The Film Director’s Bag of Tricks

From LA Times Bestselling Author Mark W. Travis:

The Film Director’s Bag of Tricks:

Get What You Want from Actors and Writers

Film Directors have to achieve the impossible.
This book is the ace up their sleeves!

Erin Corrado

For the first time ever, acclaimed director Mark W. Travis reveals the secret techniques, inner workings, and most powerful short cuts to directing actors and writers in theatre, television, and film.

Even seasoned directors refer to this book over and over again to solve the inevitable daily production dilemmas that modern directors face.

 Preview the first 20 pages of The Film Director’s Bag of Tricks

In this book, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Get actors and writers to trust you implicitly
  •  Use purposeful praise and directed enthusiasm to get the best from actors and writers
  • Employ Mark’s  5-step system to become a trusted director on set and off
  • Stop being direct (even when you are a “director”) and what to do instead
  • Create an instant win/win relationship with your actors and writers
  •  “Invisibly” get writers to create the rewrite that you want
  • Bring out hidden and powerful subtext for the writers and actors
  • Stage and restage a scene to trigger brilliant performances from actors
  • Keep actors and writers on schedule
  • And much more

Available Online Now:

Foreword By Mark Rydell

I had the privilege of meeting Mark Travis some years back, and was so impressed by his knowledge of the craft of directing and his ability to articulate that knowledge in an insightful and accessible way that I hired him to be my assistant on the spot.

He had demonstrated his ability to communicate his insights with clarity and sensitivity. His ability to analyze dramatic material is formidable. In addition he is able to communicate his insights with uncommon clarity and sensitivity. He is able to deliver his thoughts in a constructive and unthreatening manner. This skill is essential for a teacher, and even more so for a director. I have great faith in him and very high expectations for his future.

This book reveals with articulate clarity his skills at communication. In most cases I am disappointed when artists try to analyze their craft. I don’t feel that way about Mark’s writing. He comfortably demonstrates his intelligence and comprehensive insights into the craft of directing. He has done so with keen perception and passion. I compliment him for achieving clarity and insight in discussing the director’s task.

Mark Rydell
Los Angeles, 2010

The Reviews Are In:

Written for directors, brilliant for writers!

Chad Gervich, television producer, published author, and award-winning playwright

Author of The Director’s Journey [1999], and Directing Feature Films [2004], Mark W. Travis again gets the working relationships between directors, writers, and actors right.  It’s a collaborative business, so knowing how to work together and respect each others’ work is essential and these tips just make it a whole lot easier. These are ways to help directors, writers, and actors to communicate their needs better.  Writers should read it, actors should read it, but most of all, directors have to read this one.  It’s not about tricking everyone to do what you want, but about finding the tools needed to make the film everyone can be proud of.  The information here is told with a wonderful perspective (actually making for an engaging read), and to top it all off, in the last chapter we get six interviews with other directors, each telling their own perspective on the art of directing.  This is one that will be picked up for reference again and again.

One Movie Five Views, Erin Corrado

More Books by Mark W. Travis: 

The Film Directors Bag Of Tricks by Mark W Travis


Directing Feature Films:

Learn How to Get Award-winning Authentic Performances from Actors!

Learn more about Directing Feature Films

Mark is available for interviews, appearances, panels, workshops, and consulting across the US and internationally. Contact him at  or call +1 818-679-7077.