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The Director and the Camera with John Paizs - FIlm Training Manitoba

Fri May 29, 2015
Sat May 30, 2015
Sun May 31, 2015
Actor’s Training Centre of Manitoba (ATCMB)
502 – 62 Albert Street
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Filmmaker John Paizs will supervise and coach each participant throughout this hands-on workshop, with the aim of inspiring the necessary critical discussion that will help you become a working director at an accelerated rate.

From learning how to visualize a scene well before you step behind the camera, to filming your scene under expert guidance, to screening your assembled footage with a critical eye – this intensive workshop is designed to help better prepare you for shooting your next project.


This day is divided into four parts:

Ÿ In the first part, workshop participants learn how to prep for and shoot narrative. Concepts such as master shot and coverage and the axis and the eyeline are explored.
In the second part, the class deconstructs a scene from a major motion picture in order to see how the director (and editor) translated the scene as scripted into the finished scene.
Ÿ In the third part, a number of camera-related topics are discussed including lighting and lenses.
Ÿ In the fourth part, directorial style is examined. A range of directorial style options are viewed and deconstructed with the aid of a clip reel.

At the end of Day One, each workshop participant is assigned a scene which they will prep for and shoot on Day 2.


Each workshop participant arrives with his or her shot-list ready to go, having incorporated the lessons learned on Day 1 into their game plan. They have one hour to shoot their scene. Once shot, the footage (and shot-list − showing the director’s preferred takes, etc.) goes to the editor for assembly.


Each assembly is viewed and discussed, with input from the editor. Constructive criticism shows the way to continued improvement.

About the Instructor

Early on in his career, John Paizs embarked on a series of ultra low-budget comedies which would earn him in the mid ‘80s the reputation as Canada’s leading independent filmmaker. He wrote, produced, directed and starred in six outstandingly imaginative films, both short and feature length. Taken together they remain today one of the most impressive and influential bodies of independent film work produced in Canada.

Of these six films two in particular stand tall: the suburban satire SPRINGTIME IN GREENLAND (1981), cited as Canada’s first postmodern film; and the feature-length “writer’s block” comedy CRIME WAVE (1986), hailed as the funniest Canadian movie ever made. 
Paizs’s independent films have been presented at such prestigious venues as the Lincoln Centre and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Boston Museum of Fine Art; the Walker Arts Centre in Minneapolis; the Wexner Centre for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio; and the Centre George Pompidou and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris, France.

A new chapter in his directing career opened in 1990 when he was invited to direct for the hit TV series “The Kids in the Hall”. It was his first professional directing engagement. 

Many more were to follow, both in TV and in features. They include helming the 1999 festival hit TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN (a.k.a. Invasion!), starring Campbell Scott and Tom Everett Scott, and the 2005 made-for-TV horror-fantasy MARKER.

A third chapter in Paizs’s directing career opened in 2000 when he joined the Canadian Film Centre as its Director in Residence. He remains vigorously engaged there today, mentoring Canada’s brightest filmmaking lights of tomorrow.

Film Training Manitoba is pleased to offer training at a significantly reduced cost to the Manitoba Film industry. This course has been valued at $725.00.


Film Training Manitoba Course Registration Policy

Participants must be 18 years of age or older to register and attend the course.
Participants must register in advance of the course. No drop-ins.
Registration is on a first come, first served basis – unless otherwise specified. Enrollment may be limited.
Registration for all courses, including weekend workshops, must be done between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (except holidays).

All registrations must be received and confirmed in-person or by telephone with an FTM staff member during office hours. We do not confirm or accept registrations via email.
Payment in full is required to secure a spot in an FTM course.

Course Registration

Registration can be done in one of two ways:

In Person – cash, cheque, VISA and MasterCard, and debit are accepted. (Please make cheques payable to Film Training Manitoba.) Our offices are located at 100 – 62 Albert Street, in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. We are open to the public Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

By Phone – VISA and MasterCard only. Registrations are accepted via the main line at 204-989-9669. *We do not confirm or accept registrations via email.

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