Welcome to the Day 2 of the Short  Film Course 

My name is Colm O’Murchu from International Film Base and Australian Film Base back with you for Day 2 
Day Two

      •  Film Shots and Actor Blocking  A Director Prepares Video Four  – 30 Minutes 
      • The Roadmap to your Success  Video Five – 10 minutes 
      • Just do it Make Your Film Now  Video Six –  5 Minutes 



Directors duties during the shoot

  • A Director should turn up 30 minutes early with a prepared plan. Before everyone arrives they can check out the actor blocking and their shot list and check the prepared script one more time. They need to intimately know their script. 
  • When the shoot starts, The Director blocks the Actors on Set. That means that the Director moves the actors on the set. Every movement and action is directed by the Director.
  • The Director directs the shots for the scene. Generally the Director has a Shot List which he or she will review with the DOP and First AD.
    Some directors will have a storyboard and this is literally placed on a board so that all crew can see what the plan is for the day.
    Even if this is the case, the Director still needs to demonstrate the first shot on set. The director informs the DOP, The AD and the Sound Recordist about the first Master Shot.
  • The Director will work shot by shot through the Shot List one at a time if it is a single camera shoot or two shots at a time if it is a two-camera shoot.
  • After the block through and the shot demonstration the Actors go to Wardrobe and Make up
  • The DOP will then light the set and set up the first shot.
  • The Director will answer a myriad of Questions from different crew and cast.

Video Village is off the main set and is simply an area that a Director can watch the scene on a monitor and see the picture as it is shot. A Director will also have wireless headphones on. That means the Director will listen to the actual recorded dialogue live.

Then once the set is ready for the cameras roll, the second AD will bring the actors to the set and Final Rehearsals will proceed

In the Final Rehearsals, everyone will rehearse

  • Camera Operator and Focus Puller and Grips will rehears movement of the Camera
  • Actors will warm up and will receive Direction from the Director.
  • Boom Swinger will rehearse Boom Movement
  • Standby Wardrobe will check on Wardrobe
  • Standby Makeup will check Final Makeup look
  • Most importantly of all, the Director and Continuity will watch everything on Video monitors at Video Village
  • The Director will make changes and adjustments to every aspect of the picture including performance, Picture framing, Camera movements and Set Dressing and props.
  • The Director will look at all of these aspects and Direct changes so as to reach the very best scene

Once all of the Key crew and actors are ready, The Director will tell the AD that he is ready to shoot the first Take.

Then The Cameras Roll and the Film is shot.

  • One always starts with the wide shots first and several takes will be taken of each shot.
  • Once a Director has two really good takes, The Director will move on to the next shot. It may take several takes to get the two golden takes. It does not take long at this point.
  • The Five Essential Shots to Cover any Scene is part of the Six Month Flagship Course, where you learn how to  Shot List.
  • All the Closer shots happen next.
  • The Director will watch the monitor like a hawk in Video Village and will tweak and give actors feedback to get a better performance. Amateur Directors watch live on set. Professional Directors watch on the monitor.
  • The Director sets the atmosphere on Set. Be strong and clear about what you want. Stay Calm and have some fun moments to lighten up the atmosphere.
  • The Director must aim at getting the best possible performance from the actors. Watch your monitor and Direct.  We will teach directing actors on set on the flagship course.
  • Hot Tip
    Always do an improvisation take as your final take on each shot. These are fun takes where actors relax and magic often happens. Actors will loosen up and sometimes give you their most truthful performance.

Here is a quote from Michael Caine.

“If you catch somebody “acting” in a movie, that actor is doing it wrong. The moment the actor is caught “performing” for the camera, the actor has blown his or her cover. He is no longer a private character in a private world “

This is extremely important in the Close up. They eyes are the window to the soul and screen acting requires a state of being. The Actor needs to be the character, rather than performing the character.

An actor’s preparation is paramount to this state of being. The more work on the essence of the story and the given circumstances the better for the actor. The director’s job is to be the guardian of the story. Guide the actors to the emotional truth and this will benefit the story.


We find that the shoot is one of the favourite times for our film course participants. The shoot is a very intense period of time where you work long concentrated hours on the film. There can be dramas but more than anything it is fun. Usually it is the shortest season.

Like a heatwave it feels hot at the time and it feels like it will never end. Then one day the wrap party happens and the shoot is over. Then you miss it. Still the most important duty for the Director is to give the production the best material and shots for Post Production

A Director, during the shoot, is gathering the building blocks for Post Production.

The next Flagship Course starts soon. If you want to make your own film and get it seen around the world and save thousands of dollars,  find out more here.   Five Month  Flagship Courses.

The Road Map Below for Getting Your Film Made

Q1  Have you worked out the synopsis for your Film Story.
A synopsis summarised your story in two – three sentences.

Answer Here or on your computer

Q 2  Do you want to Make this Film this Year?   Yes? NO?

Q3  Are you excited about Your Film being officially selected in International Film Festivals around the world and seen by a Million or More People or more around the q 3 World. Yes?   NO?

Q4 Would you like to add to your Toolbox. Learn Editing Learn Scriptwriting Learn Producing and Directing.    Yes?    No?

Q5  Have you Set a Deadline  For  Script Completion  Shooting and Completion of the Film

        Start Date:     Creation of the Story    ___________

        Shoot Date     First Day of Shooting – Last Day of Shooting _______

       Postproduction and Film Completion  Date      _________

If you are struggling with Q5 , Enrol on the Five Month Filmmaking Course and this will all be easy

Q6  Have you found a successful Filmmaker that you personally know and    that will give up his or her time to mentor you on your film?   Yes or No

If the Answer is No, you can get the same benefit by enrolling on  the Five Month Filmmaking Course

Do yourself a big favour and work with your Mentor Now and see your film fly. You will have your own personal coach for a once per week session. 

If all you want to do is learn about Filmmaking in detail with the hope of making your film later, the Five Months Filmmaking Course will be great for you too. 

If you Want to Make Your Film Now and complete in Five Months’ Go Here for Details 

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