Total Directing

Integrating Camera and Performance in Film and Television


561 Pages
7x10 Paper
Silman-James Press

Total Directing is the first book to fully integrate the technical aspects of screen directing with practical methods for directing actors, thoroughly exploring how these two primary aspects of the director’s craft work together.

"The two sides of a drama directors job, directing actors and directing picture and sound, are inseparable," says author Kingdon. "This book was conceived as a resource for my students as I couldn't find a book on the market that combined these two elements  effectively.

"There are as many styles of directing," Kingdon continues, "and in Total Directing I emphasize individual creativity and provoke readers to find their own approaches. At the same time, there are principles with which all directors must be familiar (even if they choose to ignore them), and those I cover in detail."

From a perspective that seeks to balance successful work with actors and technically high-level production values, the complete directing process—from the start of script development through the delivery of a finished project—is discussed in detail, covering every aspect of preparation and decision-making with solid background information, practical suggestions, and clear illustrations.

  • Topics include:
  • project development,
  • screenplay analysis,
  • choosing and working with a production team,
  • auditioning and casting,
  • script preparation,
  • using the language of acting,
  • working with a set,
  • understanding screen acting styles,
  • conducting a rehearsal,
  • blocking camera and actor moves,
  • using improvisation,
  • working with storyboards,
  • the Hollywood continuity style,
  • choosing camera shots and lighting,
  • multi-camera directing,
  • preparing for each day’s shoot,
  • editing and working with editors
    . . . and much more

About Tom Kingdon

Tom Kingdon, a freelance director, has worked on several Masterpiece Theatre productions, numerous documentaries and children’s programs, and more than two hundred episodic dramas (including EastEnders). He has also worked as First Assistant/Production Manager for John Schlesinger, Roland Joffe, Alan Clark, and many other distinguished directors. He has lectured at schools and universities in England and America and is currently an Associate Professor at Emerson College, Boston.
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 205-0665
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