Rob Marchand

Rob Marchand

“Participating in Rob Marchand’s Mike Leigh workshop was one of those inspiring experiences that stays with you. The course offers an insightful overview of Leigh’s methods and practical exercises for the participants to investigate the principals of the process. Whether you are planning to create work from scratch or you just want to expand your skills in exploring and creating character, using improvisation and generally working closer with actors in the realisation of your work, this is an invaluable workshop. I highly recommend it.” – Kate Woods, Filmmaker


Dr. Robert Marchand is an award-winning Australian film director with over 25 years experience. He is also a writer and lecturer, and a mentor to emerging filmmakers.

His credits include the television mini-series Fields Of Fire, Come In Spinner, Sun On The Stubble, Kangaroo Palace and The Potato Factory. He is currently filming The Forgotten Genius of Henry Hoke, a 21-part miniseries for the ABC. He has been awarded four Australian Film Institute Awards and has also received Logie, ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) & Penguin awards and nominations.

Robert is a graduate of AFTRS, The Australian Film, Television and Radio School, where he conducted a pioneering workshop with professional actors over a three month period, investigating Mike Leigh’s method. He subsequently attended courses conducted by Leigh and is since used aspects of the process in his own work.

Robert is hailed as Australia’s foremost expert in the Character Based Improvisation Process. Since 1993, he has run over 60 workshops for filmmakers and actors across Australia. He has recently conducted a workshop for writers and directors at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, (NIDA). His workshops are on the curriculum of the 16th Street Actors Studio, Melbourne and they have been an integral part of the Flinders University Drama Centre program. A director’s variant of the process has been part of the Graduate Diploma program at AFTRS and it was the featured workshop on the Actors Summer Program at Butler University, Indianapolis, USA. His Masterclasses on CBI have been featured at the Australian Director’s Guild Conference, the Screen Producers Association (SPAA) Fringe Conference, Western Australian Academy of Performing Aarts (WAAPA), The Victorian College of the Arts and at the Australian Film Commission’s IndiVisions initiative.

Robert’s PhD, The Creation of Fictive Identities in Drama Filmmaking Practice, at Flinders University, drew on the CBI Process and included the devising and directing of the feature film The Identity Project. The research for Robert’s PhD was enhanced by Mike Leigh’s personal advice and discussion, and his facilitating access to many of the actors who have worked with him. Robert also contributed a chapter to Devised and Directed by Mike Leigh published by Bloomsbury.


“My own passion for the process is because it reconnects the director and actor with their pure creative impulses in an environment where discovery, experimentation and risk-taking can be safely investigated.” – Rob