Become a Director
Job description for Directors
Directors have the job and duty to tell compelling stories through an actor’s performance and visuals. They are in charge of pre-production, filmmaking, and post-production.
How much does an actor get paid?
Actors can get paid between $32,000 to $200,000+ per production.
What is a Director?
A Director is someone who juggles multiple responsibilities including everything from the artistic aspects, filmmaking process and enabling them to speak with each production department in a way that communicates their vision in a way that can tell a good story on film. There are five steps to filmmaking that a director must work on each production.
A director will work with a producer to create a pitch deck. The pitch deck communicates the Director’s vision of the project and explains how they will be interpreting the script; This works for commercials, music videos, TV shows, and movies. It will also include a budget breakdown, production schedule, and a post-production schedule. It is the document that provides the starting point for what other producers and financiers use to finance the project.
During pre-production, the Director works will all of the heads of the different production departments including the Casting Director, Cinematographers, Editors, Producers, Screenwriters, Costume Designers, and Crew members. During this phase, Casting Directors to start holding auditions and posting casting calls looking for actors to work on the production. The Director begins holding rehearsals, camera tests, listening to music, and consulting the different departments to communicate their vision.
3. Production or Filming
The Director works on an average of over 10 hours per day including nights and weekends. Once the director sets up a particular shot, their job is to tell the crew when and how to move to the next setup. Due to the cost of labor on set, it is essential for the Director to move quickly to stay on time and budget. After filming has completed for the day, it is also the Director’s job to go through the dailies, which are the scenes filmed on a day, and make selections for the editor. The process can take several hours, depending upon how much footage the Director shot on that day. The average feature film works about 10 hours a day and approximately 2 minutes worth of content in a day.
After the Director finishes filming, the Film Editor begins working with the filmmaker to start editing the production. There are different ways a Director works on post-production. However, in most cases, a Director will work with an Editor for nearly a year to get the final cut. Once the Director reaches this point stage, the Director sends the film to the Composer, or the sound company, and special effects company. Visual Effects Studio will also start working with the Director to add any compelling visuals for a scene. Finally, the cinematographer and the colorist will work together to make sure every frame in the film has the correct color. It is the job of the Director to make sure everything is moving correctly, and the different departments are doing their job to tell a compelling story.
If a movie does not have distribution, the Director will then take their film to film festivals and networking events in hopes of selling their project to a movie distributor to put the movies in theaters or on streaming platforms. They attend press conferences to answer questions about the project and explain the reasoning behind their filmmaking choices.
The key to advancement as a Director it is on creating relationships, producing monetizable content, and landing business deals. The more money a particular movie or TV show makes, the more likely other Producers will want to work with that Director to create another TV show, video, or commercial.
Education and Training for Directors
Directors must-watch TV shows and movies and then learn what it is like on set; this gives Directors an opportunity to learn from someone else’s mistakes. Some Directors go to film school and get hands-on experience. Other aspiring Directors start working as a Production Assistant. However, a Director needs to learn how to make a movie and why certain elements appear on the screen and how to recreate them.
Skills for Directors
A director must understand film theory. By following the nuances of film, it is easier for them to create a compelling story. Additionally, it is a good idea for aspiring Directors to study famous directors to understand their filmmaking styles. Moreover, being able to handle stress is essential for many Directors as many Directors must be a leader on a set where thousands of people are looking to them for guidance.
Employment for Directors
Their dozens of ways to become a Director; Ultimately, they may need a Producer to hire them for production. However, with the invention of YouTube and Instagram, Directors can become their producers and create their projects; This is an excellent way for aspiring Directors to build up their film reel and showcase their skills to production companies.
How much does a Director make?
A Director’s earning will vary depending on whether the project is union or non-union. Those who are just starting and working non-union will make less than unionized directors. The Directors Guild of America gives a specific rate as to how much a Director can get paid. The Directors Guild of America is another excellent resource, for those looking to join the film industry.
Directors must work long hours. However, this will all depend on the type of project. At the most basic level, Directors have to dedicate their entire time to make sure the film is moving forward on time and budget. It is constant work for months followed by months of nothing until the next project begins pre-production.