Director's Craft Course


FilmSkills Director's Craft Course
  • 3-month course
  • 10-lessons
  • 4 hours, 11 minutes of video
  • Projects and Exercises
  • Illustrated Companion Guides
  • Downloadable Class Materials
  • Industry-Leading Instructors
  • Certificate of Completion


Learn the Other Half of Directing
Once the director yells, “Action,” a dance begins between the actor and the camera. The director’s role is much more than that of directing the actors. The director must also craft the visual story by planning the coverage of each scene, blocking the camera and actors, and establish the overall look of the story.
In the FilmSkills Director’s Craft Course, you will learn the cinematic language and techniques for interpreting the story and crafting a visual experience that compliments the actors’ performances.  Learn how to begin a project, break down the script for story and character, plan the look of the visual story, properly shoot a scene, effectively block actors for both story and function, successfully utilize basic and advanced coverage techniques as well as how to storyboard and shot list your movie.
Go on set with a remarkable list of instructors whose TV shows and movies you see every day. Learn the craft of directing and bring your productions to the next level with the FilmSkills Director’s Craft Course.


Each lesson will take you through each step of Director's Craft Course process.

Beginning a Project

Learn how to begin the directing process, read the script for the first time, best prepare long before you even set foot on set, and how to breakdown the script for character and story.

The Visual Story

Learn how to use visual elements of shape, space, line, color, rhythm, movement and tone to frame the story.

How to Shoot a Scene
Learn the process of how to shoot a scene: blocking, light, rehearse, tweak, and shoot.
Blocking Actors
Learn how to block the actors, what story cues to look for, how to drive the blocking emotionally, and how to work with the actors to get the best physical performance possible.
Basic Coverage
Learn the basic template for shooting the action in a scene - the master, coverage, inserts and cat-in-the-window shots, learn how to vary shot size to increase coverage, break the standard, plan for the edit, and ensure you get the coverage you need.
Advanced Coverage
Learn how to craft a oner, create a psychological impact for each shot, create compelling establishing shots, manipulate the pacing and rhythm of a scene, determine the opening visual, and enhance transitions from one scene to the next.
Storyboards and Pre-Visualization
Learn how to work with a storyboard artist, use pre-visualization software, know how detailed storyboards should be, creative restrictions to be aware of, how to create storyboards even if you can't draw, and when to use animatics.
Creating a Shotlist

Learn how to create a shot list, location requirements, how to decide your shots, the elements in a shotlist, how the shot lists are used to schedule and budget a film, and to prepare for days when you go over schedule or over budget.

Script Supervisor
Learn the duties and responsibilities of the script supervisor, from maintaining continuity to preparing the script notes.
Continuity and Script Notes
Learn how the script supervisor tracks continuity and how to create a continuity notebook.


FilmSkills features top industry professionals, any of whom are leaders in their field. You will be learning from best.

Bruce Block

Producer, "The Holiday,” "Something's Gotta Give,” "What Women Want,” and Author of "The Visual Story"

Harry C. Box

Camera Operator, "Heroes," "Brothers and Sisters," and Author of "The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook"

Laura Beth Love

Cinematographer, "Zen and the Art of Senioritis", and "Little Magdeline"

David Stump, ASC

Academy Award and Emmy-winning cinematographer, "A Quantum of Solace", "Flight Plan", "Fantastic Four", and "X-Men"

Mary Lou Belli

Emmy-winning Director, "Monk," "Charles in Charge," "The Hughleys", and "Major Dad"

Bethany Rooney

Critically acclaimed Director, "Brothers and Sisters", "Grey's Anatomy", "Desperate Housewives", and "Private Practice"

Dan Riffel

Gaffer, "Iron Man", "G.I. Joe," "Hancock," "Spiderman 3," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "Charlie's Angels"

Josh McLaglen

Producer "X-Men," DGA Award Nominated 1st Assistant Director, "Titanic," "Avatar," "X-Men: First Class,” "The Polar Express," and "Real Steel"

Mike Uva

Key Grip "Nip/Tuck", “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, "Everybody Hates Chris", and author "Uva's Grip Book"

Lance Fisher S.O.C.

Camera Operator, "House M.D.", "Blade: Trinity", "The Shield"

Angela Nicholas

Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio, Actor, "Deadwood," "Washed," "Always Faithful," and "No Sunlight"

Anthony Pearce

Emmy-nominated Art Director, "Saw II", "Hirokin: The Last Samurai" and "Prey: The Light in the Dark"

Jason J. Tomaric

Emmy-winning director/Cinematographer

Randal Kleiser

Director, "Grease," "Blue Lagoon," "Flight of the Navigator," "Getting It Right," "Lovewrecked" and "It's My Party"

Andrew Davis

Director: "The Fugitive," "Code of Silence," "Chain Reaction," "Collateral Damage," and "The Guardian"

Rob Bowman

Four-time Emmy Nominated Director, "The X-Files," and Executive Producer, "Castle"

Judy Irola, ASC

Cinematographer, Chair USC Cinematography Department

Ken Shafer

President, Innoventive Software, creator of FrameForge

Steve Zuckerman

Director, "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Full House," "Golden Girls," "Friends," and "According to Jim"

Stephen Marinaccio

Line Producer, "America's Next Top Model," "Headless Horseman," "Trade of Innocents," and "The Counselor"

"Some of the knowledge that is offered up, well most of it really, most people on the outside looking into the film industry would never have had access to. This site is a gold mine for learning the film industry."