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Integrating Visions: The Director-DOP Dynamic with Marshall Axani and Naim Sutherland

  • 1131 Howe Street Vancouver, BC, V6Z Canada (map)

Cineworks and F-O-R-M (Festival Of Recorded Movement) present an afternoon workshop on the essential ingredients for successful collaboration between the Director and Director of Photography (DOP) in film and video production.

Duration: 3 hours

$45 + taxes | Cineworks Members
$60 + taxes | Concessions; Community Partner Members*
$75 + taxes | General Admission


The dynamic between Director and DOP plays a crucial role in maximizing a script’s visual potential. Directors and DOPs are each responsible for powerful forms of visioning that must be integrated for efficient and effective production, and knowing how to negotiate this integration is an essential professional tool for each individual in one of these roles.

Directors oversee the coherence of complex elements during production and a dependable dynamic with the DOP is a keystone in this structure. The DOP’s artistic vision and technical skill are essential ingredients to success, but getting the best results out of available resources and conditions goes deeper, requiring sensitivity to the bigger picture behind each scene, and to the unique interpretation each actor can bring to a performance.

Join Director Marshall Axani and Director of Photography Naim Sutherland, as they discuss the working relationship that has brought them through three award winning short films, Crazy8s The Vessel (2012), Hot Shots Shorts Winner and winner of 13 Leo Awards Anxious Oswald Greene (2013), Cold Reading Series and Harold Greenberg Shorts to Features winner Mina.Minerva (2014) and into their first feature film together, The Canon (2017), supported by the Telefilm Microbudget Production Program.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • Examine elements that make the distinctive look and feel of each film, such as colour palette, lighting, lensing and camera movement, and how these can communicate the emotional subtext to the audience.

  • Discuss how to manage a 'visual image system' by utilizing elements like hair, makeup, and wardrobe.

  • Learn what to look for when hiring a DOP (Directors), and what to bring to interviews (DOPs).

  • Watch and participate while Naim and Marshall unpack the visual elements of their Telefilm feature. 

    About the Instructors

    Acclaimed for his stunning optical style, Naim Sutherland is a visual narrator who has a passion for fantasy and period genres. His lens choices, astute use of the art design, colour palette and frame movement to speak in emotions using tone and imagery throughout, has won him several awards including best cinematography at the Vancouver Short Film Festival and a Leo Award both in 2014. 

    Marshall Axani is an award winning writer and director who has established himself as a versatile and highly ambitious storyteller with a focus on emotionally engaging narrative films. Marshall has also secured a reputation as a skilled pitcher, winning some of Canada’s top film grants from which he has been able to create an array of short films.

Accessibility: wheelchair access to washrooms via temporary ramp; washroom door frames may not accommodate wider gauge wheelchairs. Wider facilities are accessible at our neighbour Breka Bakery (DAvie/Hornby); please email programs[at] with any access-related questions or concerns.

*Members of Cineworks' community partner organizations, including WIFTV, DOC BC and VIVO, may select this ticket type.