This session will provide you with practical tools to prepare for your role as a first-time director, effectively brief actors, and foster a collaborative environment on set.

The masterclass will be delivered by Mary-Ellen O’Hara, an experienced casting director and intimacy professional, whose work has equipped actors and directors with tools to advance their careers. In this session, you’ll explore the dynamic relationship between directors and actors. You will discover techniques for clear and open communication, giving notes, mining of text, creating a process that suits both you and the work, and guiding actors to connect with their characters and bring authenticity and depth to their performances.

Mary-Ellen O'Hara


Mary-Ellen O’Hara trained and worked as an actor for 10 years before engaging with her passion in casting through the diverse Northern Irish short film scene. She worked with Carla Stronge Casting from 2015 - 2022 working across TV & film on hit shows such as “Game of Thrones” & “Derry Girls”. Since working freelance, she has championed safe spaces for actors and supported new and emerging talent on exciting projects such as “The Heist Before Christmas”, “The Wise Guy” & “Puffin Rock”. Mary-Ellen is also a qualified intimacy co-ordinator, recently working on “Blue Lights” & “Say Nothing”. Through her company “Coaching, Casting, Intimacy” Mary-Ellen offers actor & creative workshops to nurture talent & creativity and spark new working relationships.



18:30 - 19:45 GMT

Zoom Webinar

Register for this event via the Eventbrite page

You will then be sent an email with a link to join the Zoom Webinar.

This is a free event but you must reserve a spot prior to attending.

You will have an opportunity throughout the session to ask our speakers questions, and we encourage you to get thinking now on what you’d like to know!

Please note: this session will be recorded and event footage will be used on YouTube, the BFI website and social platforms.