The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ) invites applications from proven writer/directors or director and writer teams, and their actors, to attend the Robert Marchand Character-based Improvisation Workshop from 20 – 24 March 2015 (five days).
Rob is an award-winning film director with over 25 years experience who is hailed as Australia’s foremost expert in this process, as used by British Director Mike Leigh. Rob runs his acclaimed workshops in Europe, the U.K. Australia and now in New Zealand.

“Whether you are planning to create work from scratch or you just want to expand your skills in exploring and creating character, using improvisation and generally working closer with your actors in the realisation of your work, this is an invaluable workshop. I highly recommend it.”
– Kate Woods, Director, Looking for Alibrandi

This workshop requires real commitment from teams. The benefits to participating directors, writers and actors are immense:
• improving communication between actor and director
• providing a new approach to script development—investigate backstory, look
at characters independently of script, build life around the character, create
the whole psychology of character before you start your film
• finessing Performance
• demonstrating how improvisations can really deliver results
• adding detail to scripted material
• exploring the unexpected
• auditions & casting
• provides an extra dimension to script development
• demonstrates how character detail can be added to the script
• reveals how bringing the character to life in non-scripted scenes throws up
new possibilities for further writing
• illustrates how to create an entire film through on-going collaboration
between filmmakers and actors.
• re-affirmation of the actor as artist
• ownership of character
• adding depth and complexity to performances
• accessing spontaneity
• improving communication with the director
• new perspective on texts
• assisting with preparation for auditions

Directors can apply with or without a script, but all must have:
• proven talent in directing drama
• a strong feature project or a strong idea to explore
• strong ideas for casting and bring actors who are willing to explore character
• be available for the full five days (including actors)
NB: This workshop will be most beneficial for those with stories based in a 21st century contemporary, urban world.

To apply, please provide:
• Names, contact details and CVs for all planned participants – director,
writer/s, actors
• 1 – 5 page synopsis of your film/idea
• Examples of director’s previous dramatic work
• A maximum one page letter stating why you wish to participate in this

Please send your application electronically to or by post to Directors & Editors Guild of NZ, Attn: RM Workshop, PO Box 47-294, Ponsonby, Auckland. Applications close 5PM, 4 February 2015.
The four successful candidates (four directors with teams) will be selected by a panel of experienced industry practitioners, with an announcement to be made by end February 2015. Fees would apply to those accepted, and those travelling would need to pay their own costs.

What: Robert Marchand Character-based Improvisation Workshop
Where: Auckland, venue tbc
When: Friday 20th – 24th March 2015 (5 days)
Cost: DEGNZ member director – $60 (including team), DEGNZ non-member
director – $150 (including team).
Application Deadline: 5PM, 4 February 2015

This initiative is brought to you with the financial assistance of the New Zealand Film Commission, and with the support of Script to Screen.

Last updated on 14 January 2015