- Lead the creative and technical side of the production of film, TV and advertisements
- You'll need excellent creative vision, plus leadership skills to get the best out of your team
- You'll normally work from project to project, working intensively during production, then having gaps in between
A director leads a team of cast and crew making films, TV programmes, commercials, music videos or corporate videos, dealing with the creative and technical side of projects (unlike producers who look after the business side of things).
- Meet producers to plan filming schedules and resources
- Develop scripts or ideas for programmes
- Develop storyboards
- Decide how the production should look and where it should be filmed
- Hire the cast and crew
- Explain technical requirements to different teams
- Direct actors on set or location
- Supervise the editing
- On smaller productions, you may also be involved in production work
Directors are usually paid a fee for each contract or project. Rates vary depending on experience and the type of production. The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.
Your working hours on a shoot will often be long and irregular, and may include evenings and weekends. You might work in a film or TV studio, or on location. Work may be anywhere in the UK or overseas, so conditions will vary.
You'll need to build up experience of working in TV or film, and an in-depth understanding of the production process, and you might need to work your way up through the industry, starting as a runner and progressing up through assistant director roles before becoming a director.
You'll also need creative ability, excellent organisational and planning skills, the ability to make decisions quickly, plus leadership and motivational skills.
You could take a course at university in film or television production before moving into directing.
You might also find it helpful to take a film-making or media production course that helps you to build practical skills and make contacts in the industry.
You could also get into directing from other roles in the industry like camera or lighting work, screenwriting, or acting.
Another way to break into film directing is to make your own films, known as 'shorts'. You can market these to agents, post them online or enter them into film festivals and competitions. You'll need access to equipment, crew and actors to make your own films. Getting involved in community filming projects can help with this.
You could also take short courses in production skills for directors run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers. You can search for relevant industry approved courses on ScreenSkills.
With experience you might develop your own projects and raise the money to put them into production.