Photo by Danielle A. Davey

Directing: The Similarities and Differences between Film and Theatre

by Lenore DeKoven

The general misconception held by most laypeople and some professionals seems to be that there must be a difference between the crafts of directing and acting in theatre and those in film. The belief is that there are stage actors and screen actors, film directors and theatre directors. I don’t agree with this. It is…

Rehearsing with Actors

Working on Scenes with Actors

by Peter W. Rea

One of the director’s primary responsibilities is to assist the actor in discovering and playing his role. The director accomplishes this through script and character analysis, and staging. Once casting has been completed, the character development process begins with rehearsals. During the rehearsal period, the following takes place: The director gets to know the actor….

Figure 11

How to Shoot: The Unexpected Jump

by Danny Draven

What does it look like? It’s unexpected “jump” moment or cut where the character almost gets seriously injured or killed. How’s it done? It’s done as a practical shot on the set. When should I use it? It’s best used during moments in the film where the character is off guard and vulnerable to an…

FIGURE 4.2 The two main color temperatures for video and film.

The Color Balance of Your Camera

by Christopher J. Bowen

These values of degrees Kelvin are extremely important to motion picture production whether you are using digital video or emulsion film. Each, as a light sensitive medium, is balanced by the manufacturer to want to see either 3200 degree light as “white” or 5600 degree light as “white.” For emulsion films, the balance toward 3200…


Staging for Film

by Nicholas Proferes

Unlike the theater, we are not staging (also called blocking) for a proscenium, which has the audience outside of it. Nor are we staging for a theater in which the audience surrounds the action in two-, three-, or four-sided arenas or might actually sit on the stage. In each of these cases each member of…

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL

What to Look for When Scouting the Set

by Arthur Vincie

You’ll usually start your scout on the set and then work your way outward from there. Keeping that in mind, let’s start by looking at the set: Stuff. What’s there that you can use? What will be getting in your way? Is there somewhere close by where you can stow the junk you don’t need?…

Photo by Reid

Working with an Editor

by Cathrine Kellison

THE EDITOR’S ROLE “You might have a terrific episode, but if people are falling out because there are just too many elements in it, you have to begin to get rid of things.” -Ken Burns An editor can be a creative magician, a technical consultant, and an effective arbiter of what works and what doesn’t….

Photo by Colin Brown

The Casting Department at the Royal Shakespeare Company

by Suzy Catliff and Jennifer Granville

Not many theatres can boast a whole department devoted to casting – but the complex programme that the Royal Shakespeare Company runs requires a level of expertise and professionalism that is illustrated by Hannah Miller. HM:       My job title is ‘Head of Casting’.  So I’m the casting director on certain projects as well as the…

Figure 7

When and How to Use Reflection Scares

by Danny Draven

What does it look like? It’s a shot that reveals a monster or killer in a reflective surface for the audience (not the character) to see. It also reveals the geography of the threat within the context of the shot. It could be behind, above, below or inside of something in the scene. How’s it…

10 Things You Should Know About Writing A Screenplay

The Thriller Genre

by Danny Draven

Who doesn’t love a good thriller?  It’s a popular film genre that has its own visual style and narrative elements, emotional cues, and audience expectations. In Genre Filmmaking author Danny Draven shows the aesthetic, emotional and visual techniques of popular shots and sequences in the comedy, thriller, sci-fi, horror, action, romance, and masterworks/epics genres, and…

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MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Focal Press authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.