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What is a Film Director?

A movie director makes sure that every creative aspect of a film is performed and finished with the highest quality.
A movie director works on lighting, set design, and camera angles to help improve scenes.
Peter Jackson, a famous film director, helped create a unique vision of hobbit homes in Lord of the Rings.
A director guides actors through each scene and provides creative direction.
The 1959 classic "Some Like it Hot" was written, directed, and produced by Billy Wilder.
Article Details
  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 20 March 2014
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A director is responsible for overseeing every creative aspect of a film, from start to finish. From the "look" of the film to trademark lighting or mood, you can recognize the best directors' films by their artistic signatures. Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen, for example, each leave their distinctive mark on every film they make.

When a director reads a script he or she develops a personal vision for how that story should be told. Whether it is a dark tale, a story of triumph, or one of passion, the director's unique vision will be responsible for presenting it in a way that no other director would. A director sees beyond the words on the page to a moving picture with specific shots, lighting, mood, nuance and emotion -- all visually created for the screen.

If the initial script needs work, the director will make suggestions to the writer for improving the script. The director may also bring key crew members to the project that he has successfully worked with in the past. He will be responsible for approving each and every camera angle, lens effect, the lighting, and set design.

The director also works closely with the cast, meeting before each scene to do a run through. Here he gets a feel for how the actor will play the scene. If needed, the director can provide motivational insight, or tweak performances by making suggestions. He will also listen to the suggestion of the actors.

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Studio executives or executive producers, will visit the set to make sure the project is on schedule and on budget. The director will work with the studio execs to make sure they're happy about how the film is progressing.

At the end of the shooting day, the director, producer and key crew members will screen that day's footage in what are called dailies. Here they can see if scenes will need to be re-shot. The director will also be involved in post-production when the film gets edited into its final form.

Although a director is responsible for the vision behind a film, a good director also listens to his crew and cast and works collaboratively. There are many talented people involved in the making of a film and utilizing each person's talent is what makes a director, and the film, a success.

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Discuss this Article

anon156876
Post 19

directors in film don't get a fixed salary. It is is closely based in with the budget of a film. They receive credits. I am a degree student studying film and video production. If you love film and are creative, it is the most exciting career to have.

anon137072
Post 18

i want to become a director. what is the age to join a director's course?

anon116636
Post 17

I can't find any Employment Legislation (e.g. health and safety, equal opportunities, rights, liability, trade unions and copyright). And that's all i need to finish my media essay.

c99betty
Post 16

Thank you so much anon62567!

anon80432
Post 13

I'm having to do a brochure on a film director and I'm kind of having trouble but thanks for the information!

anon62567
Post 12

Dear c99betty: Being a film director is a creative profession. Making movies is like making art. You can be almost anybody from anywhere in the world and become a successful film director if you have a good creative mind. All you need is some academic course to get familiar with the technical aspects. There aren't many women directors out there, but it should not be discouraging for women to come in the profession.

c99betty
Post 11

can women be film directors? I am a girl and I'm dying to become a director. It's kind of interesting, but not so many women do it. Can someone tell me if I'm wrong about wanting to be a director?

anon55096
Post 9

how much do they make?

anon52260
Post 8

Dear Anon8788, i am a high school student in the montreal area. i have been given a project on film directors and i need a connection or someone i have talked to who works in this field. What are good schools for film making and what are the credits i need to get into these schools?

anon45232
Post 7

thats not true. i'm a film maker in the barossa. you just have to get every little film you make into as many independent film festivals. you can get your name out there, make your own promotional posters and things.

anon27772
Post 6

can ya'll please put how much they make?

anon17836
Post 5

what is the salary? and also what degree you need?

(student) in hs

anon11427
Post 4

How much is the starting salary?

anon9095
Post 3

Hey Kamalesh everyone has to start somewhere. If you work hard and are committed anything is possible. Not everyone in the Film making business has made it because of their connections but because of their hard work and talent.

anon8788
Post 2

sorry kamalesh, but this industry is about who you know, not what you know.

kamalesh
Post 1

hi, am kamalesh.. i want to be a director but i got absolutely no exposure in this area. is it possible for me to make it good in this field.. i have asked few others regarding this n the reply i got was "you can do it if u got the will to".. that's a nice thing to say to boast my self confidence but practically is really possible to become a film maker without having any kind of contacts n past experience. thank you..

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