First Steps – The on-set working relationship between the Director and the Actor with James Marshall


WHEN: April 22-26, 9am-5pm each day
WHERE: 2333 Ontario Street, Vancouver
PARTICIPANTS: Only 8 Directors seats and 16 Actor seats available.
FOR: 19+
FEES: $595 (Tax included). Prior payment is required to reserve a seat.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Participants will not be able to cancel for this workshop. Seats can be transferred to friends and we will do everything we can to find a replacement as there is usually a wait-list for these workshops.
VIDEO CLIPS: Students are required to bring a Standard SD Card to classes & workshops so they may review their work outside of class.

The First Steps workshop is a first of its kind in Vancouver. It will explore the on-set working relationship between the Director and the Actor. The focus of the workshop will be on techniques to bring the written word to life through analysis and the giving and taking of meaningful direction.


James Marshall – Producer, Director

James was born in New Westminster, B.C., Canada and grew up in the lower mainland. He has channeled his love for the arts and business into a successful thirty-five-year career in the film industry. He is a proud member of the Director’s Guild of America and the Director’s Guild of Canada.

James is an award-winning producer and television director. He has directed more than one hundred episodes of television including Into the Badlands, The Shannara Chronicles, Falling Skies, Smallville and Dead Like Me. He has also produced more than one hundred and sixty episodes of television. He was also the producer/director on the WB series Tarzan, as well as, the producer/director on the award-winning WB series Smallville.

James has had the pleasure of speaking at the Columbia Business School in NY, as well as the 25th annual film and television forum in Vancouver.

He is currently producing an animated series with Graphic India and has several projects in development

Catherine Lough Haggquist

Catherine Lough Haggquist’s 30 plus year career in the entertainment industry includes the multi-award winning The North Plan (Upintheair Theatre) and such film and TV fan favourites as: The Good Doctor, Supernatural, Stargate:SG1, Stargate: Universe, Fringe, Once Upon a Time, Bates Motel, Van Helsing, Godzilla, Continuum and Iron Man: Armored Adventures. She looks forward to the release of her new series Motherland: Fort Salem in which she plays the recurring role of “Petra Bellweather”

Among Cat’s favourite credits are her nearly 30 Hallmark and Holiday projects. Currently she has an ongoing roles as “Terry Sternholz” in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries and “Linda Nelson” on Chesapeake Shores, both for Hallmark.

She is an associate producer of Reel Women Seen, a short film that has won numerous awards including the 2018 Jury Choice Award at the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase.

In 1996 Catherine founded the Vancouver book store, now to provide a dedicated industry source for film, television, and theatre products.

Catherine was recipient of the 2008 Women in Film and Television Vancouver’s Special Jury Award, was named as the Union of BC Performers’ 2013 International Women’s Day Honoree and was awarded Life Membership by UBCP in 2017.

Prerequisites for Directors:

  • Have previous Film and TV training
  • Directed at least 2 projects

Prerequisites for Actors

  • Have professional credits
  • Have representation
  • Have solid training

Take aways:

  • Script and scene analysis
  • Character Analysis
  • Methods to bring the written word to life
  • Learn how to give and take direction
  • Learn how to focus on what is important
  • Learn how to get what you need to be successful

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5 Day Workshop Schedule:

Day 1: Actors work with Catherine Lough Haqquist. Directors observe the process.

Day 2: James Marshall works with directors. Actors observe the process.

Day 3: Director and actors work the scenes together.

Day 4: Stage and shoot scene.

Day 5: The work is broken down and critiqued. We will discuss what worked and what didn’t work. We will discuss how to better communicate under pressure.

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