Directors are at the helm of the film. Their every creative and practical decision shapes the story that audiences see unfolding on screen.
Directors can become involved with a script at any stage of development. Many directors write their own projects and, as such, would be involved from the start. Others may attach themselves to stories at the point that development is drawing to a close.
Once they confirm their commitment to a project, directors will work with the Writer and Producer towards completing a shooting script that they are happy with and feel is ready to film. At this point, the director takes the lead on turning the vision for the film into a reality.
Directors are king in film-making. They are responsible for visual storytelling and charged with leading a potentially large-scale team to achieve their vision.
The success of any production hinges on the Director’s ability to get all the footage they need during production. As such, the role requires a blend of creative and practical thinking in order to fulfil the dramatic potential of the script in whatever circumstances arise.
The workload for a Director is vast; their focus and concentration is tested throughout the shooting day and then they’ll usually be required for resolving issues concerning future shooting, as well as reviewing the day’s footage. Despite the many demands being made upon them, Directors need to maintain good relations and the trust of those they’re working with; actors and crew alike need to feel comfortable with the decisions the Director is making. Effective delegation is a necessity alongside tireless resolve and a great understanding of the many departments involved in production.
Directors work with the editor to assemble a rough cut of the film. Having overseen production, they’re now in a position to find the most effective way to realise their vision by selecting how to place scenes and shots for maximum effect.
While there is greater regularity to the post-production process than the frenzy of the shoot, the pressure is still mounted on the Director to produce an inspiring film and the work of multiple people still needs to be brought together at their best.
The final shape of the film emerges in post, hopefully creating a cinematic experience that will draw people from far and wide.
Directors often gain experience in the industry for many years before being trusted with creating their own film. It is key that they have a strong understanding of the entire film-making process and have frequently worked in multiple roles to obtain that knowledge. In particular, great familiarity with production is a must.
Fundamentally, anyone trusted with any kind of significant budget almost always has a track record in directing. This can range from making short films, working in television or transitioning from theatre.