It was the result of a passing conversation with an administrator at AFTRS that led to the first-ever workshop.

“We’ve got a week in the schedule, would you like to do something?” “Something I’m passionate about?” I asked. There was a long pause. “Well yes, of course.”

I immediately thought of the British film director Mike Leigh and his unorthodox way of working. I’d written a degree paper about his methods when I’d been a student at AFTRS many years earlier, and the investigation, the testing of the process, the working directly with actors, had given me a great deal of creative satisfaction. From a director’s point of view it had given me confidence to communicate with actors anywhere on any project. That was worth sharing with others, wasn’t it?

Since then there have been a great many workshops built around the CBI Process

This includes workshops for directors only: (Directors create their own characters and live with them for five days – deeply enlightening about actor process, more than one has said, and changing how they view and communicate with actors); workshops for actors and directors together; workshops to kick-start projects or to prepare the cast in green-lit films; workshops for drama students and filmmaking students. And an increasing number of workshops in other countries, other cultures.

As an aside, directing actors in a language one doesn’t speak is a fascinating study in director observation, immersion and intuition. It sharpens the skills!

Leigh’s body of work has been an inspiration to me throughout my career and later was a major reference point in my PhD.

“Leigh’s films include complex characters and strong performances by his actors; characters and situations that focus on the ordinary in everyday British life; a seeming verisimilitude within any given film in relation to the ‘real’ world – and how this conforms to audiences perceptions of their own worlds. As film and media commentator Andy Medhurst has observed: we respond to the characters as individuals rather than filing them away as types. (Medhurst, 2007:177)”

Reciprocal Fluxion, Flinders University Drama Centre, 2013.

My own journey with the process has been different – every director finds their own way of using the CBI Process – but the discoveries and joys have been just as profound.

Directors who use CBI Process in the development of their films or stage productions include Andres Maimik & Rain Tolk (Aurora); Lea Bloch (Last Night); Eva McCrae (Decameron); Sandra Moser & Sabine Fehr (In-between Valley) Nicky Tyndale-Biscoe (Soft-skinned); Lucien Perry (Saudade); Nadine Schwitter (Family Discount); German Golub (Our Erika); Geraldine Rod (Les Nocturnelles) - it's a growing list!

As a result of the CBI workshops, more directors are absorbing elements of the Process into their work.

Previous Director Participants

Tanel Toom, Liis Aedmaa, Anna Hints, Aet Laigu, (Estonia); Adrian Goiginger (Austria); Timo Von Gunten, Carmen Stadler, Fred Baillif, Frédéric Hausammann  (Switzerland); Sarah Gärtner, Dieter Primig, Ingrid Hubscher & Georg Mass (Germany); David Bonneville, (Portugal); Kasimir Burgess, Adrian Goodman, Nisrine Amine, (Australia): Pham Ngoc Lan, Vo Thach Thao, Vu Ngoc Phuong, (Vietnam); Jonathan Birch, Chris Watson (UK); Mario Mlakar, Luka Rukavina (Croatia).

Gifted directors all with an appreciation of actors and an interest in powerful performances!