Directing a Film is now a popular hobby among film students,
we examine the task of being a FILM DIRECTOR.
Being a film, tv or video director involves many skills and getting experience is really the only way to acquire these. But one overriding and fundamental quality is persistence of vision. The director needs to work the script, cast, crew, shoot and post production with pin point precision, and pride themselves on a proactive approach for excellent levels of creative expression. Above all, the ability to visualise the endgame is vital to any creative endeavour; seeing the completed work in the mind’s eye whilst staring at a blank canvas. This takes time, preparation, neurotic impulse, dedication, commitment, inspiration and imagination, this single quality is the key.
The director is responsible for overseeing every creative aspect of the film, from the look/mood and atmosphere, to the pace and leitmotif of the finished product. It will always begin with a good story and script (and a good director sees beyond the words on a page), but the collaborative filmmaking process involves many diverse disciplines, and a good director will know as much as they possibly can about everything; from dealing with actors and crew, to choosing a camera and lenses, to deciding upon (or indeed managing) the post production process of editing, Color Grading, music and sound design, to health and safety, insurances and catering to understanding the sales and distribution opportunities. In addition, a good director must always be open to ideas, yet maintain the creative leadership skills that got them into the ‘chair’ in the first place.
Finally, the director must, to some extent, be a producer and understand and appreciate the ways films are financed. Gone are the days when the director arrives on a production with an unlimited budget and schedule. Independent films, whether they be features, shorts or documentaries are funded and structured with finance, sales/distribution and collaborative creativity at the forefront of everyone’s focus like never before.
It sounds like a lot to learn and it is. It takes time to learn and to be confident of taking responsibility for a film production. But everyone has to start somewhere, and if you work hard, remain committed and maintain that persistence of vision, anything is possible. Contrary to popular myth, not everyone in the film making business has made it because of their connections and their collection of baseball caps, but because of their hard work and talent.
Boldly be...and you will see!”
Written by Andi Reiss - Film-maker and film director