Become a Visual Storyteller

“Becoming a working filmmaker entails acquiring an entire tool kit of knowledge and the skill sets of moviemaking.  The Art of Visual Storytelling takes its students on a journey through every stage of film production with a director’s eye.”  – Bobby Roth


Saturdays, 1-3pm PST on Zoom

This course investigates the creation of cinema by dissecting eight classic yet diverse motion pictures. Bobby Roth will share his personal experience with these films and their filmmakers, offering a ‘Director’s Commentary’ on these great movies. Each class will focus on the making of an excellent film and how it might inspire creativity among its audience.

This dual approach is a unique way of enjoying great cinema while learning the director’s craft.

  • 8 live classes
  • Access to classic pieces of cinema
  • Access to class recordings
  • Q&A
  • Access to A Director Prepares: Bobby Roth’s Masterclass
  • Autographed digital poster of Heartbreakers

Words from Filmmakers and Students

“Superb… anyone interested in becoming a filmmaker whether age 6 or 60 should take Bobby’s class.”

Howard “Hawk” Kotch

President of the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences (2012-2013)

“I highly recommend his course as an online creative primer on cinema from someone with enormous experience who delivers the information with clarity, focus and excerpts from his own work.”

Michelle Satter

Founding Director
Sundance Labs’  Feature Film Program

“It’s excellent how Bobby combines both TV work and films… And the main thing done extremely well is to get students thinking about the process of previsualization and he does this superbly.”

Stephen Mamber

Professor of Cinema and Media Studies                                                                                 UCLA

“Bobby Roth’s teaching is drawn from a broad range of insights gleaned from a lifetime of film production and is a valuable resource for filmmakers and students.”

Susan Ruskin

Dean of AFI Film Studies

“Spot on in every way.  You can never hammer home the need for PREP, MORE PREP, and EVEN MORE PREP followed by throwing it all away on the day. ”

John Badham

Professor of Film and Media Arts
Chapman University

The Films

Three Days of the Condor

In Sydney Pollack’s 1975 film you’ll learn how writing, pacing, and the intelligence of the storyline can be executed at first rate by a master craftsman.


In Costa-Gavras’ 1969 film you’ll learn the power of casting as he directed a massive number of actors who were introduced and immediately made identifiable after a few seconds on screen.

Nothing But a Man

Robert Young’s film teaches the skill of how a quiet and simple film can convey a true love story. In 1964 no one had made a successful independent film with a fully diverse cast.

Coming Home

Hal Ashby’s 1972 film has masterful craft both thematically and via the style of filmmaking employed in its production.  We’ll explore a timely story acted with a wonderful style that stems directly from Sandy Meisner’s class. This film is notable for the rock and roll songs of the era that evoke a very specific time and a place.

Last Tango in Paris

Bernardo Bertolucci broke barriers in 1972 with the unanimous commitment of the actors. You’ll learn how the director captured the depth of Brando’s mastery paired with the freshness of a new and young actress.

Secrets and Lies

Mike Leigh uses a bold approach in this 1996 film. You’ll watch an entirely different kind of film, where Leigh gave actors an outline of a screenplay and guided them through a series of improvisational exercises so they were literally all writing together.

Barbarian Invasion

In Deny Arcand’s 2004 story you’ll discover a film with many layers emphasized by the intelligence of the characters that are both well-written and well-cast.


Bobby Roth shares how he made a successful piece of cinema, starting with a story inspired by incidents from his life, dozens of drafts and two-hundred rejections. Through his journey of becoming a working filmmaker, he’ll share what he learned about the importance of listening and mentors.

Works from Director

10 Emmy Wins

4 Emmy Wins

2 Emmy Wins

1 Emmy Win

2 Emmy Nominations

3 Emmy Nominations

1 Golden Globe Nomination

1 Emmy Win

3 Emmy Nominations

Silver Bear Winner

1 Emmy Nomination

1 Emmy Nomination


Bobby Roth

Director and Writer Bobby Roth, a student at USC and UCLA Film Schools, attained a prolific career directing over one hundred television episodes, television movies and feature-length motion pictures.

Roth was a founding member of the Independent Feature Project and the first Co-Chairman of the DGA’s Independent Feature Committee.  His films have won countless awards and have been exhibited at over one hundred film festivals worldwide including Sundance, CANNES, TIFF, Berlin. BFI, Edinburgh and many more.

Throughout his career, Roth has worked with Oscar and Emmy award-winning artists such as Oscar winner Julia Roberts, Oscar winner Diane Keaton, Emmy winner Donald Sutherland, and two-time Oscar winner Geena Davis.

He has written and directed Emmy winning feature films and directed more than one hundred network television episodes of Emmy award-winning shows including Prison Break, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Flashforward, V, Revenge, The Mentalist and hundreds more.

Roth created A Director Prepares: Bobby Roth’s Masterclass, a ten episode documentary on film directing which include guest appearances from working cast and filmmakers in the industry.

Since then, he has traveled throughout the world to teach and direct in Melbourne, Capetown, Mill Valley Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, Malaysia, Sydney, Bosporus Film Festival, Istanbul, the Niagara Film Festival, Athens and hundreds of other regions.

Roth continues to write and direct and teaches at both USC’s School of Cinema and Art Center College of Design. He consults on films and television productions throughout the world.

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