1395397784Danny Boyle, Director, on set on Trance © Cloud Eight/Decibel Films

Director

Industries:
Film
Personality type:
Creative
Departments:
Direction

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGveVjNi-EE

The lowdown

  • Being the driving creative force in a film's production - visualising and defining the style and structure of the film, then bringing it to life
  • Carrying out duties such as casting, script editing, shot composition, shot selection and editing
  • Acting as the crucial link between the production, technical and creative teams

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • have exceptional artistic vision and creative skills
  • have unerring commitment
  • have a deep passion for filmmaking
  • be a strong and confident leader
  • make decisions
  • delegate and collaborate with others
  • have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • inspire and motivate the team
  • have an extensive understanding of the entire filmmaking process, from both technical and creative points of view
  • work intensively for long hours
  • pay attention to detail
  • remain calm and think clearly under great pressure
  • have great self-belief
  • be determined to succeed

What does a Director do?

Directors are responsible for creatively translating the film's written script into actual images and sounds on the screen. They are ultimately responsible for a film's artistic and commercial success or failure.

Directors may write the film's script or commission it to be written, or they may be hired after an early draft of the script is complete. They must then develop a vision for the finished film and work out how to achieve it.

During pre-production, Directors make crucial decisions, such as selecting the right cast, crew and locations for the film. They then direct rehearsals and the performances of the actors once the film is in production.

They also manage the technical aspects of filming including the camera, sound, lighting, design and special effects departments.

During post production, Directors work closely with Editors through the many technical processes of editing, to reach the final cut or version of the film.

At all stages, Directors are responsible for motivating the team to produce the best possible results. Directors must also always be aware of the constraints of the film's budget and schedule and manage the expectations of the film's financiers.

Will I need a qualification?

You don’t need a formal qualification to become a Director.

There are numerous training courses and reference books on directing and studying the art and craft of directing is important.

If you are considering taking a film production course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the film industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a career in film: 

Film production courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

However, the role can only really be mastered through in-depth practical experience. You will find writing a screenplay, directing your own short film or an amateur play are all good starting places. 

You will also need extensive industry experience; up-to-date knowledge of filmmaking techniques and equipment is vital, as is learning how to work with actors to create a performance.

What's the best route in?

You can expect to start your career by getting work experience as a Runner on a film set or in a production office before working your way up through entry-level positions over many years.

Observing successful Directors at work, whilst immersing yourself in the practical process of filmmaking is a vital first step on this fiercely competitive and highly challenging career path.

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