Visualising Story for Directors

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Led by 30 year veteran Ian Watson, Visualising Story For Directors is a four day intermediate course for emerging directors on how to translate script to the screen.

It covers the principles of screen language and grammar including:

  • How to break down a script for deeper meaning
  • Shooting styles
  • Shot sizes
  • Composition
  • Camera movement
  • Editing

The class will focus on how directors incorporate these visual elements to create meaning and/or dramatic purpose. Ian will work with students on using their intuition, bringing out their personal style and vision. Collaboration will be discussed, and how important this is to the overall success of a project. The course concludes with a practical exercise in which groups of students develop, shoot and present a short film they have edited in camera.

Students will engage with Ian in:

  • Screenings and discussions
  • Independent study, some work will be given to complete ovenight
  • Facilitation and mentorship of group processes
  • Developing, shooting and presenting a story as part of a team

About the tutor:

Ian Watson has been directing for over 30 years. His extensive television credits include: Heartbreak High, The Secret Life of Us, Seachange, Wildside, the US science fiction series Farscape, White Collar Blue, Blackjack, All Saints, Tripping Over, East of Everything, the multi award winning Love My Way, Carla Cametti P.D a six part miniseries for SBS, Satisfaction, Packed To The Rafters, Wicked Love: The Maria Korp Story, Rescue Special Ops, Killing Time, Dance Academy, Underbelly Badness and most recently, Anzac Girls for Screentime and House Husbands for Playmaker Media and the Nine Network.

Ian has had his work nominated for three AFI awards (The Wayne Manifesto, Best Episode in a Children’s Series, Seachange, Best Episode in a Drama Series and White Collar Blue, Best Episode in a Drama Series (two episodes).

He 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 miniseries Underbelly.

***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.