Pre-Production: The Film Director's Process of Discovery

Hosted by Peter D. Marshall

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Peter D. Marshall

Webinar hosted by: Peter D. Marshall

Director and Film Directing Coach

Peter D. Marshall is a filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada. He has worked in the Film and Television Industry for over 40 years - as a Film Director, Television Producer, First Assistant Director and TV Series Creative Consultant. Peter has directed over 30 episodes of Television Drama such as John Woo's Once a Thief, Wiseguy, 21 Jumpstreet, Neon Rider, The Black Stallion, Scene of the Crime, Big Wolf on Campus and Largo Winch. As a First Assistant Director, Peter has worked on over 12 Features (including Dawn of the Dead, The Butterfly Effect, Happy Gilmore, The Fly II); 16 Television Movies; 8 Television Series; and over 20 Commercials. He has written, directed or produced over 50 hours of documentary and educational programs and his documentaries and dramas have won, or been nominated for, 14 International film awards. Peter has worked for directors such as John Woo, Phillip Noyce, Ed Zwick, John Badham, Roger Vadim, Dennis Dugan, Anne Wheeler and Zack Snyder. He has also worked with actors such as Peter O'Toole, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Kathy Bates, Michelle Pfiefer, Marcia Gaye Harden, Madeleine Stowe, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Goldie Hawn, Judy Davis and Adam Sandler. Peter is a directing instructor for Raindance Canada and the Vancouver Film School and he has taught workshops at the Directors Guild of Canada, Victoria Motion Picture School and Capilano College. He has also developed several filmmaking workshops and seminars that he has presented over the past 18 years - from Canada to Singapore to Dubai. In 1999, he created his website, Action Cut Print, and began to publish the free monthly ezine, The Director's Chair which is presently read by over 6000 filmmakers in 100 countries around the world. He also has his own filmmaking blog called filmdirectingtips.com. Peter has also been active in Internet Marketing and Social Networking. Over the past two years, Peter (with his partner Trilby Jeeves) has taught workshops and seminars to various groups interested in learning how to market their organizations on the Internet using traditional Online Marketing techniques combined with Social Media. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

 

Pre-production is the most important time for a director because it's where you go through a "process of discovery." It's also during this time that all departments discover a director's work style, vision and expectations as to how to do their jobs and make the production run smoothly and efficiently. In most cases, if a movie doesn't turn out as expected or runs over budget, it's a failure of execution during pre-production that can be pointed to as the cause. Many directors are simply too dependent on their producers and are way too anxious to get filming. This mentality is a huge mistake. So how can you assure that you handle the pre-production process effectively and in a manner where your cast and crew want to run into fire for you? How can you know which variables are most important and where you can delegate? We're here to help.

Much is expected of the director during the pre-production process. You are in charge of making crucial decisions that can either make or break any production. It can all seem very overwhelming no matter how many times you've done it. But in reality, taken step by step, it could be a fun and rewarding part of the process of making a film. All this takes time - and the more time you have in prep, the more you will discover and sort out before you go to camera. It's the planning, the patience and the perseverance that wins the day and ultimately makes for a winning project for all involved.

Peter D. Marshall has worked in the film industry for over 40 years as a film director, television producer, first assistant director, TV series creative consultant, and screenwriter. Peter has directed over 30 episodes of Television Drama such as John Woo's Once a Thief, Wiseguy, 21 Jumpstreet, Neon Rider, The Black Stallion, Scene of the Crime, Big Wolf on Campus and Largo WinchAs a First Assistant Director, Peter has worked on over 12 Features (including Dawn of the Dead, The Butterfly Effect, Happy Gilmore, The Fly II); 16 Television Movies; 8 Television Series; and over 20 Commercials. He has written, directed or produced over 50 hours of documentary and educational programs and his documentaries and dramas have won, or been nominated for, 14 International film awards. Peter has worked with directors such as John Woo, Phillip Noyce, Ed Zwick, John Badham, Roger Vadim, Dennis Dugan, Anne Wheeler and Zack Snyder. He has also worked with actors such as Peter O'Toole, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Kathy Bates, Michelle Pfiefer, Marcia Gaye Harden, Madeleine Stowe, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Goldie Hawn, Judy Davis and Adam Sandler.

In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Peter will guide you through pre-production, the most important phase for a director. He will help you navigate the business and politics with a step by step guide. He will teach you how to break down your script, how to effectively put together your shot lists, storyboards, and access the budget. He will explain how to set the tone you want to have on the set early and in a non-threatening manner. He will show you how you should conduct meetings with your producers, writer, 1st AD, and other department heads. He will explain how to work with your cast during pre-production so they are confident in their roles and in your vision so they're ready to go on the first day of shooting. He will take you through production meetings, wardrobe fittings, camera tests, script read throughs and rehearsals. He will provide you with a complete overview of a director's role in the pre-production process to assure that everything goes exactly as you wish and that your vision is served.

 

"I have taken several directing courses and Peter's course by far, takes the gold star. This impressive, condensed seminar saturates years of experience and learning and presents it in an easy to use package. A definite recommendation."

- Trevor M.

 

"I really enjoyed the webinar. I liked the fact that the density of material was rich enough I was always busy taking notes. Thanks for covering the artistic and the logistic side of directing."

- Brad L.

 

"I'll be shooting my first film in the next 30 days. This course came as a surprise birthday present. It was a godsend. I would have been fracked if I hadn't taken the workshop. There were so many essential elements that I would have missed. Peter's course is helping me hit the ground running and as a result, I feel much more confident and sure. Thanks Peter."

- Fredrick H.

 

What You'll Learn

  • Directing a Film - What is Expected?
  • Navigating The Business and Politics of Filmmaking
  • Differences Between Directing TV & Feature Films
  • Your Step-by-Step Guide - The Director's Pre-Production Activities:
    • Script Analysis
    • Tone Meeting (Producers/Writer)
    • Shot Lists, Storyboards & Schematics
    • The Director's Visual Concept
    • Director & 1st Assistant Director Meeting
    • Director & DOP Script/Creative Meeting
    • Department Head Meetings (I will describe all the main ones)
    • Production Manager/Line Producer Meeting
    • The Budget
    • The Director-Actor Relationship
    • Casting (Auditions)
    • Key Location Survey
    • Production Meeting
    • Stock Shots, Second Unit, Video Playback, Photographs, Inserts
    • Cast Photos for Art Department
    • Cast Wardrobe Fittings
    • Camera/Hair/MU Tests
    • Special Training/Rehearsals
    • Script Read Through
    • Cast Rehearsal
  • Recorded, in-depth Q&A session with Peter! 

About Your Instructor

Peter D. Marshall is a filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada. He has worked in the Film and Television Industry for over 40 years - as a Film Director, Television Producer, First Assistant Director and TV Series Creative Consultant.

Peter has directed over 30 episodes of Television Drama such as John Woo's Once a Thief, Wiseguy, 21 Jumpstreet, Neon Rider, The Black Stallion, Scene of the Crime, Big Wolf on Campus and Largo Winch.

As a First Assistant Director, Peter has worked on over 12 Features (including Dawn of the Dead, The Butterfly Effect, Happy Gilmore, The Fly II); 16 Television Movies; 8 Television Series; and over 20 Commercials.

He has written, directed or produced over 50 hours of documentary and educational programs and his documentaries and dramas have won, or been nominated for, 14 International film awards.

Peter has worked for directors such as John Woo, Phillip Noyce, Ed Zwick, John Badham, Roger Vadim, Dennis Dugan, Anne Wheeler and Zack Snyder.

He has also worked with actors such as Peter O'Toole, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Kathy Bates, Michelle Pfiefer, Marcia Gaye Harden, Madeleine Stowe, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Goldie Hawn, Judy Davis and Adam Sandler.

Peter is a directing instructor for Raindance Canada and the Vancouver Film School and he has taught workshops at the Directors Guild of Canada, Victoria Motion Picture School and Capilano College.

He has also developed several filmmaking workshops and seminars that he has presented over the past 18 years - from Canada to Singapore to Dubai.

In 1999, he created his website, Action Cut Print, and began to publish the free monthly ezine, The Director's Chair which is presently read by over 6000 filmmakers in 100 countries around the world. He also has his own filmmaking blog called filmdirectingtips.com.

Peter has also been active in Internet Marketing and Social Networking. Over the past two years, Peter (with his partner Trilby Jeeves) has taught workshops and seminars to various groups interested in learning how to market their organizations on the Internet using traditional Online Marketing techniques combined with Social Media.

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Testimonials

"I have taken several directing courses and Peter's course by far, takes the gold star. This impressive, condensed seminar saturates years of experience and learning and presents it in an easy to use package. A definite recommendation." - Trevor McWhinney

"I really enjoyed the webinar. I liked the fact that the density of material was rich enough I was always busy taking notes. Thanks for covering the artistic and the logistic side of directing." - Brad Leech

"Hey Stage 32, I wanted to thank you and Peter Marshall for such an enlightening webinar. I have so many notes and as a new Director I have to say I feel a bit more relaxed, knowing what steps I need to take to be more prepared for a shoot. Peter is so generous with his knowledge. I have his Directors class downloaded and I'm excited to view it. I'm saving for Vancouver!" - Diane Lansing

"I came to your Directing Actors workshop to answer a question I have been wrestling with for some time. Am I too far along to be considering stepping into this role of director? For once I found something where, when worked effectively, age could possibly have an advantage. Something really twigged for me this past weekend. Through your insight, patience and the director's 'bag of tools' that you bestowed on us, the intimidation & mystery of how to work with actors seemed to melt away. This insight will bring a huge improvement to my television shorts and sparked me to want to produce my own feature." - Lance Blackwell

"I'll be shooting my first film in the next 30 days. This course came as a surprise birthday present. It was a godsend. I would have been fracked if I hadn't taken the workshop. There were so many essential elements that I would have missed. Peter's course is helping me hit the ground running and as a result, I feel much more confident and sure. Thanks Peter." - Fredrick Heartline

"Downloaded the pre-production webinar with Peter Marshall - wow! I learned so much. Nobody else offers stuff like this. Very cool. You guys rock!" - Toby Tate

For more testimonials, click here.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • I have this one - the most awesome webinar on pre-production I've seen! Peter teaches like a college professor - well-structured and organized with great visuals. He speaks from experience, so there's plenty of sage advice along the way.
  • Awesome webinar! Gave both the theory and the practical insights I can use!

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There are few jobs you can do that are as rewarding as being an independent producer who take a project to completion. It’s the independent producer who turns a great idea and dream into a reality and a singular product that can be enjoyed by people all over the world. What can be better than essentially creating something out of nothing? From conception and pre-production through distribution and beyond, the producer is with a film from beginning to end, builds the team, and makes the decisions that ultimately make the project a failure or success.  You will always encounter problems or surprises that come up during the making of a film and it will invariably fall on the producer to address and figure out a way for the film to carry on. As the producer, it's impossible to fully predict what issues will inevitably arise during production, but having an understanding of the different facets of your job and what it takes for a film to be completed and released is crucial. Before taking the plunge in producing your first film, it's important to know everything you can and get the guidance you need so you can take that first step with your eyes wide open. Jim Young of Animus Films is a leading independent producer in the industry, with almost two dozen films under his belt. Jim has created a successful career producing true-story films such as THE CATCHER WAS A SPY with Paul Rudd, LIFE OF A KING with Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr., THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY with Oscar-nominee Dev Patel, LOVELACE with Oscar-nominee James Franco and Amanda Seyfried, and the upcoming film, THE PEOPLE VS. VEGAS DAVE. Jim has a long history of producing critically acclaimed features and documentaries including YEAR OF THE BULL at Showtime, THE WORDS with Oscar-nominee Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. Through years of successes and challenges, Jim has learned what it takes to be a working full-time producer and is excited to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Over the course of four sessions, Jim will dive deep into the roles and responsibilities of an indie film producer and give you the guidance you need to tackle your next (or first) project with confidence and foresight. He will walk you through every step of making a movie, from development to casting and financing to prep and physical production all the way through festivals, distribution and release. Plus! Jim will offer exclusive and helpful documents and resource sheets you can download and take with you for your own projects. Downloads include: Option/Purchase Agreements Sample Budget Foreign Sales Estimates Sample Investor Agreement Sample Shooting Schedule Sample Call Sheet Calendar of Film Festivals Sample Delivery Schedule for a Distributor   WHAT TO EXPECT This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students looking to learn the ins and outs of independent film producing. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. This class will consist of four sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. To see the full class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn". Valuable giveaways and downloads to help you on your producing journey. 

From Concept to Distribution: How to Make Your Microbudget Film Under $50k

Your Definitive Guide to Microbudget Filmmaking  Payment Plans Available - Contact edu@stage32.com For More Information   Learn how you can make your movie for under $50k from a microbudget expert who's produced features for Legendary, Lakeshore Entertainment, Netflix, and IFC Films, as well as series for Fox Television Studios, Hulu, FreeForm, Netflix, and 20th Century Digital. PLUS! Get sample budgets, schedules, lookbooks, storyboards and film festival packages!   The barrier to entry for making a film is at an all time low.  With access, opportunity and new distribution options you can now take your film idea from concept to distribution easier than ever before. Best of all? You get to collaborate with people you choose to make that story a reality. How can you do that? By making your film independently on a microbudget under $50,000.  This process means you don't have to pitch to studio executives and major financiers who will have their own notes about your story and what it should be and who to sell it to -- all of which you and your team might disagree with. In fact, you are in full control of the process from start to finish. Microbudget filmmaking is a path to creative freedom, and one that is paved with profits if done correctly.  To make your story see the big screen, you're going to need to spend extra time working to make sure you're doing everything right because you have no time or money to waste. We have the perfect Stage 32 Educator, Michael Wormser, who is here to show you how to develop, produce, and distribute your microbudget movie. Michael is an award-winning producer who specializes in microbudget filmmaking and has produced over 70 projects including features for Legendary, Lakeshore Entertainment, Netflix, and IFC Films, as well as series for Fox Television Studios, Hulu, FreeForm, Netflix, and 20th Century Digital. Through an interactive 4-part virtual class, Michael dives deep into the four key areas of microbudget filmmaking that you must master in order to be successful: Development, Planning, Production, and Distribution. Each of these four phases comes with unique challenges and opportunities that Michael will show you how to use to your advantage to produce the best microbudget film possible and get it out to your audience to enjoy. You'll walk away from these sessions with everything you need to know to collaborate and produce your own microbudget film. You will have assignments between each session to put to practice what you learn for your own film, and you will also get documents that will help you on your own journey: Budget and Schedule Examples Look book Examples Storyboard Examples Film Festival Package Examples   **PLUS! Michael will be available on email with you throughout the class for any questions you want to ask him about your own project!  Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to work with an acclaimed producer who's helped countless creators bring their microbudget projects to life!     Praise from Michael's previous class: "Michael is the real deal. His tricks to the process blew my mind. I can't thank you enough for all you taught us!" - James P. "Run, no, sprint to learn from Michael. His knowledge and attention to detail is bar none. I highly recommend Michael as a teacher. I've produced projects before but he has an incredible knowledge base on all aspects to help streamline processes." - Aimee M.  

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