFTRS Sydney
Mar 10 2018 - Mar 11 2018
Attendance Pattern
Two sessions, Sat & Sun, 9am to 5pm
Ian Watson
Course fee
$310 / $279

'What does a director do?'

This introductory, two day course will focus on the responsibilities and workflow of the film and television director, from pre through to post production.


  • What does a director do?

  • Narrative storytelling - what is it?

  • The flow of story information

  • Cause and effect

  • The script - interpreting visuals

  • Visual economy in storytelling

  • Directing: communicating through pictures

  • The screenplay

  • Story as a visual guide

  • Plot and character development

  • Director relationships - writer, cinematographer, actors, editor

  • Preproduction - how to prepare to shoot

  • Actor processes / rehearsal techniques (directing actors)

  • Scheduling

  • Creating shot lists

  • Casting

  • Locations - scouting and securing

  • Production

  • The departments: an overview

  • The basic principles of blocking for camera & cast, i.e. ‘Block, Light, Rehearse, Shoot’

  • Post-production

  • Principles of film editing

  • Stages: Assembly, Rough Cut, Fine Cut

  • The role of director in post production


'Fantastic teacher. Prior to turning up I was wondering what benefit a weekend course could actually be and couldn't imagine that I would learn terribly much in just two days. This turned this thought on its head!'

'Although only an introductory course, I learnt more than I could have hoped for.'


This is an introductory course. No previous experience required.

This course is only open to students aged 18 +. If you are under 18, you will not be eligible to attend this course.


Ian Watson has been directing for over 30 years, firstly in theatre and then in television and film.
He has a BA from the University of Newcastle and post-graduate diploma’s from NIDA and the Swinburne Film and Television School. He has directed over 200 hours of television, that includes some of Australia’s best loved and most successful series, Heartbreak High, The Secret Life of Us, Seachange, Wildside, the US cult Science Fiction series, Farscape, White Collar Blue, Tripping Over, the multi award winning and Emmy nominated, Love My Way, Packed To The Rafters, Rescue Special Ops, Killing Time, Dance Academy (Emmy nominated), Underbelly Badness, Anzac Girls and Janet King for the ABC and most recently House Husbands. Ian has had his work nominated for three AFI awards and was the inaugural winner of the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Award for best direction in a television miniseries for his work on the Australian/UK production Tripping Over. Ian was again nominated in the same category in 2009 for the SBS miniseries Carla Cametti P.D. in 2013 for Underbelly: Badness and in 2015 for Anzac Girls. Ian regularly teaches Screen Acting at NIDA in the Open Program and is a guest lecturer in Screen Acting and Directing in the Higher Education Program. For the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Ian has taught in the Open Program and into the Masters Program MSA,
in directing and story visualisation.

Have any questions? Please get in touch: or 1300 065 281

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page​


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.