June 8, 2013

Want to Be a Director but Don't Know Where to Start? Vimeo Shows You How to Direct Like a Pro

Vimeo Directing 101I'm sure that when we all decided we wanted to become film directors it was a very serious and impassioned decision. We watched films made by the best directors in the industry, read the books that documented their entire life's work, and waited for the day when we could pull off screaming into a bullhorn while wearing safari jackets and jodhpurs. However -- it is the weekend, so why don't we take a little break from the weightiness of our dreams and take a lighthearted look at what Vimeo's Video School says about what it takes to be a good director.

Vimeo's 'Directing 101' video is just that -- it's an introductory course on what a young director should keep in mind before, during, and after he or she cracks that mighty directorial whip. Now, we're not going to get into any overly sophisticated material with this video, but it does give great information for beginners, as well as some much-needed reminders for the pros, such as the importance of preparedness, having a vision, knowing the lingo, and just plain being nice to your cast and crew. Plus, it's funny! (I'm sorry, but Experienced Directorson is just hilarious.)

Check out the video below.

"Directing 101" is only the latest in Vimeo's Video School "Lessons" series, which are video/text combos of tutorials, challenges for filmmakers, and Q&A's with creators. If that sounds right up your alley, be sure to check out their other lessons as well. They've got everything from how to shoot an interview to how to make a prosthetic mask.

What do you think? What questions would you like answered about directing? What's some sound advice for new directors that may have not been in the video? V's #1 Rule of Directing: Feed everybody something delicious (angel hair pasta with olives and a homemade tomato sauce is probably the toppest notch you can get.)

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11 Comments

Uh, while the comedy is entertaining in this video, it's essentially useless to help someone understand what a director actually does. A director essentially is in charge of directing and managing the problem-solving effort the creative process of producing a film. The first major problem is casting - not just the actors but the script, crew, locations, props and many other aspects of the production - making thousands of decisions and building, leading and managing the creative team. The on set, James Gray is in his Indiewire interview, explains the role of the director really well:

"What I’m talking about was really an issue of tone. As a director, if you assemble the actors you love, and if you’re shooting in a place you like, and you have a great cinematographer, and all that stuff, and I did, essentially the director is the one person on the set who would not have to do anything. Now, it may not be a particularly good movie, but the film could function without the director saying anything. Now what a director really does is set the emotional temperature and the mood and the level, amount, or lack of, distance between the action and the character, and the character and the audience. The emotional temperature is created by the proximity of the camera to the actor, the pace of the scene, and how the actor plays the scene. All of this goes into the presentation of emotion. It’s hard to explain because it’s a process that you must think of consciously in order to affect an unconscious response in the audience. So it’s one of the harder things about making films, but it’s about how you direct the actors and how the scene plays that affects the emotion"

June 8, 2013 at 11:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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@stephen

well stated and good info

A good director from what i have gathered so far from years of studying is equivalent to an NFL coach.

A good NFL coach sets the tone gets in tune with his actors, defensive and offensive cordinators, owner, fans etc, a director is so like coaching and not all coaches and directors are created equal.

Some coaches manage a game while others lead, same thiing with directing its finding that medium balance and knowing when to push actors while keeping crew, staff, and everyone on the set in check, handling emotions, environments, to get the frilm complete

June 9, 2013 at 4:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jay clout

2 words to anyone starting out, John Cassavetes. He dotted the "i" in independent film making. I learned a great deal studying his work. Maybe not the best director, but he did a lot in set and was prolific in many areas of production.

June 9, 2013 at 12:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

Love it! I'm looking forward to more of these.

June 9, 2013 at 10:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Logan

really really reaaallly off topic... but I like ur mustache in ur profile pic :D

July 17, 2013 at 12:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kulsum

Sigh........Comedy ? Just kinda dumb & .......Sigh......Come on

June 14, 2013 at 9:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dheep

I love it

June 24, 2013 at 7:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ally Mchume

love all ur videos. ignore the haters :)

July 15, 2013 at 6:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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kulsum

seriously, ignore them .-.

July 17, 2013 at 12:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kulsum

I did an interview with director Peter D. Marshall that is packed with info on how to be director and how to succeed in the film business: http://www.clickbitz.com/blog/the-art-and-craft-of-the-director-intervie...

He says what to read and what to do. Actually making films, no matter how big, is key! I hope it's helpful!

October 25, 2013 at 12:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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this site rocks

February 27, 2014 at 1:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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