Course Title: Direct performers for screen productions

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: PERF5093C

Course Title: Direct performers for screen productions

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6151 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Alan Woodruff

9925 4982

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will cover skills and knowledge required to direct performers during the filming or recording of screen productions. You will participate in a series of classes and workshops aimed at familiarising you with key elements of working with actors and directors.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUADRT502 Direct performers for screen productions


1. Prepare for shoots

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Brief performers on technical requirements in collaboration with production personnel where necessary

1.2 Establish lines of communication with production personnel and cast to facilitate smooth running of shoots in line with production timelines

1.3 Update production personnel on changes to production requirements that may have occurred since final rehearsals

1.4 Review dramatic elements dealt with in rehearsals that impact film shoots

1.5 Confirm workplace safety and security requirements are met in line with enterprise procedures


2. Facilitate performances

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Run through scenes with performers immediately prior to recording, where time allows

2.2 Create an environment conducive to maximising performances and characterisation, conducting warm-up activities as required

2.3 Collaborate with production personnel and provide feedback throughout shoots

2.4 Identify and rectify creative problems that arise during filming in collaboration with production personnel

2.5 Keep performers informed of filming order of scenes

2.6 Communicate, to performers, the desired mise-en-scène effects, size of each shot or framing, and their role in the context of whole shots or scenes

2.7 Engage performers in control of narratives by using techniques that allow for character sub text


3. Wrap productions

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Confirm all scenes are recorded and complete, including spot checks of recordings for quality and accuracy

3.2 Stand down production crew and complete necessary documentation according to enterprise procedures

3.3 Make arrangements for any additional production requirements and inform relevant production personnel

3.4 Evaluate shoot from a director’s perspective, including own performance, and note areas for future improvement

3.5 Provide feedback to production personnel and invite comment on shoots

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this competency, you will have developed and applied skills and knowledge required to direct performers during the filming or recording of screen productions.

Details of Learning Activities

In class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
• lectures and predsentations
• group discussion
• participation in teacher directed group activities/projects
• workshops

Out of class activities include, but are not limited to:
• online research
• independent project based work

Teaching Schedule


Week Assess Tasks Assess tasks due
1 Preparing for direction: understanding drama and understanding the job of the actor.
Dramatic structure and analysis.
2 The building blocks of drama for director and actor. The role of the director. Aims of rehearsal.
3 Readings and rehearsals. The job of the director.
Practical workshop.
4 Exploring scenes. Text and improvisation. Task 1
Script analysis and notes.
5 Facilitating performance.
Shot lists and blocking based on actors’ improvisations.
Beats and fulcrums. Staging and shots.
6 Rehearsals and improvs as starting point for blocking, storyboarding and shot listing  
7 Formulating blocking strategies for drama.


8 Formulating shooting plans for drama.


9 Identifying key points: beats, fulcrums, scene start, scene finish. Review, analysis and discussion of previous week’s video work. Task 2
Rehearsal notes
10 Storyboards and shotlists. Preparation for shooting. Distilling observations into shots and sequences. Staging and floor plans.  
11 Directing styles, strategies and techniques surveyed and compared.  
12  On set protocols.
Procedures and roles during the shoot. Communication between director, cast and crew.
Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.
13 Practical workshop and assessments continue. Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.
14  Director and actor communication on set. Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.
15  Director and performance optimisation. Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.

 Methods and techniques reviewed.
 Scheduling for rehearsals, actors’ performances within the shoot. The acting profession - discussion.

 Task 3
Demonstration of protocols.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information and course resource materials on a weekly basis.

Class notes and Tutorials.

Glyn James, Modern Engineering Mathematics, fourth edition, Pearson Education Australia


Please check for more notes and information through the RMIT webites - access via 'MyRMIT' / 'Blackboard'.


Other Resources

Access to the internet may be required for some research tasks. Please check facilities offered by RMIT (eg library access to the WWW.)

Hagen, Ute Respect for Acting Wiley Publishing, 1973

Macaulay, Adam. Don’t tell me, show me: directors talk about acting Currency Press 2003

Mamet, David On directing film. New York : Penguin, 1992
(available RMIT building 94 library Call No. 791.430233 M264)

McKee, R. 1998 Story, Substance, Structure, Style and the principles of screenwriting, Methuen, London. This is a book on screenwriting, which is useful companion reading for the other acting-directing references. It is included here because of its methodical emphasis on analyzing structure of scenes and stories, which is directly relevant to the job of the director.

Meisner, Sanford. Sanford Meisner on Acting, Vintage, 1987

Proferes, Nicholas T. Film Directing Fundamentals Elsevier/Focal Press, 2008 (electronic copy available via RMIT netLibrary)

Weston, Judith Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television, 1996 This book contains some key references to practices and assessment tasks in this course.

RMIT Screen Production Guide 2014 (notes on shoot protocols).



Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA)

Australian Screen Directors Association (ASDA)


Video / DVD

Holmes, P. O’Malley, J. 2004-2007 Hollywood camerawork – the master course in high-end blocking and staging.
Available for viewing in Carlton Library.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester and will involve practical exercises, workshops knowledge assessment tasks and group projects.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment to a satisfactory standard.
You will receive feedback on all assessment and where indicated, you will receive a grade. Graded assessment tasks are equally weighted and will determine your final result for this course.

1. Mark up a script with notes on character objectives, obstacles, beats and fulcrums.
A script will be provided for analysis in class for dramatic analysis. The aim of this type of analysis is to examine the source of drama in a particular screenplay.
You will be required to mark precise points in the script where there is evidence or suggestion of: characters’ objectives, obstacles to those objectives, beats (for actor), and fulcrums (potential turning points).
Marked up script. Due: Week 4

2. Analysis of actors performing scene.
Students will be required to make a record / take notes to observe and comment on actors as they work their way through a scene. This will be used to analyse and mark the significant dramatic moments in the scene. Each discernable pursuit of an objective, obstacles to those objectives, beats (actor), and fulcrum (potential turning points) will need to be identified, marked and described briefly. You will present your own analysis and opinion on each moment you think has significant potential as an actor’s beat, a narrative beat, a potential cutting point as well as good points to enter and leave the scene.
Due: Week 9


3. Demonstration of communication and protocols
Students will participate in running a set within class time to demonstrate your understanding of on-set shooting protocols. You will be required to participate in a number of roles including director and 1stAD in order to present evidence you understand the protocols, how they relate to cast and crew and can carry them out. You will be assessed on your ability to work with the protocols, communicate your performance analysis and directions to the actors from your marked up script. You will beed to explain the reasons for doing multiple takes. Due: During class time in Weeks 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (these will be practical assessment activities scheduled throughout this period).

Grades used in this course are as follows:
CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI  Competent with Distinction
CC  Competent with Credit
CAG  Competence Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS  Did Not Submit for Assessment

For further details on these assessment tasks and the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. The assessment matrix for this course can be found on Blackboard or from your teacher

Other Information


Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions:

You must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions.


Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises

It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

Assessment Feedback:

You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work.  Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Student Progress:

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to Assessment (eg. applying for an extension of time):

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning:

Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview