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Directing Boot Camp

Starts October 22

In-person. 1 session: Saturday, October 22, 9:30 am-12:00 pm

One of the most important skills of the director is to problem solve. Planning and logistics are a key component to solving issues before they happen or may arise down the road. We’ll cover topics such as shot lists, timing the amount of takes, knowing your locations and where the light is coming from, how many members of a crew are necessary, loading into the location, starting off with your wide shot first, and more.  

This is not the approach of “organic” filmmaking, but rather establishing exactly what you want and executing that plan on the day. Basic knowledge of producing and cinematography is helpful but not required.


  1. Lining Your Script
  • Shots
  • Timing
  1. Storyboarding
  • Google Images
  • Drawing
  • 3D (CineTracer)
  1. Lighting Diagrams
  • Drawing
  • 3D (Cine Tracer)
  1. Wants versus Needs
  • Crew
  • Location
  • Gear
  1. First Production Day
  • Load In
  • Wide Shot First
  • Rhythm

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this class, but I thought it was great. There was a lot of information that I didn’t know, and it was really helpful to hear about firsthand experiences. —Fall 2022 student

I really appreciated the specificity of David’s responses to my questions and his use of real-world examples during discussions, particularly when it centered on interacting with actors. —Fall 2022 student

NOTE: this in-person course is held at FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia Street, Suite 120, Saint Paul, MN 55114. FilmNorth is following CDC’s current COVID-19 guidance for Ramsey County:

  • Masks are recommended for those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or at high-risk for complications associated with COVID-19.
  • People may choose to mask at any time.
  • People with any COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should stay home.

Tuition: $70 regular | $55 member | $40 low-income

David J. Buchanan is a black Minneapolis-based writer/director whose work includes Rideshare, See You Soon, and the acclaimed feature film BLACK in Minneapolis (available on Amazon, iTunes, and Vimeo). A recipient of the 2020 McKnight Media Artist Fellowship and a 2022 Catalyst Story Institute alum, David started his career in documentary filmmaking at age 14, when his work included many localized stories around social justice. At age 15 he won the Screenlabs Challenge Audience Award at the Screenwriters’ Workshop, where he developed his screenplays. He was top 10% in the Nicholl Academy Fellowship in 2021 and a quarterfinalist in Final Drafts’ Big Break in 2013. At age 20 he worked on his first commercial project, where he learned about the craft of lighting. Today David continues to work as a creative director for his production company We-Co Films.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those needing to cancel a registration at least 7 days prior to the first class session, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to the first class session, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
  • By registering for this FilmNorth class you are agreeing to our Community Values Statement.




October 22, 2022
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Event Categories:


David J. Buchanan
Registration Deadline
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
1 session: Saturday, October 22, 9:30 am-12:00 pm