Faculty of Arts


Working With Performers for Screen

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for SCREEN 303.


A study of working methods for directing performance of both actors and non-actors as well as nonfiction subjects. The course will consist of workshops, lectures, exercises, rehearsals and discussions. It will provide training and experience in collaboration with professional actors, "non-actor" performers and non-fiction subjects for screen production. Various techniques for different styles of filmmaking will familiarise students with the acting and blocking processes and build confidence needed for directing.

This is a beginner’s workshop designed to equip students with the techniques necessary for working with performers for screen. Our class sessions will be spent in critiques of projects, discussions, demonstrations, exercises and screening films.

Students will actively engage in the creative process and give and receive constructive criticism. This is an intensive studio course and will require work outside of regular class time (including casting/auditioning for your projects). This out-of-class commitment is not optional and will be required to complete the projects and exercises assigned.

Disclaimer- This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the professor contingent upon performance and overall class progress and special events.

Course Objectives:

Successful completion of the course should provide students with information on how to:

  • Communicate to actors in simple and direct ways
  • Use specificity in giving directions to actors
  • Create different genres through their actors’ performances
  • Create mood, tone, subtext and texture through the performances of their actors
  • Develop a working vocabulary of acting terminology
  • Provide methodology for working with actors during casting, rehearsal and shooting
  • Communicate with actors in a real world situation

and should give students:

  • Opportunity to demonstrate effectiveness as a director through exercises with actors
  • Exposure to various modes of address, narrative and structure

and should:

  • Inculcate professional aspects of directing. This includes making and keeping deadlines and consistency, presentation and standardisation of format; analysing scripts, providing constructive critiques of peer-work


Provisional class limits information for 2018: Enrolment is limited to 20 students. Enrolment is limited to 20 students. Students  must have successfully completed SCREEN 200 and 201. Selection will also be made based on the qualitative assessment of a 250-word statement.

This is a resource-heavy course (camera/sound equipment, check-in/out and tech maintenance, access to limited editing and audio suites) as well as project heavy. As an experiential learning course with intensive workshopping, demonstrations and project based teaching, small class sizes are required to adequately attend to each student.

Availability 2018

Semester 2


Coordinator(s)  Jake Mahaffy


SCREEN 303: 15.0 points


SCREEN 200, 201 and approval of Academic Head or nominee

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