Movie Director Job Description — Nature of the Work and Salary

Movie directors are the main creative force of any film project. Through their vision and creativity, they guide the actors to bring the script idea to life. As a movie director, you will oversee the rehearsals and work with designers to choose the locations of the film.

Movie directors work out the details with producers and shape all the elements into a cohesive film. They must communicate with a variety of people throughout the movie-making process that includes the production team, actors, and movie investors.

Career Overview

The job of a director is very demanding and responsible. You need to work with different personalities to see the movie through and make it as entertaining as possible. By being visionaries at their finest, directors need to make a lot of artistic decisions and familiarize with all the necessary technicalities involved in producing a film. Their job description is versatile as they have to work on set with costume designers, choreographers, actors, musicians and so on.

If you want to become a movie director, you should know that it can be really time-consuming. You will have to put a lot of energy into making a successful project that can have a huge impact on your career. It can be stressful to work under strict deadlines while constantly having to meet with the studio heads and all the people responsible for financing the movie.

Challenges You Have to Face

There are no necessary qualifications and you don’t have to possess a certain educational degree if you want to become a movie director. First, you have to start working on multiple projects so you can improve your skills. Also, you’ll need to do a lot of convincing in order to persuade public funding bodies that you are the right man for the job.

Research is very important if you want to become a successful director. You will have to learn how the industry functions and get the gatekeepers to know you. You’ll have to work your way into the right rooms and meet the right people so you can learn the proper way of filming a movie.

The Paths of Becoming a Movie Director

Each movie director takes a unique approach to feature film directing. Most of them begin with studying the movie making process for at least a year. When they learn the basics, they usually start directing short films, or become a crew member on other people’s projects. At the begging of their careers, some of them move straight to directing, while others start working only as writers.

Many beginners that moved straight to directing had to finance a lot of their movies by themselves. Also, it’s not unusual that the movie directors at the beginning of their career work on television or in a theater.

Expected Salary

Some magazines reported that the highest paid movie directors earn between $15 million and $260 million per year. The average salary varies a lot, and it depends on the size of the project and the experience of the director. According to to the report from BLS, the average salary of film directors is around $90,000. The highest paid directors work in advertising, public relations, and related services.

Income from directing work can be disappointing at first, but if you manage to use your creative talents appropriately, you could work your way into the big league and start making tons of money.  

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