A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay (or script) while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfilment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Under European Union law, the director is viewed as the author of the film.
The film director gives direction to the cast and crew and creates an overall vision through which a film eventually becomes realized, or noticed. Directors need to be able to mediate differences in creative visions and stay within the boundaries of the film's budget.
There are many pathways to becoming a film director. Some film directors started as screenwriters, cinematographers, film editors or actors. Other film directors have attended a film school. Directors use different approaches. Some outline a general plotline and let the actors improvise dialogue, while others control every aspect, and demand that the actors and crew follow instructions precisely. Some directors also write their own screenplays or collaborate on screenplays with long-standing writing partners. Some directors edit or appear in their films, or compose the music score for their films.
A film director's task is to envisage a way to translate a screenplay into a fully formed film, and then to realize this vision. To do this, they oversee the artistic and technical elements of film production. This entails organizing the film crew in such a way to achieve their vision of the film. This requires skills of group leadership, as well as the ability to maintain a singular focus even in the stressful, fast-paced environment of a film set. Moreover, it is necessary to have an artistic eye to frame shots and to give precise feedback to cast and crew, thus, excellent communication skills are a must.
Since the film director depends on the successful cooperation of many different creative individuals with possibly strongly contradicting artistic ideals and visions, he or she also needs to possess conflict resolution skills in order to mediate whenever necessary. Thus the director ensures that all individuals involved in the film production are working towards an identical vision for the completed film. The set of varying challenges he or she has to tackle has been described as "a multi-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with egos and weather thrown in for good measure". It adds to the pressure that the success of a film can influence when and how they will work again, if at all.
Generally, the sole superiors of the director are the producer(s) and the studio that is financing the film, although sometimes the director can also be a producer of the same film. The role of a director differs from producers in that producers typically manage the logistics and business operations of the production, whereas the director is tasked with making creative decisions. The director must work within the restrictions of the film's budget and the demands of the producer and studio (such as the need to get a particular age rating).
Directors also play an important role in post-production. While the film is still in production, the director sends "dailies" to the film editor and explains his or her overall vision for the film, allowing the editor to assemble an editor's cut. In post-production, the director works with the editor to edit the material into the director's cut. Well-established directors have the "final cut privilege", meaning that they have the final say on which edit of the film is released. For other directors, the studio can order further edits without the director's permission.
The director is one of the few positions that requires intimate involvement during every stage of film production. Thus, the position of film director is widely considered to be a highly stressful and demanding one. It has been said that "20-hour days are not unusual". Some directors also take on additional roles, such as producing, writing or editing.
Under European Union law, the film director is considered the "author" or one of the authors of a film, largely as a result of the influence of auteur theory. Auteur theory is a film criticism concept that holds that a film director's film reflects the director's personal creative vision, as if they were the primary "auteur" (the French word for "author"). In spite of—and sometimes even because of—the production of the film as part of an industrial process, the auteur's creative voice is distinct enough to shine through studio interference and the collective process.
Some film directors started as screenwriters, film editors or actors. Several American cinematographers have become directors, including Barry Sonnenfeld, originally the Coen brothers' DP; Wally Pfister, cinematographer on Christopher Nolan's three Batman films made his directorial debut with Transcendence. Other film directors have attended a film school to get a bachelors degree studying film or cinema. Film students generally study the basic skills used in making a film. This includes, for example, preparation, shot lists and storyboards, blocking, protocols of dealing with professional actors, and reading scripts. Some film schools are equipped with sound stages and post-production facilities. Besides basic technical and logistical skills, students also receive education on the nature of professional relationships that occur during film production. A full degree course can be designed for up to five years of studying. Future directors usually complete short films during their enrollment. The National Film School of Denmark has the student's final projects presented on national TV. Some film schools retain the rights for their students' works. Many directors successfully prepared for making feature films by working in television. The German Film and Television Academy Berlin consequently cooperates with the Berlin/Brandenburg TV station RBB (Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting) and ARTE.
Kathryn Bigelow, 2008 Best Director Oscar Winner.
- Outline of film
- Alan Smithee (pseudonym for anonymous directors)
- Auteur theory
- List of unions for film directing
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They must work with producers, writers, cast members, crew members, designers and other professionals in order to implement that vision
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You have to be a diplomat. You have to marshal a whole load of creative people, who often don't get on with each other, and your job is to stop things turning into a bun-fight.
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directors work under a lot of pressure, and most are under constant stress to find their next job.
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Although directors are in charge of the creative aspects of a show, they ultimately answer to producers. Some directors also share producing duties for their own films.
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The director is bound by financial conditions, which however should not hinder him from developing his own artistic signature.
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Realizing that an NC-17 rating could hurt business (some theaters and newspapers won't show or advertise NC-17 movies), Mr. Verhoeven cut 47 seconds of the most graphic sex and violence.
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Many are experienced actors, editors or writers
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In the Fiction Film bachelor studio students learn the basic principles, techniques and procedures of film direction and production
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Classes supporting this area discuss and rehearse: preparation, shot lists and storyboards, blocking, protocols of dealing with professional actors, reading scripts, the construction of film sequence
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We operate from a purpose-built studio facility in Harrow, with two sound stages, a set construction workshop, and extensive post-production facilities.
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An intrinsic element of the education, alongside the transfer of organizational and technical skills, is to provide the students with insights into social contexts and relationships
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The directing studies 5 years of study : a first cycle of 3 years and a second cycle of 2 years.
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The students' final project is a film produced on a professional level and presented to the public on national TV.
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If you're a student and making your film within a film school then you should be aware that some film schools will retain the copyright in the films that you make during your enrollment
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Many successful film directors, including Oscar-winning Best Director of 'The King's Speech', Tom Hooper, began their careers in television, which provided the platform to progress through the industry.
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The DFFB cooperates with the Berlin/Brandenburg TV station RBB and ARTE and produces 3 short films of 30minutes lengths for RBB and 10 short films of 5 minutes lengths for ARTE
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