Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Pages and Files
Add "All Pages"
A (film) Director is the person who is in charge of directing actors and crew in the making of a film. He or she is responsible for the creative direction of the film in regards to the artistic as well as dramatic aspect of the actors, together with the technical direction of the crew. During pre-production the film director is kept fairly busy. They are responsible for conveying their mental image to the production team who will then create the finished concept. The film director, in some circumstances has the final say, in accordance with the producer, as to which of the actors are cast.
Pre-production is the most important time for any director because it is the where we go through a "process of discovery." Here is an overview of what is expected of a director during pre-production. Please keep in mind that all these pre-production activities will vary in time and importance depending on whether you are shooting a film or TV.
Many people believe the director most busy time is during production. Although they are kept exceedingly busy during this stage, one of the most important times for the director is actually during pre-production.
During Pre-production the director is required to come up with a mental image of what he or she imagines the finished movie will look like. Some people refer to this as the ‘process of discovery.’ The director is responcible for a number of different task in order for the film to get started.
Location is a huge aspect of any film. The setting creates the atmosphere for the entire movie, that is why the director is expected to settle on a specific look that they require so the search for the location can begin.
A number of people can be involved in the ‘location scouting’ inclucding: Director, Location Manager, 1st Assistant Director, Producer, Production Manager or Unit Production Manager, Production Designer or Art Director, Transportation Captain or a Driver
Although a rough budget is made during script development, it is during pre-production that a more detailed film budget is produced.
A budget is typically divided into four sections: Above the Line (creative talent), Below the Line (direct production costs), Post-Production (editing, visual effects, etc), and Other (insurance, completion bond, etc).
It is impreittive for the Director to understand the budget in order for them to make suggestions on what areas and elements to take out or add on to and where it is possible to make improvments.
Typically one of the first things a director does, even before accepting the role, is read through the script. When hired, they may read through it several times. One reason for this is to get an understanding of the story but also who the characters are. This is then followed by a meeting with the Producer(s) and the Casting Director to discuss ideas of the characters. This is an important meeting for the Director, because it allows the directos to find out what the Producer(s) are thinking and if everyone has the same ideas.
Following the meeting the Casting Director puts together a list of actors that fit the character traits that the directors and producers have in mind, regarding specific looks and other aspects.
The Casting Director then has her/his own casting session where they record a "short list" of actors for the director and the Producer(s) to then view and altimatly decide upon who they wish to play the role.
Meetings, Meetings and More Meetings
The Director will spend most of their time during pre-production im meetings, which will range from script meetings and concept meetings with the producers to individual department head meetings.
The director should have the following meetings:
- concept meeting with producers/location manager/art director
- script meeting with producers and writer
- casting meeting with producers and casting director
- Director and 1st Assistant Director meetings
- set dec
- special FX
- extra casting
- visual FX
- Production meeting
Script and Scene Analysis
A directors role is to understand the script and the story it is telling. They are required to take the script apart scene by scene in order to find out what it is about as well as what works and what dosnt. During this section of pre-production certain elements of the script may change.
Following the script read through and making notes about script structure and scene analysis, the Director needs to figure out the objectives of the characters. They do this by understanding the characters background, objectives and dialogue.
Directors may ask themselves the following questions:
- who is the MAIN CHARACTER
- what is the CHARACTER GOAL
- what is the SUPER-OBJECTIVE (the main needs of the character)
- what is the OBJECTIVE (what the character wants / active choices)
- what is the CONFLICT (inner/relational/societal/situational/cosmic)
- what are the THREE DIMENSIONS (thinking / doing / feeling)
Creating the Visual Concept of the Show
A Director's visual concept is the main basis and structure of the film.The involves both image and style.
Some examples of visual style are:
1. Deciding on what the audience is going to see (and not see) by deciding where to place the camera.
2. What is the pacing and mood of the story? (Fast or slow, dark and moody or light and fun?)
3. What is the rhythm of the story - a scene - an act? (Every scene should have highs and lows.)
4. What is the color of the story? Colors can be used to express feelings and emotions and represent certain qualities of a character that can affect the sets and the costumes.
5. What is the main image to take the audience into this new world?
Mise-en-scene and Subworld
The French term mise-en-scène comes from the stage and literally means, "putting on stage." When applied to the cinema world, mise-en-scène refers to everything that is put infront of the camera, including: sets, props, actors, costumes and lighting. Mise-en-scène also takes into account the positioning and movement of actors on set, which is called blocking.
The subworld of a film refers to all the feelings and sensations a Director creates to arouse certain emotions from the audience. In order to do this, the director directs the story "beneath" the main story through the, actions, events and incidents that portray the deeper meaning of the story and characters.
Shot Lists and Storyboards
A shot list is a description of all the camera angles for a scene and can include shot size, camera movement, character movement, coverage and cutaways.
The format when preparing a shot list varies from director to director infact some directors are known for not even making shot lists.
Many directos find shot lists very useful because they can help guide tem through the filming process. it gives them a path to follow but but in many cases they do not follow always follow it.
Storyboards are used for the purpose of pre-visualizing certain scenes in a movie. In some cases directors will want to storyboard the entire movie, but most storyboards are only created for complicated action scenes and visual effects sequences.
Script Read Through and Cast Rehearsals
The script read through usually happens in a hotel room where the available cast, director, writers and the producers sit around a
table and read the script.
This read-through is the first opportunity that everyone can get together to start the process of working on the script.
Following the initial read-through, the director may wish to rehearse certain scenes. This is so they can sort out character and story issues privately before the filming of certain scenes.
Most of these cast rehearsals take place in hotel meeting rooms, but they can also take place on the actual sets or real locations that are going to be used in the film.
During the production process the Directors primarily responsible is overseeing the shooting of the film.
The director works closely with the cast and crew to shape the film
and may often take suggestions on important issues.
They tend to direct rehearsals and the performance of the actors before the shooting of each scene. Directors also manage the technical aspects of filming, including the camera, sound, lighting, design and special effects departments.
The director is most directly responsible for the picture’s final appearance. They oversee the editing or the scenes and assembly of a film. This is to ensure that the emotion of the scene and the close ups, mid shots and wide shots fittingly reflect the moods of the scene. During this time the director also has an input into the colour grading of the final images which add warms or frigidity to the sonata of the scene which also reflect the emotional context of both characters and environment. Adding to their input the director partakes in the sound mix and musical composition of the film.
is responsible for helping gather a number of potential actor candidates for a given role in a film. The Casting director along with the film director read through the script and together they meet with the producer, and sometimes the writer, to get an idea of the "type" of person a given role calls for. Once this is determined, the casting director sets to work. They will meet with any number of individuals and they then begin narrowing down the field. Once a select handful of hopefuls have been identified, the casting director then presents them to the director, producer or writer of the project. Casting directors meet with thousands of actors over the course of a given year. The actor must meet the all the directors character outline, determine whether an actor fits the look of a particular actor would be believable in the role of the directors vision.
The director will have a clear idea of where he or she will want the setting of the film to be. From this point on they will work quite closely with the
in order to find the ideal setting for the film. This role does not only involve finding the perfect location but also determining the logistics of the location and making it work. At first they may be convinced that it is the perfect spot, but it may not be the most practical. There are many different aspects that have to be taken into account.
decisions are made about the distances involved,
the availability within the schedule on that day of the stars
Special equipment etc. etc.
The Location Manager will be closely involved with the director regarding all the logistics as well as the rest of the production team to work out solutions.
Each movie is different and each director different in what they are looking for. A location manager is required to be patient and may be looking for the perfect location for an extended period of time.
Multiple sets are used in a film that is why it is imperative to have a production designer. They are responsible for the over all look of the film. The
works closely with the director in order to gain a good understanding of what they intend the film to look like. The production designer directs the art department and set builders. They may have several meetings with the director and producer all throughout pre-production to draw up sketches or build models of the sets.
Production design can be a crucial element to any major creative project as the visual elements often help bring the story to life.
It is compulsorily for a director to have a bachelor’s degree in performing arts along with a specialization in film direction. Although, no formal education is required for a career in the field of movie directing. Many movie directors being making short film at home before going to film school and other film education courses, and
others learn basic skills creatively without ever earning a film degree
For those who wish to peruse a professional role in film directing in some cases is it compulsory to have.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film
It is an added advantage if they have a master’s degree in performing arts
As well as Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing
A candidate with various other certifications related to film training will be highly preferred.
There are multiple courses available for aspiring film directors.
Australian Film Base-
The three month film directors school Melbourne
Summer School in film making
The university of Melbourne-
Victorian College of the Arts
- Design, Film and TV
Courses are available, ranging from TAFE through to advance diploma.
The famous directors chair. The chair gives the director perfect view point at all film shoots.
Access to whats being filmed at the time of shooting in order to determine angles as well as if it needs to be shot again
All areas access:
The director need access to all areas of production, whether that be wardrob, set design or hair and make up.
Born in 1946, Spielberg assisted with the editing of a classic western as the very young age of 11.
At the age of just 15 he had his first go at directing, focusing on World War One and Two themes. All of which were short films. For the next few years Spielberg focused on movies. None of which became big hits in the Movie industry. One movie in particular that he directed during this period was
, which would later become the name of his production company. He also worked on TV directing. All of his early work was later recognized assisting his break through into the industry giving him the opportunity to direct blockbuster films that we know and love today.
Steven Spielberg is best known for directing movies such as:
E.T – The Extra-Terrestrial
Saving Private Ryan
Catch me if you can
Men in Black
The Mask of Zorro
The 1975 movie,
was Spielberg’s second attempt at directing, and was his breakthrough into the industry, when he became an international superstar in the industry.
Several years and a great number of popular films later, Spielberg directed one of his highest grossing films of all time
E.T – the Extra Terrestrial.
This movie also made Spielberg famous for the use of special effects, which was quite new at the time.
Oscar- Best Director: Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Oscar- Best Director: Schindlers List (1993)
Oscar -Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Awards
118 other awards as well as 82 nominations
Born in 1944.
While attending California film school Lucas made several short films. One of which was first prize in 1967-68 National Student Film Festival. That same year Lucas was awarded a Warner Brothers scholarship to observe the making of a film by director Francis Form Coppala. The two became great friends, even forming a company called American Zoetrope in 1969. They made the
full-length version of THX 1138 (1971) which was Lucas’ short movie which won the 1967-68 award.
A few year later Lucas formed his own company Lucasfilm Ltd. In 1973 he wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical American Graffiti (1973) which went onto win the Golden Globe and garnered five Academy
For the next couple of years Lucas; primary focus was the screenplay for
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
From this he established both ILM (Industrial Light & magic) in order to produce the visual effects for the film. As well as
Sprocket Systems which was established to edit and mix Star Wars and later becomes known as Skywalker Sound.
Star Wars 1 redefined the term blockbuster. The movie broke all the box office records and went on to win seven Academy Awards. Lucas proceeded on to direct the following five star wars film.
Together with Steven Spielberg, the two created the Indiana Jones series. From 1980 to 1985 Lucas was busy with the construction of Skywalker Ranch. Which was built in order to accommodate the creative, technical, and administrative needs of Lucasfilm. Lucas also revolutionized movie theatres with the THX System which was created to maintain the highest quality standards in motion picture viewing. Following this he went on to make several more movies that have created major breakthroughs in film making. He is now chairman of the board of The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
George Lucas is best known for directing movies such as
The Star Wars Saga
Nominated for 4 Oscars
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
24 other awards along with 21 nominations
Without the director there would be no movies. They have the final say in all aspects of the film (second to only the producer.) They may choose to completely change a scene at any point in time. The director has the mental image only they can see.
- please watch
As technology advances so does many aspects of our lives. This is also true for the role of Film Director. One of the best examples of how the roles of film director has became more complex would be Director George Lucas.
His award winning film Start Wars was one of the first blockbuster movies to incorporate such a vast amount of special effects and CGI (computer generated imagery.) From that point on there have been no limits as to what Directors can imagine and hope to bring to reality for the world to watch.
But that bring forth a whole lot of obstacles. They have to put forward these images to a whole number of people in order to create them. This makes their job a little harder, because they are required to direct not only the cast but also creatures who may be created via CGI, and most of the time direct them at the same time.
This may create issues but advanced technology is making this task increasingly easier for both directors and cast.
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"