Hollywood Film Directing: The Scene, The Actor, The Camera
At a Glance
Want to learn how great directors create award-winning films? Sign up for a directing seminar with Mark W. Travis and Gil Bettman today!
Seminar locations are all over the world -- check back often to see if a seminar is being held near you! Enrollment is limited, giving you plenty of direct access to the teachers and time for your questions. Sign up today to ensure a space in one of the classes!
Day One: Mark W. Travis - "The Scene, The Actor"
Day One of the Travis-Bettman seminar is spent with Mark W. Travis going over key techniques for working with the script, the scene, and the actor.
During the Script Analysis and Scene Breakdown unit of the seminar, go step-by-step through a process that will bring new insights into the material you have written or the material you are about to direct. Next, use the "Travis Technique" to explore the psychology of and relationships between your characters in order to consistently enhance actors' performances during the Directing Actors and Creating Characters unit.
The third unit is all about The Rehearsal Process -- get ready to bring characters to immediate life and simultaneously place those characters within a scene with Mark's unique approach to working with actors. Finally, move on to one of the most powerful tools a director has in his or her arsenal: Staging. Using staging appropriately can bring a scene to life and illuminate subtext and character relationships; misused, and you'll end up hampering the work of your actors.
(Full Syllabus Below)
Day Two: Gil Bettman - "The Camera"
On Day Two of the Travis-Bettman seminar Gil will teach you all the skills you need to direct the camera like a professional.
First, learn When to Move the Camera. The key here is that camera movement must be invisible. It should serve the story without calling attention to itself. Next, learn How To Move the Camera most effectively by systematically fulfilling Five Tasks when designing each moving master shot. Finally, learn how a master of visual design like Zemeckis customizes his application of these Five Tasks to the unique demands of each scene.
In second half of Day Two, Gil will teach you how to enhance drama and heighten action by using different lenses. This is the key to Lensmanship – the technique which Spielberg borrowed from Wells, Kubrick and others to transform the look of today's films.
Once you have grasped Lensmanship you are ready for the final lesson of Day Two -- How to Shoot Action Sequences. Gil will show you how Kathryn Bigelow, John Woo and others ignite the screen by putting the camera in the right place and using the right lenses.
(Full Syllabus Below)
When: September 10 - 11, 2011
Where: Los Angeles, CA
Mark Travis - "The Scene, The Actor" Full Syllabus:
THE SCRIPT - THE SCENE
- WHAT IS A DIRECTOR?
- Analysis of the director’s role in filmmaking
- READING THE SCRIPT
- Forming a relationship with the Story and the Script
- SCRIPT BREAKDOWN AND ANALYSIS
- Viewing the script through the director’s eyes
- Understanding the mechanics, structure, elements
- Discerning character arcs, transformations
- TERMS FOR CHARACTERS (AND ACTORS)
- The language of film directing when working with actors
- THE GAP
- Expectations vs. results, the core of every scene
- THE ACTOR AND THE CHARACTER
- The first steps into The Travis Technique of working with actors
- The difference between directing the actor and directing the character
- THE REHEARSAL PROCESS
- Designing a rehearsal process that will be both effective and efficient and give you the results you desire
- THE NINE BASIC STEPS
- The guiding principles of directing a feature film from script analysis to final edit
- SCENE BREAKDOWN AND ANALYSIS
- Taking one scene that will be used in this seminar and breaking it down into its essential elements in preparation for rehearsal
- Understanding and discerning the hidden energy within the characters, within the scene
- It is the subtext that drives the scene
WORKING WITH ACTORS
(All of this will be demonstrated with professional actors in the seminar)
- THE INTERROGATION
- The new role of the director as he learns how to direct the character (and not the actor)
- SIMULTANEOUS CONVERSATION
- Rehearsal techniques that empower the characters and allow them to emerge authentically from the actor
- ANALYSIS OF THE TRAVIS TECHNIQUE
- We will explore the complexities and power of this unique approach to working with actors
- An analysis and demonstration of this power directorial tool that can either enhance the scene or destroy it
- STAGING THE SCENE
- The scene we have been analyzing and rehearsing will be staged with professional actors in a step-by-step, trial and error approach so that we can see the power of the tool of staging.
Gil Bettman - "The Camera" Full Syllabus:
- Why you must shoot with a moving camera
- When to move the camera
- Why all camera movement should be invisible
- The three kinds of camera movement that are always invisible
- How to move the camera – shoot the best moving master shot
- All moving master shots accomplish five tasks
- The five tasks of a moving master:
- Establishes geography and believability
- Eliminates edits
- Generates eye candy
- Focuses the audience on the center of the drama
- Picks up coverage
- How to customize the five tasks to each scene
- Movies for TV
- Low budget features
- Big budget features directed by Bob Zemeckis
- How the look of 3 different lenses is the key to understanding all lenses
- The three ways that lenses change the look of a shot
- Field of Vision
- Depth of Field
- Shooting Action – (View Video)
- The 3 key components to shooting action
- Put the camera in the right place
- Breaking down your shots
- Put the right lens on the camera
- How lenses affect motion in the frame
- Get the right number of pieces
- How coverage heightens energy
- How to shoot a chase
- How to shoot a fight
"With astonishing clarity Mark Travis articulates the techniques and skills of film directing. Not only does the beginning student find invaluable guidance on all stages of the directing process, but the experienced director will learn rational explanations for many of the things he may have only been doing intuitively.”
-- John Badham, Director, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, WAR GAMES, BLUE THUNDER
"Mark Travis is the only practical teacher of directing I've ever met—and simply the best. I learned more from him than I did in four years of film school!"
-- Cyrus Nowrasteh, Writer/Director, THE STONING OF SORAYA M.
"I was immediately able to apply the principles learned in his class when I began to direct!"
-- Jonathan Pontell, Co-Executive Producer/Director, ALLY MCBEAL, CHICAGO HOPE
"Mark said the things I always wanted to hear as an actress, and taught me things I needed to know to be a director."
-- Jennie Garth, Actress-Producer-Director, BEVERLY HILLS 90210
"Gil Bettman has lucidly set down the ABCs of directing so that dedicated students can learn exactly what will be required of them when they step onto a set. I wish somebody had handed me this book the day I got out of USC." -- Robert Zemeckis, Director, CAST AWAY, FORREST GUMP, BACK TO THE FUTURE I, II, and III
“Gil Bettman's insights on how to shoot with a moving camera helped me hone my craft as a director. He has an ultra-modern approach on how to weave and integrate dynamic camera motion into a narrative— an approach which certainly found its way into The Fourth Kind.” -- Olatunde Osunsanmi, Director, THE FOURTH KIND, WITHIN
"Gil Bettman's lessons on the importance of moving camera play a part in my direction on shows such as The Real World and Making The Band. As a producer, I pass on Gil's techniques to my directorial teams to ensure we have camera movement that provides the dramatic intensity associated with documentary television."
-- Matthew Ruecker, Producer, RETURN TO DUTY, THE REAL WORLD
"As a professional cinematographer, I love moving the camera. When I began to direct I turned to Gil Bettman. His guidance and teaching has taught me the importance of moving the camera to convey emotion and to help tell the story, rather than move to make a cool shot. When I directed Starkweather, I often found myself referring to Mr. Bettman's teachings." -- Byron Werner, Cinematographer/ Director, STARKWEATHER
"Gil Bettman's insights on how to shoot with a moving camera helped me master my craft as a director. When I was doing my homework and designing my shots for Living the Dream and Embarque Imediato I often found myself referring the "The Five Tasks of a Good Moving Master" approach which Gil teaches." -- Allan Fiterman, Cinematographer/ Director, LIVING THE DREAM, EMBARQUE IMEDIATO
- Date available: 09/01/2011
- Publication date: 09/01/2011
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Meet the Author: Gil Bettman
Gil is a Professor at the prestigious Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in Orange County, California. He has directed feature films, primetime television and many top rock videos. For his book, FIRST TIME DIRECTOR, Gil developed a unique, systemized and easy-to-grasp approach to the visual side of directing which he has been invited to teach at many of the top film schools in Europe and Asia.
Meet the Author: Mark Travis
Mark is one of the best-known and most respected teachers of film directing in the world. Drawing from his impressive background in writing, acting and directing in theatre, film and television, Mark brings new insights and clarity to the complex task of directing a feature film. Mark is the author of the best-seller DIRECTING FEATURE FILMS: the Creative Collaboration Between Writers, Directors and Actors.