“Directors and… DOPs”, with director Roger Simonsz and DOP Sue Gibson (03 Feb)

Run by Northern Film & Media and Creative Skillset, “Directors and..” is a series of half day sessions aimed primarily at early career TV and film directors. Led by practitioners, the series is designed to help prepare delegates to take their careers to the next professional level by improving their understanding of how directors work successfully with and get the best out of HoDs, actors and other key colleagues.

“Directors and… DOPs”, with director Roger Simonsz and DOP Sue Gibson BSC, will cover all aspects of the relationship between Director and DOP in high end television drama, from pre-production to the shoot. “Directors and… DOPs”will provide an invaluable introduction to what you need to know as a director to ensure that these absolutely keys roles work fruitfully at an advanced professional level.

Class Outline:


  • Introductory overview of the Director’s and DOP’s responsibilities – misconceptions and realities
  • The dos and don’ts of how to manage the director/DOP relationship
  • Case study of Death in Paradise, on which the presenters have worked together
  • How the roles interact: the practicalities of the director’s and DOP’s role and how they relate to each other at different points through the production lifecycle:

              - Pre-production: when does the DOP get involved?
              - Finding a common language: creating a unique visual identity vs supporting the director’s vision
              - Communicating: how and when
              - Reading the script and offering feedback (from the DOP’s perspective)
              - Budget control
              - Preparing for the shoot
              - The shoot

  • Practical exercise for the group to work on, working on a script sample from the forthcoming series
  • Q&A – a chance to put your questions to the presenters


Who’s this class for?

Who is this for? “Directors and…DOPs” is open to up to 15 ambitious early career directors and camera professionals aiming to work in either film or network television drama.

You should have role-appropriate credits on at least two productions (shorts or longer form, commissioned, or self-financed) and have some basic experience of how to work with professionals on set, but want to learn more and move your career to the next level. If in doubt about whether you are eligible to register please contact the organisers.

When: Wed 03 Feb, 12.30pm – 5.30pm. (Registration from 12.15pm.)

Where: Toffee Factory, Lower Steenbergs Yard, Quayside, Ouseburn, Walker Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2DF.

Cost: Thanks to the support of our funders tickets are priced at the heavily subsidised rate of £5.

To register please click here.


About the presenters

Roger Simonsz

Roger was born in The Netherlands and came to the UK to study. With a background in theatre and film he quickly established a reputation as an unparalleled lighting designer and director of photography. On the continent he directed for television,as well as photographing and/or directing many second units for, among others, Brian De Palma (Femme Fatale), M. Night Shyalaman (The Happening), Brett Ratner (Rush Hour 3) and David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada). He also photographed features and award-winning series such as Spiral, Gossip Girl, Castle and Sex and the City.

With his own company, Imagique, Simonsz has produced and directed various corporate films and commercials. Most recently he directed, the new high profile police series, Antigone 34 for French Television, with a 6 million Euro production budget, and an audience of over 3 million viewers. This led to him being asked to direct the genre-redefining CBBC production Wolfblood for producer Foz Allen and subsequently Death in Paradise, also for the BBC.

Sue Gibson BSC

Sue is a highly experienced award-winning DOP, with numerous credits in television, film and commercial work. These include Lewis, Jericho, Alien vs Predator, Spooks, Resident Evil, The Forsyte Saga and Dennis Potter’s Secret Friends.

Among her many awards she was the inaugural recipient of Women in Film and Television’s Technical Achievement Award 1991 and again in 1992, winner of the Lion D'Or at Cannes for commercial work for Saatchi & Saatchi, and the winner of Women in Film & Television’s Award for Contribution to the Medium in 2005. The British Society of Cinematographers invited her to become the first woman member of the society in 1992; she joined the Board of the BSC in 2003 and served as President of the Society from 2008 to 2010.


We wish to thank The Guild of British Camera Technicians for their kind help facilitating this event.


Other events in the series


“Directors and… Producers and Actors”, with director David Leon, producer Daisy Allsop and actor Giacomo Mancini (28 January). Click here for more info.

“Directors and… Production Managers”, with director Nicky Higgins and production manager Addie Orfila (29 January). Click here for more info.

“Directors and… Producers", with dierctor Gillies MacKinnon and producer Willy Wands (11 Feb). Click here for more info. 


'Directors and...' is supported by Creative Skillset


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