Niles Goodsite: Habits for Future Film Directors

Niles Goodsite is a member of the DGA, the Director’s Guild of America, and is an Emmy Award-winning assistant director. Niles Goodsite has over thirty years and dozens of movies, shows and commercials to his name.

Niles Goodsite

Getting into the film industry is challenging. Habits like those below can help prepare you for your career, giving you the foundation that you will need to shine:

  • Watch Movies. Every would-be director watches movies, but to benefit from this habit, you must watch as a cinematographer. Learn, for example, the ways that stories are told visually and auditorily.

Turn off the sound on a movie that you admire and watch the story unfold visually. Consider how the camera is behaving to provoke certain emotions. Watch the background characters. The more you do it, the more you will learn.

For an auditory experience, watch a movie with the picture off or while wearing a blindfold. Listen to how the story unfolds. Consider the soundtrack in addition to the dialogue and work to understand each sound in the experience.

  • Learn to Speak to Actors. Learning to speak to actors does not mean trying to meet your favorite star. Instead, you can learn to speak to actors by learning to act and learning the vernacular used by professional actors.

If you take your time learning to act and speak the actor’s language, you can sidestep the most common complaint in directing: “dealing with” actors.

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About Niles Goodsite

After working as a stage manager for several years, Niles Goodsite was given the opportunity to work with Executive Producers Walter Mosley and Laurence Fishburne as an Assistant Director. His responsibilities were overseeing set maintenance and making sure the filming of the movie coincided with the production schedule. As a first Assistant Director, Niles Goodsite had the opportunity to work on the set of the short film Blood on the Backlot and TV movie Always Outnumbered. He was also Assistant Director for episodic series such as Charmed and Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
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