Go to Content
Columbia College Chicago


The Directing Curriculum is designed to provide training and practice in all aspects of fictional directing, with course offerings that allow students to study the craft of directing through the eyes of and in collaboration with screenwriters, casting directors, editors, cinematographers, production designers and others.   The various methods directors use to communicate their directorial vision with their crews and actors -- including storyboards, groundplans, brackets, and shooting scripts -- are emphasized throughout.

Our faculty represents a wide variety of directorial approaches, drawn from their professional experiences in both film and theater. The goals of our program are to teach the various craft skills which professional directors must know, and to assist students in developing their own voices and unique directorial styles.

Early in the curriculum, students concentrate on text analysis, the preparation of a director's breakdown, casting, rehearsal procedures, and the expression of personal meaning from dramatic material. Upon demonstrating these skills through hands-on work on short scenes, students then apply camera to dramatic material, while reinforcing what was learned previously. By the end of the curriculum, students have practiced the relationships between the Director and the Cinematographer and Editor by completing a short fictional film in collaboration with advanced students from those other crafts.

In order to enter Directing I, a student must first complete the Cinema Art + Science Foundations courses with a grade of C or better in each course.

He or she must also complete Acting Techniques for Filmmakers, a course that familiarizes film students with the techniques that actors use in approaching their work. Directing students are also encouraged to take film studies courses, particularly those which stress the work of specific directors.