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A film director, or filmmaker, is a person who directs the making and/or the production of a film.[1] Many people also consider film producers, cinematographers, film editors, and special effects experts to be filmmakers[2].

A film director is a person who visualizes the screenplay, controlling a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of his or her vision. In some cases, film directors do not have absolute creative control. The director can also be selected by the producer. The producer in this case very likely has veto power over everything from the script itself to the final editing of the film, often in anything from slight to extreme opposition to the director's vision.

When directing individual episodes for a television show, a director's responsibilities are somewhat diminished, since the visual look and emotional impression of the TV series has already been established, usually by the person billed as the show's creator, executive producer, or producer. Those directors who choose or are chosen to work in TV traditionally have had to accept that they will not be as lauded, or as well-paid, as their big-screen counterparts.[3]



Film directors are responsible for overseeing creative aspects of a film. They often develop the vision for a film and carry the vision out, deciding how the film should look. They also direct what tone it should have and what an audience should gain from the cinematic experience. Directing a film is a kind of storytelling. Film directors are responsible for approving camera angles, lens effects, lighting, and set design, and will often take part in hiring key crew members. They coordinate the actors' moves and also may be involved in the writing, financing, and editing of a film.

The director works closely with the cast and crew to shape the film and may often take suggestions on pertinent issues. Some like to conduct rigorous rehearsals in preproduction while others do so before each scene. In either case this process is essential as it tells the director as well as other key members of the crew (Director of Photography, stunt choreographer, hair stylist, etc.), how the actors are going to play the scene, which enables them to make any necessary adjustments. Directors often use storyboards to illustrate sequences and concepts, and a director's viewfinder to set up camera angles.

The director also plays a key role in post-production. He/she works with the editor to ensure that the emotions of the scene and the close ups, mid shots and wide or long shots appropriately reflect which character is driving the narrative. The director also advises on the (colour) grading of the final images, adding warmth or frigidity to the composition of the shots to reflect the emotional subtext of the character or environment. They also participate in the sound mix and musical composition of the film.

Methods of film directing

Ingmar Bergman through lighting conditions, apparently examines an x-ray film, during work on Wild Strawberries.
The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, while filming a costume drama on location in London.

Directors have different methods of filming. Some styles include:

Directors work closely with film producers, who are responsible for both artistic and non-artistic elements of the film, such as, script approval, financing, casting notes, contract negotiation and marketing. Some directors will take on some of the responsibilities of the producer for their films. Directors like Orson Welles, Charles Chaplin or Stanley Kubrick are famously known for writing, directing and producing their films while the early silent film director Alice Guy Blaché not only produced her own pictures, but actually created her own highly successful studio.

Professional organizations

In the United States, directors usually belong to the Directors Guild of America. The Canadian equivalent is the Directors Guild of Canada. In the UK, directors usually belong to Directors Guild of Great Britain. A new director might earn as little as $20,000 a year, while the most successful can earn over $500,000 or even millions per film in some cases.[4]

See also


  • Spencer Moon: Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers, Greenwoood Press 1997
  • The St. James Women Filmmakers Encyclopedia: Women on the Other Side of the Camera, Visible Ink Press, 1999
  • International dictionary of films and filmmakers, ed. by Tom Pendergast, 4 volumes, Detroit [etc.]: St. James Press, 4th edition 2000, vol. 2: Directors
  • Contemporary North American Film Directors: A Wallflower Critical Guide (Wallflower Critical Guides to Contemporary Directors), ed. by Yoram Allon Del Cullen and Hannah Patterson, Second Edition, Columbia Univ Press 2002
  • Alexander Jacoby, Donald Richie: A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors: From the Silent Era to the Present Day, Stone Bridge Press, 2008, ISBN 1933330538
  • Rebecca Hillauer: Encyclopedia of Arab Women Filmmakers, American University in Cairo Press, 2005, ISBN 9774249437
  • Roy Armes: Dictionary of African Filmmakers, Indiana University Press, 2008, ISBN 0253351162
  • Philippe Rege: Encyclopedia of French Film Directors, Scarecrow Press, 2009


External links

Simple English

on location in London.]]

A movie director is a person who helps lead the making of a movie (or film). They take care of the artistic things in the movie. They give instructions to the actors and direct the people that work on the movie.

Directors give many of their responsibilities to other members of their movie-making team (called a movie crew). For example, the person who is responsible for the lighting is told by the director what style of lighting he wants and he then creates the lighting for him. It is common for movie directors to work closely with a movie producer. Movie producers are people who control the non-artistic side of movie making. For example, they control all the money that is used for making the movie.

The amount of control a director has in creating their movie is different for each director. It is most common for directors to have some control, while the rest of the movie-making is controlled by the movie studio (the area which the moive are made) the people who pay for the movie. This was very common for American movies made in the 1930s to 1950s. During those years, the studios used many different directors for making a single movie. There are a small amount of directors who are given complete control over making their movie. For example, Stanley Kubrick, Glen Tennis, Federico Fellini, and Alfred Hitchcock or Tim Burton[needs proof] are all movie directors who had a great amount of control in making their movie.

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