The Directors job is to turn the script into a finished film by bringing together all the other creative departments to realise their vision of how the story should be told visually. They are in charge of all creative and dramatic decisions from selecting the actors and the crew to the locations and style of the film. They decide what to film, how to film it and how it should look and sound. They cooperate with everyone else who works on the film, trying to get the most out of them.
For this role you will need:
Artistic and creative vision and ideas.
The ability to communicate ideas clearly, concisely and quickly.
An understanding of how each department works and how to get the best out of them. Sometimes the Director will have to mediate between creative differences between people.
A single-minded determination to work for and protect your vision.
Focus and patience in fast paced stressful environment.
Because so many people contribute to the making of a film, the Director is like a general, organising all the various departments to work together so everyone is trying to tell the same story. They oversee everything including the editing and contribute to the promotion of the finished film. The Director has to juggle all these disparate creative individuals and egos into a streamlined fast-paced operation while always working within the allocated budget. The role of the Film Director can differ in many ways from the TV Director who usually has less autonomy or authorship over the project. Eventually, each Director has to find their own style and way of working through what can often be incredibly long hours. Some prefer to focus on the actors and some prefer to concentrate more on the visuals. Some work from their own scripts and some take material from elsewhere like books, or plays, or other writers. Ultimately the Director is responsible for it all. They are a genius if it all works, and a scapegoat if it doesn’t!
There are many pathways to becoming a film director. Some directors start by working in other departments such as writers, or DOP’s or editors. Some move from in front of the camera as actors to behind it as Directors. Some pursue a formal route through film school and others just learn by doing. With much easier access to equipment (your phone is a camera, your computer is an edit suite) many learn from online tutorials and demonstration videos on both technical and artistic aspects. There are no shortages of interviews with great Directors online that can provide great insights to the craft. It is only by trying can you discover if this is the job for you.