It is the job of the film director to interpret the script. In this filmmaking tutorial, methods of interpreting a screenplay - including determining the emotional tone, the visual style, and the color palette - are explored. Although getting a creative vision for the project is the responsibility of the movie director, the screenwriter can also assist in rewrites suggested by the director.
- Actor-directors are attached to a project.…They often want to revise the script…based on their vision of the project.…This could be handled in a variety of ways,…but it's usually best to try to keep the writer…on board the project and have the writer make the changes…that the director wants.…The writers have been pondering this world the most…and are the most intimately familiar with it.…It's also likely the writers have thought of…and dismissed ideas that the director might have.…So it's great to keep that conversation open…and have the writer make those changes wherever possible.…But if the writer disagrees…with the direction the director wants to take the film,…eventually a new writer will have to be brought on…or the director will have to rewrite the script themselves.…
The director has to be given the freedom…to tell the story that they see.…If they have to worry about maintaining the writer's vision…and their vision, the film will be a mess.…So then, how do you interpret the script as a director?…That's a tough question because it's very personal.…
Watch and learn how to shoot a script, using visual motifs, atmospherics, framing, and different types of shots to tell the film's story. Find out how to give direction to your crew and be a good leader, while staying on budget and on schedule. Plus, get tips to improve shots during retakes or in post, and to become a better director, storyteller, and communicator.
Note: Like the rest of the Creating a Short Film series, this course was shot during the production of The Assurance. It offers a unique window into the actual struggles and challenges filmmakers have to overcome to get films made. Find the rest of the courses in the series on Chad's author page.
- What a director does
- Interpreting the script
- Scouting locations
- Choosing the tone and theme of the film
- Using motifs
- Shaping the story through visuals
- Being a good leader on set
- Respecting budgets and schedules
- Planning shots
- Moving the camera: on a tripod or dolly or in handheld shots
- Using rolling takes
- Framing shots
- Adding atmospherics
- Directing in post-production
- Becoming a better director
Skill Level Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 04 Working with Actorswith Chad Perkins1h 49m Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 01 Producingwith Chad Perkins1h 6m Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 02 Writingwith Chad Perkins3h 17m Intermediate
1. Preparing for Production
2. Themes and Tone
3. Shaping the Story
4. Running the Set
5. Planning Shots in a Scene
6. Getting the Shot
7. Improving the Shot
8. Directing in Post-Production
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