Film directing workshop focused on working with actors. Learn how to evoke fresh,
engaging, and powerful performances that read well on camera.
6 E39th St.
New York, NY
(Bet. 5th Ave &
DIRECTING FILM ACTORS
Study an approach to directing film actors
that consistently results in authentic, powerful, and nuanced performances that read
well on camera. Workshop includes talks, rehearsal sessions with
professional actors, and acting exercises for directors.
shaping performances for film, we will focus on two goals: 1)
Making the acting invisible so that the scene looks like real life. 2)
Maximizing the emotional charge of the story. This approach steers performances away from clichés
and melodrama, and adds spontaneity, subtleties, and layers of subtext.
Learn how to communicate and collaborate with actors to achieve the specificities
of your directorial vision. Directors at all levels of experience are welcome. Actors are also highly encouraged to attend
as directors. By
being in the director's chair for a weekend, actors will
pick up powerful and effective tools that will help in auditions and on set.
10 - 11:30am Overview of tools
11:30 - 12:45pm Demo scene 1
12:45 - 1:45pm
1:45 - 3:00pm Demo scene 2
3:00 - 4:15pm Demo scene 3
4:30 - 6pm Directors rehearse
10 - 10:30 Review, Q&A
10:30 - 11:45 Demo scene 4
11:45 - 1:15pm Demo scene 5
1:15 - 2:15pm Lunch
2:15 - 3:30pm Demo scene 6
4:00 - 5:45pm Directors Perform
5:45 - 6pm - Closing
This workshop was probably the most fun that I've had in
at least a year! What an experience. Made me drop a lot of what I thought I knew.
Thank you so much for the director’s workshop. I'm amazed at how much I learned
in two days. I was able to put some of the tools into use that week on a shoot - it was great! I also loved working with
so many talented people and am planning on taking more of your classes in the fall.
GIZEM ALGANAs a trained actor and an acting teacher, I took this workshop
to study directing, and learned more about acting than in any acting class that I've ever taken.
workshop brought my confidence back. Just when I started feeling lost in
what the industry was "looking for", Ela reminded me that the most powerful thing I could bring
to a project was myself. After beginning class I booked the very next thing I was seen
Guiding actors to performances that are effortless is truly an art
form and Ela is truly a master! She is what every actor would love a director to be. I'm glad I've been acting for
long enough to appreciate how rare Ela's talent as a director actually is. The irony about directors is that the best ones
make it look like they're not doing anything. They make it look simple. Actors, you may not know it yet but trust me, you
really want to work with Ela! I look forward to saying "I told you so!"
As an actor, I sincerely wish that it were possible for you to teach every director.
You have a true gift for directing and teaching, which are enhanced that much more by your caring and compassion. I am so
grateful to have been able to benefit from it.
Being an actor
in Ela's class was a first-hand experience into the director's mind. Receiving direction and on-point adjustments from Ela
brought the scenes to entirely new levels. I always felt a sense of comfort in the space, and was not at all afraid to take
risks; I knew I was in good hands.
Having had the enjoyable privilege of working with Ela as an actor, I can say with
all honesty that she works from the passion of her heart and thinks with the clarity of a professor combining instinct and
intelligence. Ela leaves the actor with a feeling of security and the all-important knowledge that its perfectly fine, and
possible, to be yourself!
Ela's approach is gold for new directors. She demystifies directing by teaching
practical strategies for communicating with actors and creating naturalistic performances that don't look like acting. There
is nothing so magical as watching a scene you've written turn into something awesome under her guidance. Her directing class
has made me both a better director and a better writer.
I walked away from the workshop with simple but
powerful directing techniques that I can't wait to utilize, and I gained the confidence to know that there's nothing stopping
me from directing right now. Thanks Ela!
I especially appreciate the respect that you have for the director. You approached
each scene differently, putting yourself at the service of each director's unique vision and interpretation of their scene.
Many directors can identify what is “not working” with their scene. Few of us, however, can make precise
changes in a short period of time that bring our imagination to life. Ela guided us to director-actor relationships that removed
the wall which stood between me and what is the most powerful weapon a filmmaker has in his arsenal: the actor. With her help
I’ve watched my work and the works of others become real and emotional experiences.
The directing actors
workshop was an incredible opportunity. I worked with professional actors in a supportive environment, feel much more at ease
directing actors, and I now have a powerful toolbox for troubleshooting scenes, especially when the lights are up and there's
no time left!
Ela’s simple tools to direct actors stretched my imagination and taught me how to successfully
build drama into scenes. I laughed, brainstormed, and loved-every minute of the workshop. And now I have a list of great actors
for future readings and productions. Thank you, Ela!
Ela's directing class was such a great gift that
I've given to myself. I learned so much about directing and my confidence in this practice has boosted tremendously. Ela provides
a comfortable atmosphere and makes learning enjoyable.
I feel confident and equipped to direct film
actors. I appreciate you teaching specifically as a film director and gained many different practical tools to use on set
that could only come from experience.
I was introduced to new directing tools in this class, a great group of actors,
and got plenty of hands-on practice with on-the-spot thoughtful feedback from Ela. The class inspired me to write original
material to workshop, and I left the class gearing up to shoot a film with two of the actors that I worked with.
classes were essential to my growth as a writer-director. Using her techniques, it became easy working with actors to craft
brilliant performances. And having actors as part of the class gave me invaluable insight into the actors' perspective.
Ela, you are amazing! There's not enough I can say about what I've learned in this class. To name just a few highlights:
*Giving "actable" directions and not talking to actors about their emotions *Helping actors out of their 'comfort
zones' and working with them to expand their range *Helping actors become more conversational and creating natural-looking
performance *Using props and sets effectively, so they feel like a natural part of a scene *Simplifying blocking and not getting
bogged down in it *Knowing how to pace a scene *Allowing the script to tell the story and helping actors avoid "indicating"
tones and gestures
Your approach empowered me to explore without fear, and your solid and simple techniques
enhance and strengthen any scene! I loved working with fantastic actors, and with the freedom to be creative while receiving
feedback in an encouraging, supportive and joyful environment. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
GEORGE WILSON JR.