Direct your story
Ron Howard made his first film in 22 days with $602,000. Today, his movies have grossed over $1.8 billion. In his first-ever online class, the Oscar-winning director of Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind decodes the craft of directing like never before. In lessons and on-set workshops, you’ll learn how to evaluate ideas, work with actors, block scenes, and bring your vision to the screen-whether it’s a laptop or an IMAX theater.
You know Ron Howard as an Oscar-winning director, a producer, an actor, and one of Hollywood’s great storytellers. Now, he’s your instructor. Meet Ron and learn why the director is the ultimate ‘keeper of the story.’
02. Choosing a Story
Ron believes anyone can direct a movie. The key is loving a story, understanding it, and then backing up your instincts with craft. Learn his technique for finding and telling fresh stories that will leave an impact on audiences.
03. Evaluating a Scr
Over the years, Ron has developed a personal checklist to evaluate and strengthen a scr. Learn the key components of a great screenplay and how to build your own checklist to identify material that’s right for you.
04. Refining a Scr
Scrs must work on creative and intellectual levels. Ron knows there’s no shortcut to the rewriting process, and he shares how he ensures a scr is ‘camera ready’ before embarking on production.
05. Story Inspiration: Case Studies
Ron works on an idea when he feels a flush of inspiration, which can come from the theme, his personal relationship with the idea, or its freshness. Learn how this approach has helped him create some of his most enduring and beloved films.
06. Developing the Film
Throughout the development process, your choices and beliefs as a director are going to be tested. Learn how Ron finds the best collaborators to navigate through development hell and bring his projects to life.
07. Collaboration: Part 1
Learn Ron’s policy for collaborating on a movie and how working in groups of three can bring out the best in a creative team.
08. Collaboration: Part 2
While collaboration is central to Ron’s process, he warns against directing by committee. Directors need to have the confidence to hear everyone, but listen to themselves.
09. Working with Cinematographers
The language of photography can overwhelm new directors. Ron talks you through how to find the right collaborator, rely on them, and work with them to define your movie’s visual tone.
Ron thinks about cinematic choices almost like a character in the movie. Learn how lighting, lenses, and stylistic choices can add visual power to your film.
11. Production Design
Learn how Ron finds the right production designers and works to inspire them to create sets that help tell your story, using a mosaic of palettes and colors.
12. Case Study: Frost/Nixon
Ron revisits the cinematography and production design decisions that energized and surprised him when he made Frost/Nixon, including powerful lessons about turning compromise into creativity.
Seemingly small or trivial details can anchor a scene, reinforce a director’s vision, and forge a stronger connection with the audience.
14. Scene Deconstruction: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Ron shares a story about how a lucky mistake-forgetting his headphones on an airplane-taught him how to better understand the mechanics of shots, camera setups, and sequences in an action scene.
15. Scene Deconstruction: Apollo 13
Ron walks you through the movie’s iconic launch sequence and explains how meticulous research and shot planning energized a familiar historical moment.
16. Scene Deconstruction: A Beautiful Mind
Ron shares how he flipped the movie’s point of view at a key juncture in the film in order to underscore the realization of a powerful truth.