Introduction to Directing
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Winter 2019
Prerequisites: (MEDA13199) AND (MEDA13431)
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Bach of Film and Television
Program Coordinator(s): Kathleen Cummins, Randall Kapuscinski
Course Leader or Contact: N/A
Version: 20190107_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: A key priority in the Bachelor of Film and Television Program is the safety of students, staff, and faculty while participating in teaching and learning activities. Therefore, participants are expected to reference and adhere to provincial and federal law, established film industry standards, and Sheridan College's Occupational Health and Safety Policy to ensure a safe working environment for all. See link for additional information:

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students learn the fundamentals of film and television directing. Through both theory and practical exercises, students examine how emotions, expectations, character and intentions are distilled in human behaviour within a dramatic context. They develop screen stories through the use of different camera angles and shots, the treatment of time, transitions between scenes and the use of locations. Students serve as actors in each other's exercises and, in the process, learn the fundamental challenges of screen performances. At the same time, exposure to a variety of positions on a film crew allows them to identify the filmmaking role(s) they are most likely to pursue.

Program Context

Bach of Film and Television Program Coordinator(s): Kathleen Cummins, Randall Kapuscinski
This is a required course in the Bachelor of Film and Television degree program. Students will have already experienced introductory film history, script analysis, cinematography and sound recording. The fundamental skills of directing are broadly applicable to all aspects of film and television production, so this course is appropriately placed just prior to the beginning of the subsequent production courses.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course students will have demonstrated the ability to apply the essential principles of film and television direction required to lead the creation of an audio-visual project that is visually compelling and thematically communicative.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Apply the underlying principles and terminology of film and television direction to create meaningful screen action.
  2. Develop a creative process and practical technique for staging screen action based on written texts.
  3. Execute a shooting strategy based on the principles of choreography between camera and action.
  4. Stage the action for dramatic scenes to effectively reveal character and intentions and move the story forward.
  5. Develop character through the use of conflict with dramatic beats leading to a climax and resolution.
  6. Describe how emotions take behavioural form in dramatic action.
  7. Apply the techniques of screen directing in relation to recognized conventions of screen storytelling.
  8. Synthesize production skills in camera, lighting, sound and editing that are essential in the creation of an audio-visual project.
  9. Communicate effectively in a team setting, especially with actors, using professional terminology.
  10. Communicate to cast and crew their creative choices in blocking scenes.
  11. Integrate critical feedback in the modification of their work.
  12. Exhibit professional behaviour by adhering to provincial law, established film industry standards, and Sheridan College's Occupational Health and Safety Policy.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 Scene Analysis20.0%
 Director's Journal15.0%
 Blocking a scene assignment20.0%
 Pitch and Resume10.0%
 Creation of a short audio-visual project35.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
All assignments must be submitted by the deadline specified by the professor. All assignments must be delivered in the format and via the delivery method specified by the professor. Any request for an extension must be made prior to the deadline day. Any assignments submitted after the deadline will be penalized 10% each day thereafter. Assignments not delivered 7 days after the due date will receive a zero. Exceptions may be made with a medical note or at the professor's discretion. Unless otherwise specified, students must complete every assignment as an individual effort.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Challenge Exam
    Notes:  A Challenge Exam or Interview, plus a Portfolio are required.
  • Portfolio
    Notes:  A Challenge Exam or Interview, plus a Portfolio are required.
  • Interview
    Notes:  A Challenge Exam or Interview, plus a Portfolio are required.

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: tba
RequiredTextbookDirecting, Film Techniques and Aesthetics., Rabiger, M. & Hurbis-Cherrier, Burlington, MA: Focal
RequiredOtherSelected films and videos will be screened in class for analysis and discussion.
OptionalOtherWeston, Judith (2006). The Film Director's Intuition: Script Analysis and Rehearsal Techniques. Michael Wiese Productions.

Applicable student group(s): Bachelor of Film and Television students.
Course Details:
Module 1 : Principles of Directing
Overview of Director’s role
            Scene Analysis – 20%
Module 2 : Directing in the Pre-Production Phase
Collaboration with writers.
Story Concepts and Pitching
Script Summaries, and Scene-by-scene Outlines
            Director’s Journal - 15%
Module 3 : Directing in the Production Phase
Director’s Vision Statement
Shot lists and Floor Plans
Blocking, Rehearsing and Shooting scenes
Directing actors
Directing crew
            Blocking a scene assignment - 20%
Module 4 : Directing in the Post-Production Phase
Colaboration with editors and composers
Rushes analysis
Module 5 : Product and Potential of Directing
Screening and Analysis of short film
Pitch for future film
Directing different genres
Directing as a career
            Pitch and Resume - 10%
            Creation of  a short audio-visual project – 35%

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

[ Printable Version ]

Copyright © Sheridan College. All rights reserved.