Utrecht Summer School logo
Utrecht University logo

Film Directing for Beginners

Organizing institution
Utrecht Summer School, Utrecht Summer School
Course code
Course fee (incl. housing)
€ 1350
Bachelor level

A film director translates a story from script to screen. He/she has to be creative, ambitious, a great communicator, collaborator, and an excellent problem solver. During this course, we will cover the various aspects of being a film director. What are the director’s responsibilities? How does a director communicate their vision to the cast and crew? Using both theory and practical exercises, you will learn about the complicated tasks of a film director, with the focus on directing actors and visual storytelling.

To become a film director, you need to have a good understanding of the filmmaking process in its entirety. The first two days we will talk about the different stages from pre- to post-production and take a closer look at the various crew roles on set. Who are the Heads of Department and what are their responsibilities? How does the hierarchy on a film set work and how do the different departments communicate with each other? We will then shift our focus onto the role of the director in particular.

Throughout the two weeks, we will combine theory with practical exercises. You will learn how to break down a script, how to write a director’s vision, and how to communicate this vision to cast and crew. These exercises will help you to advance your skills as well as boost your confidence before you start working with actors.

During the first week, each student will receive a short scene, on which the exercises will be based. The focus will mostly be on the following two aspects:

Directing actors:
How do you direct actors? Are there different techniques? What works and what doesn’t? How do you direct children? These questions will all be discussed in class before we start the practical exercises. Before working with professional actors, you will start directing your fellow students. Not only is this a way to learn from each other, but you will also experience what it is like to be in front of the camera. During the second week we will get professional actors in to work on your scene.

Visual Storytelling:
How do you tell a story visually? What do you show when and how? How do the director and cinematographer work together? We will discuss the above and talk about shot composition and coverage. You will then have to do some practical exercises to apply what you’ve learned.

At the end of the second week, you will be able to use everything that you’ve learned to direct your scene with professional actors.

Tags: filmmaking, moviemaking, movies, film, directing, art, films

» Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

Bookmark and Share


Laura Torenbeek




This course is designed for anyone who is thinking about becoming a film director. No previous experience required.


The aim of this course is to broaden your knowledge, to develop your skills and to boost your confidence in your own work.


The first week will contain more theory than practice, but the aim of the course is for you to apply what you’ve learned into your own work. We will start talking about the filmmaking process as a whole, and will then shift our focus to the craft of film directing. Exercises will be both individual and in collaboration.


• € 1350 - Course + course materials + housing
• € 1000 - Course + course materials

» Overview of all available discounts


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.


Laura Torenbeek

» Contact Utrecht Summer School


Deadline for registration: 08 July 2017

Application closed