Film & TV

Introduction

Jodie Foster

Lesson time 03:21 min

Meet your new instructor: Oscar-winning actor and director Jodie Foster. Jodie talks about her perspective from both sides of the camera, what you’ll learn in her class, and why filmmaking means so much to her.

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Jodie Foster
Teaches Filmmaking
In her first-ever online class, Jodie Foster teaches you how to bring stories from page to screen with emotion and confidence.
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Preview

The one thing I wished that I had learned when I first started as a director was that all I really needed was confidence and a pen and a paper. I thought that somehow I had to know every lens size, that I had to be aware of every type of film stock. The truth is, is that everything that you have to know is inside of you. Every decision making process is instinctual. And as long as you have a pen and a paper to write it down, you're in good shape. I was a child actor. I started when I was three years old. I understood that the director had a full vision, that the director could make decisions that would influence how the film was and how the film ended up on screen. I understood that the director was in charge of dreaming the dream. I think the first time I got the bug to direct, I was about six or seven years old. I was on a television show called "The Courtship of Eddy's Father." And one day I came to work and the man who was playing the father, Bill Bixby, was the director that day. I was stunned. I couldn't believe that they let actors become directors. And I watched him that day, directing the crew, setting up the shots, talking to the actors. And I knew immediately that that's what I wanted to do when I grew up. We're going talk about a bunch of things in this course. We're going to talk about working with actors. We're going to talk about working with technicians, whether it's your script supervisor, your first AD, your DP, your production designer; how to work with a screenwriter; and how to recognize shifts and changes that you'll need to be making in your script as time goes on, how to develop it. And then there's all the technical things, how to make a shot list, how to choose coverage, how to work with an editor, and how to edit down the sequences that you've come up with. I'm going to give you the actor/director's perspective, somebody who inhabits both sides of the fence. So acting and directing simultaneously and what you may need to know about how to get your own films off the ground. One of the reasons why I wanted to teach this class was I wanted to bring the excitement of creating a signature and expressing yourself in a work of art. For me, that's been the whole point of my life. It's been the greatest joy of my life, is to take everything that I am and everything that I think, and I feel, and I question, to put it on an arrow and to shoot it outwards, and to hope that it connects with other people. One of the things that you achieve by doing this is a real understanding of who you are, of your identity, where you come from, your signature, what you love, and why. You're opening yourself up to people. You're connecting you to them. That means you to the crew, but also you to the wider audience. Really, that's the joy of making movies. I'm Jodie Foster. And this is my MasterClass.


Storytelling in action

Go behind the scenes with two-time Oscar-winner Jodie Foster, star of Silence of the Lambs and director of Little Man Tate. In her first online film class, she’ll teach you how to bring your vision to life. Jodie discusses her experience on both sides of the camera to guide you through every step of the filmmaking process, from storyboarding to casting and camera coverage. Everyone has a story. Learn how to tell yours.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Loved it! Thank you Jodie for sharing your wisdom. Love the level of detail you shared particularly around being prepared yet open to spontaneity!

I love Foster's thought process and how she shared, I wish there had been some on screen inter action with students

I'm obsessed with Master Class. Jodie Foster has been my favorite guest so far. So eloquent, prepared, and intelligent. Would love a masterclass on film editing, or even a "mini master class"

Jodie Foster was engaging, earnest, and able to portray a connectable person with her technical prowess. Hats off to being accessible and in a leadership role...


Comments

Gabe B.

I don't think there's a project that I've seen Jodie Foster a part of that I haven't liked so I'm excited to embark on this journey and be a student of her experiences.

Roben N.

I liked how she gave the tips of what we will tackle in this class and how herself did that, which built trust in us that we will at the end of the class be good filmmakers.

Maisie Merlock

Hello fellow classmates and filmmakers! I am excited to join this course - I am a young, professional actor and I want to learn how to make my own films. I have a short film concept and hope to film it this fall. Because I'm not experienced (yet) I want to have as much knowledge as I can as I develop, write, shoot, and collaborate on this film. I look forward to learning how to manage a set and direct a cast and crew while acting in the project myself. I can't wait to get started! :)

A fellow student

She did a great introduction to the course. She shows that will bring what I came to her lesson for....everything that is Jodie Foster..

Mia S.

"I was a child actor; I started when I was three years old. I understood that the director had a full vision, that the director could make decisions that would influence how the film was, and how the film ended up on screen. I understood that the director was in charge of dreaming the dream. I think the first time I got the bug to direct, I was about 6 or 7 years old. I was on a television show called 'The Courtship of Eddy's Father,' and one day I came to work and the man who was playing the father - Bill Bixby - was the director that day. I was stunned. I couldn't believe that they let actors become directors. And I watched him that day, directing the crew, setting up the shots, talking to the actors, and I knew immediately that that's what I wanted to do when I grew up... We're going to talk about a bunch of things in this course. We're going to talk about working with actors, about working with technicians, whether it's your script supervisor, your first AD, your DP, your production designer; how to work with a screenwriter, and how to recognize shifts and changes that you'll need to be making in your script goes on, how to develop it. And then there's all the technical things: how to make a shot list, how to choose coverage, how to work with an editor, and how to edit down the sequences that you've come up with. I'm going to give you the actor/director's perspective, somebody who inhabits both sides of the fence, so acting and directing simultaneously and what you may need to know about how to get your own films off the ground. One of the reasons why I wanted to teach this class was, I wanted to bring the excitement of creating a signature and expressing yourself in a work of art. For me, that's been the whole point of my life - it's been the greatest joy of my life, is to take everything that I am, everything I think, I feel, and I question, to put it on an arrow and to shoot it outwards and to hope that it connects with other people. One of the things that you achieve by doing this is a real understanding of who you are - of your identity, where you come from, your signature, what you love, and why. You're opening yourself up to people - you're connecting you to them. That means you to the crew, but also you to the wider audience. Really, that's the joy of making movies."

Mia S.

"The one thing I wish that I'd learned when I first started as director was that all I really needed was confidence and a pen and a paper. I thought that somehow I had to know every lens size, that I had to be aware of every type of film stock. The truth is is that everything that you have to know is inside of you. Every decision-making process is instinctual. And as long as you have a pen and a paper to write it down, you're in good shape."

Rita M.

Excellent sound bite opening! Jodie is engaging in front of and behind the camera. Also, I appreciate the Creativity Exercise in the PDF. TY!

Theresa P.

I got goosebumps listening to this intro. It's strange, but that permission slip to go for it really sank into my heart. I have a feeling this will be one of the most truly helpful Masterclasses on directing, both big picture vision and practical, on-the-ground advice. Looking forward to diving in and soaking up this wisdom.

Lucrecia Sarita R.

Hi Ms. Foster, Thank you for your MasterClass. Please let me say, I've never been so knocked out by an actress/director as yourself. There's isn't a work of yours I wouldn't cross swords to see.

J. G.

Thank you Ms. Jodie for contributing. I can’t wait to begin and in anticipation will be saddened to finish.