Who's a Director?
Enjoy watching movies, TV shows and plays? Did you love coming up with your own stories as a kid? Are you always at the forefront to put up plays at your school/college events? If so consider becoming a director!
As a director you will work as a storyteller. You would either use the stage, TV shows or the silver screen to tell stories. There are many aspects involved in creating these stories. And as a director, you will be the central figure who determines everything about how the story is told. Right from planning the story to scheduling the shooting, you will be in charge. You will work with actors, musicians, photographers, videographers, designers, and many more people!
If you are passionate about bringing a story to life, direction is the way for you! Read on to learn more about what you would do as a director.
Are you passionate about directing films? Want to pursue it as a future career option? Explore a day in the life of a Director- Dharampal Thakur
What will you do?
Assembling a team.
Direction is not a lone-wolf task. You will need someone to handle the camera, play out the scenes, create a schedule, design a set, etc.
Example: You will need to hire a line producer, production designer, location manager, cinematographer, an assistant director, etc.
Making casting choices.
Before you cast an actor, it’s important that they understand the story you’re telling. They should be someone you trust to prepare the role to the best of their ability and who is willing to be flexible and collaborate with you.
Example: If your story calls for a negative role, the actor cast for it should be able to bring in the right amount of emotion and acting sense to deliver a convincing performance.
Guiding actors through scenes.
It’s your job to help shape performances. Give the actors positive but specific (and short) praise and/or notes after every take. Make sure you’re on the same page about who the characters are and what they want in each scene.
Example: If an otherwise happy character must break down, you must explain to the actor how this would occur, would it be a complete switch of personality or a gradual switch.
Having a clear vision.
Film/Theatre is storytelling. And having a clear vision helps the rest of the team tell your story better. You must set the tone of the story and lead the production accordingly.
Example: Create your vision for the film and communicate it to your crew. Create a lookbook for this. Fill it with reference images to convey color palette, locations, and framing. Reference film that inspire you.
Communicating with everyone.
Directing is a collaborative process. Having open communication with every team is vital so everyone feels comfortable speaking up and knows exactly what they need to be doing.
Example: If you say, “I want it to feel like the character is isolated,” that affects lens choice, lighting, and music. Learn to speak the language of every department so you can successfully communicate what you need from them.
Once you have conveyed your vision and the scenes are beginning to take shape, it’s time to start doing runs. Runs of the play or film, helps actors get the flow and help you spot issues.
Example: You will conduct a full run-through of the script to help the actors and the tech team understand the sequence – what they will do in every scene – so they are prepared for what comes next.
Ensuring seamless tech production.
You will be heavily involved with the technical side of the production. Since it is your vision, you will have to ensure that there are no glitches from the tech team. This will involve constant run-throughs with them.
Example: You will help the tech team in choosing lights, adjusting sound cues, picking the right background score, etc.
Getting involved with post production tasks.
Once your filming is complete, you will work with the post production team of editors, sound producers, etc., to ensure that the vision of the story remains intact.
Example: You must work with the editor to break down the footage, find the right shots, angles, and takes that add the most meaning. You will also work with the sound design team, the music supervisor, and the visual effects team to ensure every post-production decision is in line with your overall vision.
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Where will you work?
You will mostly work in studios where you will rehearse for plays or shoot for your film. You will guide the actors and technicians to help them bring your vision alive.
When directing movies or TV shows, you will be working on sets. These sets could be indoors or outdoors depending on the scene you’re shooting.
You will hold workshops for your team of actors and technicians before you kickstart a project to help them understand their role better. You will explain different characters, different lighting you want used, etc.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
As a marketer, you need to get people hooked on your brand. This requires you to come up with fun, entertaining, and exceptional ways to engage your audience. There is a lot of competition in the market, and the only way to be on top is by constantly doing something new and innovative.build this skill
You will be working on a lot of cool projects and will be meeting a lot of potential clients and customers on the job. And so, a big part of your job will involve interacting with these people. You could be great at coming up with ideas, but that is only one part of your job. You will need to talk and meet people, build a rapport with them, to establish your credibility. Especially if you’re a freelancer, you will need to have certain social skills.build this skill
You will be constantly working with machines during the day, from testing instruments to ph balancing equipment, a thorough understanding of how these equipment work is essential.build this skill
The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.
It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.build this skill
Attention to Detail
Working with eggs and embryos is a very tedious task. Every little detail matters when you are observing them. If you are good at giving attention to detail, then your job at the laboratory will be made much easier.build this skill
How do you make it to the top ranks?
You can start your career by working independently right from the beginning. As an amateur director, you should enter your films in contests and awards. This will help you build a reputation as these contests and awards are closely followed by people from the industry.
On the other hand, many senior directors are on the hunt for passionate people who share their interests. You can choose to work with them as assistants and start gaining experience. TV, motion picture and theatre groups are always looking for assistants. The set-up is more formal for TV shows and movies as they are backed by production houses. Theatre productions may have an informal set-up as they are mostly created by small, loosely-knit theatre groups. As you learn more about film direction and theatre play direction, you can start working on your projects.
Once you gain enough experience and have a good network within the industry, the production house you work with will hand you a project or you can take up something on your own. This is when you get to put your skills to the test! You can handpick the people working on your project, think of creative ways to present your story, work closely with the crew members, mentor your cast before, during, and after the duration of the shoot/rehearsal, and set deadlines for the process.
At this stage, you will have established yourself as a professional in the industry and have a few successful projects in your kitty. You can continue working on more projects or even take over as producer for other directors that you mentor, funding their projects and providing your professional guidance wherever you can.
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
India has one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world – be it in cinema or television. With plenty of film industries and a booming television and web business, you will not find themselves deprived of jobs here. Having said that, the path to success and fame is hard. There’s cutthroat competition in this field. While there is no specific qualification required to be a director, a degree in some technical aspect of filmmaking can provide the necessary skills for this career. Students can either opt for a Bachelors in Mass Media or choose the arts stream and specialise in Multimedia or Fine Arts. The cost of graduation can range from INR 5000 to INR 2,00,000, depending on the choice of college. There are also options for Diploma courses in Film Direction offered by many film schools across the country.
Becoming a successful director in a foreign land is difficult but not impossible. Many Indian directors like Mira Nair, M. Night Shyamalan and more have successful careers in Hollywood. The basic qualification to study film direction abroad is a Bachelor’s degrees in fine arts, film, or a related field. These programmes typically last four years and offer technical specialisations in filmmaking with options for further education. Earning a master’s degree costs, on average, INR 5,00,000 – INR 15,00,000 per year. Similarly, options for theatre direction are also available, such as the National Association of Schools of Theater in the US, which also offers opportunities to students to work on their own projects. Due to the highly competitive nature of the industry, students also gain hands-on training by working with professional directors as interns or assistants.
How much would you get paid?
The exact amount will depend on your skill, expertise, the medium you’re working with and the producers budget for the project. However, we can give you a fair idea of what you can make:
What are your career options?
A broadcast presenter is the face or voice of programmes broadcast on television, radio or the Internet. Depending on the genre of the show, you will present information or entertainment in a way that connects you with your audience. You will need to have excellent skills in communication, research, coordination, and the ability to come up with ideas and present them attractively. Some broadcast presenters also get an additional degree in journalism or media studies, however, the same is not required in the field.
Video producers manage all the aspects of production right from the start to the end of the project. You will work closely with other crew members, either on the set or in a studio. You will be responsible for managing the budget of the project and work on marketing and distribution. You will need good skills in presentation, pitching and negotiation. Most video producers have a graduation degree while some also get a qualification in filmmaking, media production and broadcast production.
As the name suggests, camera operators handle the camera work of the project. Your role will be to combine creativity and technology to create a visual work of art. Camera operators either directly work under photographers or directors of photography. You will either work at a studio, a set, or cover live events. Other than the ability to work with multiple kinds of cameras, you will also need creativity, patience, and an eye for detail. Most professionals usually gain some or the other degree related to photography or filmmaking to pursue this career.
Critics review every aspect of the finished product. Your job is to rate the movies and determine their worth. You must be well-versed in communication. You will need to have good language skills and expertise in your area of work, be it cinema, television, web, or theatre. Some critics get a degree in journalism or media studies with added experience in the industry.
Production coordinators work in the administrative and organisational aspects of all the work surrounding the making of the film, TV show or play. You will be involved in every stage of the project, right from the start to the finish. You will be responsible for arranging production meetings, determining schedules, distributing scripts, organising travel and accommodation, assisting cast and crew members, and other secretarial work. Most production coordinators have a graduate degree in any media-related field and few opt for a post-graduation to acquire more practical skills.
A programme researcher is a support function for the production team. You will assist producers in all aspects of production – from generating ideas to ensuring that everyone on the set is catered to. You will be responsible for organising, planning and researching everything that is required during the course of the shoot or rehearsal. You will also fact-check, write briefs for producers or presenters, and ensure that the production adheres to certain laws and rules. Many programme researchers usually get a postgraduate degree in media, journalism, or broadcasting.
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