DMA Central


Directing Film: All About the Perfs

By Katy Scoggin – Lead Instructor Hands On Digital Filmmaking for Teens

Right now I’m in the pre-production phase of a short film I’ll be shooting at the end of March. The project is a collaboration between me—I’m the writer/director—and a group of actors from the graduate acting program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

As a writer/director, I constantly have to communicate my vision to a bunch of collaborators: my actors, my DP (director of photography or cinematographer), my production designer, and my editor. But on set, when the camera is rolling, my most important relationship is with my actors. Directing is more about shaping and tweaking and discussing performances than anything else. It requires an ability to communicate, a strong will, great listening skills, and—perhaps more than anything else—concentration. Concentrating on performance, and knowing when you’ve got what you need, is immensely challenging to do in an environment where dozens of people and lights and equipment are always hovering just outside the frame. But once you’re in the cutting room, and you get to savor arresting performances, the hard work really pays off.

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