Intro to Directing

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'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 post production.

You will learn:

  • 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

Feedback from previous students:

'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.'

'Probably the most energised tutor I have ever experienced. She knows her stuff and delivers this in interesting ways.'

About the Course Lecturer

This course will be led by AFI nominee and ADG Award winner Ian Watson (The Secret Life of Us, Wildside, Farscape, Love My Way, Dance Academy, Underbelly, House Husbands).

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 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.