Film Directors

"One of the great things about being a director as a life choice is that it can never be mastered. Every story is its own kind of expedition." - Ron Howard

A film director is the most important person on a film set. He’s like the coach of a soccer team. He’s involved in each and every aspect of film making; from writing the script to shooting it. Once the film is shot, he’s a major part of the editing process. Everything you see or hear in a film, from the most subtle of sound effects to the songs, from the performance of an actor to the placement of a wardrobe behind him, everything has to be approved by the director. The director visualizes the whole film in his mind and the whole unit just works towards achieving his vision.

What does a Director do?

• He initially works with the writers, and often asks them to make changes to the script to meet his needs or requirements.

• It is the director’s job to decide how each scene in a film will be shot. This includes selecting the types of shots such as ‘Close ups’ or ‘Wide Shots’ and also collaborating with the cinematographer to decide on the framing, lighting and movement of every shot.

• One of the main jobs of a director is to extract the best possible performance out of his Actors. Directors often need to demonstrate to actors what sort of a performance they need for every shot.

• Directors are also a major part of the sound of a film. They sit with Music Composers and make them understand what sort of music or sound effects they require for a particular scene.

• Directors also need to keep the budget of the film in mind while shooting a film. He needs to find the best possible way to tell the story by staying within the budget.

How do you become a Director?

The road to become a director is full of obstacles and detours. Frankly, there isn’t one particular way to become a director.

• One of the most common routes is that you take admission in a Film – making school that offers courses in direction. But keep in mind that you WILL NOT become a director as soon as you graduate. You might need to join the industry as an Assistant Director or as a Runner and work your way up the ladder. It can take years of struggle to finally become a film director.

• Another route to becoming a film director is that you start out as an Independent film – maker by trying to make your own short films using handy – cams, DSLR cameras etc. Like this, not only will you get a hang of the film making process, but also have the chance of winning awards at various short film festivals.

• One can also become a part of the advertising industry as a member of an ad agency or an ad production company and come up with innovative concepts for ads that you can shoot. This might help establish your name in the industry.

• If you’re a good writer, you might have a good chance of becoming a director. If you have a script that the studios want to buy, you can tell them that you’ll only sell it to them if they let you direct the film. James Cameron got his first break as a Director because he refused to sell the script of ‘Terminator’ until they would let him direct it!

What are the skills required to become a good Director?

A director should be a multi – talented personality. He needs to have knowledge about acting, photography, music etc. He also needs to be aware of various social and political topics that the story may be based on. He needs to be able to make quick decisions. Also, a good director is a great leader. He takes the whole crew together and tries to make sure that everybody is happy about being on the set and working towards making a good film.

Is this the right career for me?

Before you make a decision on whether or not you want to become a film director, you should keep in mind that the movie industry, especially film direction is not all glitz and glamour. It is a lot physical hard work and you have to work at odd hours. There is little or no job security and you work for peanuts during the initial stages of your career. But if you’re passionate about movies and willing to work hard, there is a chance you might become successful. And success as film director not only gives you a lot of money and fame, but also the freedom to tell a story the way you want to, when you want to. It allows you to be in control of the set and satisfy your creative hunger.

So if you’re looking for comfortable job with a secure income this is not the right career for you. But if you’re passionate about movies and you’re willing to work really, really hard then you might have a chance of becoming a Film Director some day.

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.