If I had known then -

When I went to film school in 1984 I had only a vague idea about what my job as film director might be, despite having directed in the theatre. Along with my three fellow students I built on my own experiences and misconceptions. We worked together for three years with, in hindsight, a surprising lack common ground, each struggling to find our own way.

Learning through trial and error is an extremely important element in any education (for which a film school creates a safe house). However, I wish we had been given the proper foundation that would have put all our experiences in a perspective where we could have understood the job and other crafts better. It would have made better use of the resources: saved us all a lot of time at film school; and saved me a lot of time in the early stages of my career.

- what I know now.

In 2012 I started teaching directing and mentoring filmmakers myself. In my experience, film students today know and understand even less about the underlying fundamentals than we did back in those days. The average student today is around five years younger, has less experience of life, and tends to have a more romanticised (and distorted) idea of what the job of the filmmaker entails.

Although all the elements of a fundamental understanding are present in every programme I have been part of, they are still spread out across one, two or three years on a need-to-know basis instead of being presented upfront, to give the students a solid base to build on.


I was trained by a string of excellent professionals and tutors in a well funded environment. Every school has its own strategy of teaching and learning and it’s not my intention to criticise any of them in any way. What I would like to do is to offer a complement or supplement to the already existing courses and programmes.

I have created a seminar and a book that includes everything I would have liked to have known before I started studying and then working as a filmmaker. My programme is based on my own experiences of having directing more than 120 films over the last 30 years.


The Film Director Prepares is a two day seminar originally created for the London Film School’s Short Course Programme in 2014 where it’s held 2-3 times per year. It is aimed at prospective filmmakers with or without previous filmmaking experience; intent on making a particular film, or entering the film industry, or just applying to film school.

The seminar is a step-by-step outline, or road map, for the entire preparation process. It is as relevant for producers and any other craft skill practitioner as it is for directors, because it deals with the filmmaking process holistically. The role of the director is seen as central to the filmmaking process, but it also connects intimately with a large number of other creative, craft, and organisational roles.

The course takes a very practical approach. Participants will study a screenplay which has already been produced for television, and we work our way through each step of the preparation as outlined below. We’ll conclude by watching the finished film and asking what could have been done differently - or better.



“The way Jonas teaches makes it clear that you could not have acquired the information otherwise. He is a truly remarkable and inspiring teacher. I have learned more about film-making in only two days than in the past 2 years of shooting on different sets.”

Participant, DirPrep 1

“The two days were incredibly well structured. Basing the sessions around a script that has been produced was a very effective way of demonstrating Jonas’ approach as well as highlighting the principles of film making.”

Participant, DirPrep 2

“Jonas is good at making the complex process of filmmaking simpler by telling you what you should focus on, which is a true sign of someone who understands his craft and can pass it on in usable terms.”

Participant, DirPrep 3

“The workshop was brilliant and very motivational - it met and surpassed my expectations and I would recommend it to others.”

Participant, DirPrep 4

“Jonas is a genius. The first hour had paid for the class itself. Thank you so much! Jonas was generous, honest and went through in just enough detail that you got a really good understanding of each process, the casting part was brilliant and all film school students

should learn this”

Participant, DirPrep 5

“The workshop was fantastic! Jonas is an outstanding film professional; truly dedicated to what he does. More over he’s an incredible communicator and teacher. He used clear instructions and great examples and anecdotes to facilitate his workshop, answered everyones’ question and covered over and above what was on the schedule.”

Participant, DirPrep 6


The seminar can be booked as a freestanding short course, a one-off event or to be

integrated as a start-up module in an already existing film or media study programme.


Number of students: 1-100

Number of days: 2 / 1 (compressed version)

Video screening facility (projector or monitor)

White board Photocopying of hand-outs


For more information, request a brochure or to book the seminar please contact:

Looking forward to hearing from you!