Fundamentals of Directing

International Film Institute of NY

Fundamentals of Directing

International Film Institute of NY
1h 43m
7 modules (view curriculum)

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  • Total Time:

    1h 43m


An introduction to the craft of directing for beginners, film enthusiasts, and individuals pursuing a career behind the camera. Maybe you have always wanted to be a director. Or maybe you have a dream project that you have always imagined bringing to life. Or you are simply intrigued and want to know more about how movies are made. Over the course of these videos, you will learn the basics of film directing, what directing really is, and the core elements you will need to know and understand to get you on your way. One way or another, by the end of this course, you will never look at movies the same way again.



What is the job of a director? From controlling the film's artistic and dramatic form, to visualizing teh script, to guiding the crew and actors to the fulfillment of that vision.


There are 3 phases of directing: pre-production, production, and post-production. But within each phase are several steps, such as casting, location scouting, production design, working with actors, developing a score, and so on.


In this lesson we talk about the camera as the narrator, including shot types, composition, angles, movement, and so on. You'll see demonstrations of shots as well as their definitions.


In this lesson we look deeper into composition, including balancing elements within the frame, leading lines, symmetry and patterns, view points, framing, and camera angles.


Learn the essential language of directing camera movement, including pans and tilts, pedestal, dolly, crane, steadicam, and zooms.


In this lesson you'll learn the basics of directing language, such as screen direction, matching eyelines, scene compression, the 30 degree rule, the 180 degree rule, and more.


In this final lesson, we see examples from several films and hear a discussion from IFI students.

About the Educator

International Film Institute of NY

Film School Preparatory Program

1 Course

With over 24 years of successfully providing a window into the world of filmmaking, the International Film Institute of New York continues to inspire and support individuals on their journey toward either a higher education in film or a foundation to building a career in the industry in a conservatory setting focused on storytelling.


Brief, condensed and well presented!
Dominic Eder-Smigura
Excellent! Concise and to the point but I want MORE!!! Really enjoyed the instructors presentation of the material. He obviously has a great depth of knowledge on the subject! Thank you!! Great job!!!
Carlos Ortiz
A good course that introduces the groundwork for any film. I was there more modules than what was presented though. A little more detail on how the each stage of directing works.
Terrell Epps
This is a great introductory course, but the excitement really starts in the final module so I think it's safe to say a Part 2 would be phenomenal. Would only suggest this for beginners though because the first few modules are definitions of Directing & Filmmaking terms which - though useful - isn't necessarily for the more experienced Director. I learned a lot but want more fleshing out and real-life [well... real-movie] scene examples.
Kareen Williams
Good coverage of the basics of directing for the camera with a good classroom analysis and discussion from an actual scene. I am looking forward to using this same practice to analyze some of my favorite scenes in the future.
Kasiemba Okeyo

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