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.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar? 
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. 

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! 

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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As an international film business specialist David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David is intimately familiar with how independent films are financed and made profitable all over the world and will share what he knows exclusively about the Latin American market with the Stage 32 community. David will focus on the Latin American market and walk you through what you need to know to finance your independent film, $1MM or less, and leave profitable. He will begin by explaining what a $1MM or under budget looks like in the Latin American region and whether it’s considered a small film. He’ll delve into how film financing works specifically in Latin America, including a breakdown of soft money sources versus hard money sources, local vs international productions, forming a co-production as a financing tool, tax and location incentives, taking advantage of government support, and working with film commissions. He will highlight how Latin American film financing is different compared to other regions and how both Spanish speaking and English speaking content works within the region and will go over the notable platforms and TV channels available as well as how they differ. David will outline the production capacities in the region, including for in-house production, co-productions, production servicing, and work-for hire. He will then teach you what specifically Latin America can offer foreign productions, including incentives, co-productions, talent, and shooting locations. He will also discuss how Latin America has its eye on the US, Spain, and the rest of Europe. David will explain how to approach your film as an asset, how to see yourself as an entrepreneur, and how to see filmmaking as a business. David will then go over the continental circle of financing, distribution, and investment recoupment and will explain how revenue and right management works as well as managing your recoupment. He will spend time delving into Latin American film contracts, including distribution agreements, CAM agreements, and sales agency agreements. David will ultimately illustrate whether Latin American films can be profitable and how, and analyze with you when a Latin American film can be considered successful, whether it breaks even or finds profitability. Plus, David will show a case study of a real $1MM Latin American film to illustrate how a film of this leve l can be profitable and exactly how the money flows through from beginning to end. He’ll show financing documents and spreadsheets to illustrate the financing structure and demonstrate how money flows in and out. Through this detailed and practical demonstration, you will leave with strategies and a deep understanding of how to approach your own $1MM film as an entrepreneur and build a finance structure that will leave you and your investors profitable.   This Stage 32 Webinar is Part 2 in David’s "Think Like an Entrepreneur" series. Click here to check out David’s webinar on being profitable in US marketplace with a sub-$1MM film and click here to check out his webinar on being profitable in the European marketplace   Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars   "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P.   "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O.   "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K.   "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.

Stage 32 + Raindance Present: 2020 Short Film Filmmaker Spotlight

Stage 32 is proud to continue our partnership with Raindance Film Festival for the 5th year in a row, and while we may not be able to all come together in London to celebrate so many amazing and talented filmmakers, we're thrilled to partner with Raindance to highlight global talent virtually and from the comfort and safety of our own homes. Even in its virtual format, Raindance continues to showcase and champion the best new films from all over the world, and included in this year's incredible program is a collection of remarkable short films. Stage 32 is bringing together some of the world's top up and coming short filmmakers whose most recent films are playing Raindance.  Included in this conversation will be Arjan Brentjes, whose animated short film SAD BEAUTY is playing at Raindance, along with almost 30 other film festivals this year alone. Also featured will be London-based director and cinematographer Molly Manning Walker whose debut short film GOOD THANKS, YOU? will be playing this year's Raindance in addition BFI London, Bilbao, and Palm Springs Film Festivals. Rounding out the panel, is Will Niava, an Ivorian-Ghanaian film director based in Montréal, Canada, whose film ZOO won Stage 32's 5th Annual Short Film Contest and is currently selected at over 40 international film festivals. In this FREE Stage 32 webinar, Arjan, Molly, and Will will take part in an exclusive Q&A moderated by our very own Stage 32 Managing Director Amanda Toney to discuss the state of short filmmaking today and how they put together their most recent projects.

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