Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Director's Responsibilities

I recently attended a director's workshop led by Hallmark Hall of Fame director John Kent Harrison. He's known for sweeping period pieces, such as "Helen of Troy" and the critically acclaimed "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler."

I really loved his punch list on what the first and main responsibilities of a director should be.

  • First, you must establish geography.
  • Then you need to establish the camera’s POV. Who is telling this story? Then that's where your POV must be.
  • Once you establish the geography and POV, you need to establish intention.
  • Finally, stay within story structure and don’t give it away until the end.  Suspense is important!
Here's an example of establishing POV. The use of the long lens isolates the boy in this scene and it's clearly told from his POV:

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