The Art and Commerce of Film

SWAMP’s Business of Film + New Media Conference will now be a series of monthly workshops that will explore the art and commerce of cinema and new media with working industry professionals and filmmakers.

The Business of Film Series is dedicated to strengthening the business, administrative, legal and marketing skills of independent filmmakers and the production team. With the independent film world changing daily, it’s vital to be informed about current trends in the production and distribution of film.

Whether you are an emerging filmmaker or an experienced producer, the Business of Film Series is for you. Filmmaking is a business and film production, documentary or narrative, is a journey that you can’t make effectively or efficiently without dealing with the reality of the business. Learn about the back office aspects of production, such as copyright, contracts, budgeting, insurance, and other essentials.

Experts in the field will talk about current trends as well as the future of independent filmmaking. Meet fellow filmmakers! Discover new resources! It will all be here for you to seize the day and follow your passion.

The next Business of Film and New Media workshop is November 16, 2019.

Directing Master Class with Joan Darling

DIRECTING THE ACTOR or How to run the most important piece of equipment on the set

November 16, 2019 | 9:00Am – 4:30pm

at  HCC Alief, 2811 Hayes Road, Houston Texas 77082

Emmy Award® Winner Joan Darling shares her wisdom and passion in this day long intensive and active workshop for actors and directors.  You will participate in learning acting tools that help the actor act and help the director to get the performance they are looking for.

You will act and direct in this workshop and you will learn how to analyze a script in order to be able to orchestrate it when the shooting goes crazy around you. It will demonstrate to you how much you already know and fill in the gaps.

ABout Joan Darling:

Joan Darling has been nominated four times for an Emmy (the first woman to be nominated) and twice for a Director’s Guild of America Award, winning one Emmy and one DGA award. Also winning an Emmy for her performance as Dorothy Parker in Woven in a Crazy Plaid,

Joan was the original director of the groundbreaking show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman as well as director of the legendary Mary Tyler Moore Show Chuckles Bites the Dust. Her first feature film, First Love, was on several ‘Ten Best’ Lists. Joan has also directed many television pilots and shows including M*A*S*HRhoda, Phyllis, One Day At A Time, Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, Magnum PI and Civil Wars. Her television acting roles include being a series regular on Owen Marshall and several guest appearances on Jake and the Fatman, and Dorothy Parker in Woven in Crazy Plaid (Emmy). Joan has also written for several television programs, including The Dick Van Dyke Show. Joan is also a well-known acting teacher. She conducted her Directing the Actor workshop at the Sundance Lab and has served as a Creative Advisor at The Sundance film lab for the last 20 years.  

Joan has served as a guest Professor at USC in Los Angeles, at Cal Arts, Carnegie Mellon, and was a professor at UNC Chapel Hill for six years. She starred in Arsenic and Old Lace at Gary Marshall’s Falcon theatre in LA. Most recently she created a one woman show “Joni Vs the Bard…The Shakespeare Smackdown” which played in New York at the Wings theatre and Theatre Forty In Los Angeles  Her episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show was chosen by TV Guide as the number one television episode of all time.

This workshop has limited space. Only 8 participants will work hands on with Joan and 20 more will observe the workshop. All participants receive the same handouts.


Workshop Participant


Workshop Observer