Movie director, television director, director
TV and film directors lead the creative and technical production for cinema and television.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a TV or film director
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- working towards this role
- producing and releasing your own films
- specialist courses run by private training providers
You could take a course at university in film or television production before moving into directing.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may 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.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
Many directors start out as runners, helping out on film or TV sets, and work their way up through other jobs like 3rd and 2nd assistant director or floor manager. Others move into directing after getting experience in camera work, screenwriting or acting.
Volunteering and experience
It’s important to get as much experience as you can in film and TV, and an in-depth understanding of the production process.
You can do this by taking part in activities like student or community film or TV, and finding work experience placements on film projects.
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.
A network of industry contacts will be extremely useful.
You’ll find more details about directing in film and TV through ScreenSkills.
Shooting People has information, resources and networks for independent film-makers.
You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of media production and communication
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- leadership skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- meeting producers to plan filming schedules and resources
- developing scripts or ideas for programmes
- developing storyboards
- deciding how the production should look and where it should be filmed
- hiring the cast and crew
- explaining technical requirements to different teams
- directing actors on set or location
- supervising the editing
You could work at a film studio, at a TV studio or on a film set.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you may spend nights away from home.
Career path and progression
With experience you might develop your own projects and raise the money to put them into production.