loading please wait..

Directors Tell The Story

Learn what it takes to become a director



Master the technical aspects, hone your aesthetic, and find the leader inside of you who exudes that “X” factor that distinguishes the excellent director from the merely good one. Covering everything from prep to shoot, and post, I emphasize how aspiring directors can develop a creative vision-because without it, you are just technicians.

Hands-on and practical, this book lets you not only read about the secrets of directors, it also includes exercises using original scripted material and scenes from the authors’ own TV shows, along with shot descriptions, and other materials that made the scenes possible. And if that isn’t enough, you’ll read about how 15 constantly working directors got their first job!

Directors Tell the Story: Master the Craft of Television and Film Directing (Focal Press 2011)

by Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli

ISBN-10: 0240818733

ISBN-13: 978-0240818733

Buy Here


Written by two top female TV directors, who between them have directed hundreds of episodes of TV shows, this is an indispensable handbook for the aspiring TV director (the focus, despite the title, is largely on episodic television), and should find its place in the curriculum of any film school in the land. Its comprehensiveness is breathtaking.

John Patterson, DGA Quarterly


This is a precise and smart book about directing in general and directing television specifically. It is filled with common sense information that becomes second nature to a skilled, experienced director and can be so easily overlooked by a newcomer or even a working director who ought to think of another field of endeavor all together.

Sally Field


Directors Tell the Story has been referred to as “film school in 320 pages,” offers a different approach than most other “directing” textbooks by offering how-to’s from working professional directors. The authors designed a step-by-step format, breaking down the directing essentials to emphasize how aspiring directors can develop a creative vision:- Prep: Break-down, Casting, Production Design, Blocking, Scouting, etc; Shoot: Directing the Actors, Below the Line, Running the Set; Post: Working with Editors & Post Supervisors; Being a Director: The Demands of the Job, & Getting Started.



Trust me, this is a book that should be required reading for anyone who has aspirations in pursuing a career as a director. On the other hand, for readers as myself that have no intention of becoming directors, Directors Tell The Story: Master The Craft of Television and Film Directing will no doubt force you to watch television film from a much different perspective and appreciate the intense collaboration that takes place between the director and everyone else that plays a role in its production.



Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli’s Directors Tell the Story sets out to fill the void; as directors of series, including Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Monk, the authors have hundreds of hours of experience between them and, thus, have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to mount television productions on tight schedules and modest budgets.

The ASC.com


Finally– Actual, Working Hollywood Directors Share their ‘Inner-Door’ Secrets of the Craft. These two ladies have worked on some of the most critically-acclaimed current shows, and still made time to write this ‘Can’t-Miss’ book! Call it-‘The ‘Hollywood Rules’ for Up & Coming Directors’!

Dave A. Anselmi: Director, Producer, and Instructor, PracticalMysticProductions.com