Course Title: Direct performers for screen productions

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2021

Course Code: PERF5093C

Course Title: Direct performers for screen productions

School: 375T Vocational Design and Social Context

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6151 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact: Andrew Harrison

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 48350

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Angela How


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 this program, structured learning occurs in the classroom and through completion of assessment. However, as an independent learner you will also be engaged in unstructured activities such as private study and practice of technical skills required in using cameras, lighting and sound equipment and editing tools . You are also expected to  familiarise yourself with different aspects of the screen and media industry. This includes spending time engaged in attending films and film festivals, watching streamed content, attending industry events and exhibitions and building relationships with industry bodies such as the Screen Producers Association and the Australian Society of Cinematographers.

In class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
• lectures and presentations
• 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

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability resources.


Class Content



What is the role of the Director?

Reading and creating drama for screen production.


Determining the role of the actor.

Lecture: Significant directors and what makes them great?


Exploring narrative vision. What angle, person object is enforcing the plot?

Explore film Genre and approach, i.e. : Dogma. Film Noir.



How to build character from the “outside.” Interpreting the text.

How do you build character through shot length and angle and how much to leave to chance and interpretation.



Practical workshop:

Exploring text and improvisation



Communicating with performers.


Direct a scene – The Audition

- how to conduct an audition and cast.



With your scene, interpretation of the scene and other notes, audition 3 people for each part.


Take notes on the effect of the actors audition and what positive elements work for the role you have written. Cast one person for each role and discuss how the performance could be worked in front of camera.



Direct a scene – The Audition

Assessment 1

(Part 1 & 2) Due


Direct a scene – The Audition

Assessment 1

(Part 3) Due


The Rehearsal - how to get the maximum out of your actors / co-creators.


Staging, how to bring your actor into the geographical space available. Blocking strategies.

Communicating with actors and technicians on set. Practical workshop:

The Rehearsal - Exploring text and improvisation


Workshop: Rehearse your scene with the actors cast in your scene from last week’s workshop.


Make notes of the actor’s input, suggestions, new ideas / changes that you’ve observed, and other changes that



arise from the rehearsal, and your process in detail, including methods and techniques used.


Visiting Actors Q&A - What it is to act and to be directed.



Listening to instinct. Choosing your approach to your work. Consciousness of available options. The value of input.


On set protocols. Scheduling and procedures. How to avoid and deal with on set conflict.


Controlling the temperature and pitch of your cast and work.


Methods and techniques reviewed. Identifying and formulating key points. Storyboarding, the plusses and minuses. Blocking strategies.


The Director’s production book / folder / notes Exploring deeper, directing styles.

Group discussion



Direct a scene – The Rehearsal

Assessment 2

(Part 1) Due


Direct a scene – The Rehearsal

Assessment 2

(Part 2) Due


Direct a scene – The Rehearsal

Assessment 2

(Part 3) Due


Direct a scene - Production

Assessment 3

(Part 1,2 & 3) Due


Direct a scene - Production

Assessment 3

(Part 1,2 & 3) Due


Direct a scene – Post production

Assessment 4

(Part 1) Due


Direct a scene – Post production

Assessment 4

(Part 2) Due


Direct a scene – Screening

In-class screening of completed scene edits. Group discussion.

Assessment 4

(Part 3) Due






Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Class notes and Tutorials.

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


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

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 analysing 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 2019 (notes on shoot protocols).

Other resources for this course are available on Canvas


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

For each assessment task you will receive a detailed brief specifying requirements

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessments to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessments.

Assessment Task 1 - Direct a Scene - The Audition. Students will be provided with a dialogue between two unnamed characters for a scene that you are required to produce. Students will incorporate the dialogue into a scene of your choosing. Students will then examine and analyse the scene, by identifying intentions or beats, and articulate subtext in the dialogue. Students will also conduct auditions and cast the actors to play the characters in your scene. Students will be assessed as an individual for this task. Due Date: week 5

Assessment Task 2 - Direct a Scene - Preproduction. This assessment will allow students to demonstrate their ability to rehearse, communicate and collaborate with actors and crew, and to prepare as a director during pre-production. Due Date: week 10

Assessment Task 3 - Direct a Scene - Production. This assessment will allow students to demonstrate their ability to block your actors on set, communicate and collaborate with actors and crew on set, and direct actors and crew during production. Due Date: week 12

Assessment Task 4 - Direct a Scene - Postproduction and Self Evaluation. This assessment will allow students to demonstrate their ability to communicate and collaborate with the post-production crew and to provide appropriate feedback to achieve your vision as director. The self-evaluation will also allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of the role of the directing role in screen productions. Due Date: week 15


Assessment tasks 1, 2, 3 and 4 are to be finalised by no later than end of Semester 1 Week 16.

Results that apply to courses that are delivered and assessed in accordance with competency based assessment are:

CA: Competency Achieved

NYC: Not Yet Competent

DNS: Did not submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrated alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration.

Other Information

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



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.

Information about your studies:

You can access My Studies through the RMIT website for information about timetables, important dates, assessment dates, results and progress, Canvas etc.


Information on assessment including Special consideration, Adjustments to assessment, (eg. applying for an extension of time):


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