IFH 156: Secrets to Directing a Killer Action Sequence with Gil Bettman

May 9, 2017

You are in for a treat IFH Tribe. Today's guest is directing guru Gil Bettman.Gil is a seasoned director shooting features, television, commercials and music videos for over 30 years. He has written two best-selling books: 

  • Directing the Camera: How Professional Directors Use a Moving Camera to Energize Their Films
  • First Time Director: How to Make Your Breakthrough Movie

One of his filmmaking mentors is Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis. We discuss what lessons her learned from Mr. Zemeckis and he goes into great detail on how to shoot a killer action sequence. 

Here's some info on Gil Bettman:

No one would ever see Gil Bettman as the retiring type. Bring Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis to his directing class and Bettman wades right in, challenging his old friend's point of view and sparking a good-natured debate about the best ways to tell a story using a camera. But that's Bettman's style. He has very definite opinions about how to block a camera or talk to actors from his days as a top action director for TV series like The Twilight Zone and Knight Rider.

Bettman learned the value of subjecting all film ideas to the acid test of a free-wheeling debate from Zemeckis himself while working as a screenwriter developing projects for Zemeckis at Universal and Warner Brothers. It's a lesson Bettman wants to pass on to his students as well.With a degree from Harvard (with honors in English Literature), as well as an M.F.A. from UCLA, Bettman has directed a wide range of projects from feature films to music videos and corporate profiles. He recently directed a feature documentary, The Long Road to Cabo, for rock icon Sammy Hagar, and published a textbook, First Time Director, through Michael Wiese Productions.

Enjoy my conversation with Gil Bettman. 


  • Gil Bettman - Website
  • Hollywood Film & Television Directing Masterclass (EXCLUSIVE 50% OFF)
  • [easyazon_link identifier="161593166X" locale="US" tag="whatisbroke-20"]Directing the Camera: How Professional Directors Use a Moving Camera to Energize Their Films[/easyazon_link]
  • [easyazon_link identifier="0941188779" locale="US" tag="whatisbroke-20"]First Time Director: How to Make Your Breakthrough Movie[/easyazon_link]
  • [easyazon_link identifier="B00AOQ8MOQ" locale="US" tag="whatisbroke-20"]Point Break[/easyazon_link]


  1. Directing Actors Master Course – (30% OFF – CODE: HUSTLE)
  2. Get Your Film on Netflix, Hulu & Amazon & Keep 100% off the Revenue - Distribber
  3. Hollywood Camera Work: Mastering High-End Blocking and Staging (30% OFF – CODE: HUSTLE)
  4. Werner Herzog's Filmmaking MasterClass
  5. Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Master Class
  6. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)


  1. INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH's Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

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Thanks to Gil for dropping some knowledge bombs. Check out some old school behind the scenes of Gil on the set of Never Too Young to Die. Until next time!

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