In many people becoming a film director is a dream job. If you’re ready and able to put in the time, have artistic imagination, and an incredible ability to create anything out of nothing, it could be the perfect opportunity for you to become a film director. Just keep in mind that film directing jobs are highly competitive, and achieving your goal can take years or even decades. If that is your goal, though, then you should go for it!
Start your career
1. Also critical of the films. If you’re interested in being a film director you’ve already seen plenty of films, so you should start using your film-watching experiences as a way to learn about film making. Watch as many movies as you can, and watch the videos.
- Try counting at least 15 errors in every movie you watch. Check for mistakes in writing, editing mistakes, errors in plot continuity, etc.
- Build your storytelling skills when you watch movies. Try to watch movies off with the sound, and pay attention to how the story also unfolds through images. Or, you can listen to a film’s speech, soundtrack, and other sounds to see how the story unfolds through what characters are saying.
2. Come and make short films. To become a producer, it ‘s important to get started immediately and use any required means to make your movies. If you don’t already have one, get a phone. While a professional camera can help you create films that are of higher quality, start with any camera you can find.
- Write your script, or collaborate with a writer friend.
- Bring a group of friends on the weekend together, and shoot scenes for a short film. Using a system like Adobe Premier you can edit the scenes together over time.
- Short filming will force you to begin learning about the technical aspects of directing. You ‘re going to need to know how to edit, write, and also do everything else. Creating your short films gives you the ability to wear several hats and grow various skill sets.
3. Learn to act. The best way to learn to direct actors is through the experience of acting, whether it is by acting in your movies or being part of a community of dramas. Knowing more about acting and doing some acting yourself may give you a greater respect for the actors you work with and can make interacting with them more easily.
- Try to learn actor lingo. You may read about various approaches or methods such as classical acting and method acting, for example.
4. Read scripts from other folks. Although you usually start writing your scripts, you might later need to work with scripts from other people. Reading scripts written by other people is a good way to practice bringing the story of another to life. When reading scripts from other people, seek to think about the nuances of how each scene will be filmed.
- For example, if in a scene two people are arguing, how would you position them? Which camera angles you ‘d use? What type of illumination would you use? What sounds in the background should it be?
5. Consider going to school for filming. Though completely unnecessary, film school is great for three things: forced experience, crew access, and networking. It’s been made by many who didn’t go to the film school but it’s made by many more who did. You will have access to internships, courses, titles, titles, and most importantly, names. You can get a crew handed over to you if you have a project and you can network by helping others out, too.
- While highly competitive, some of the top colleges include NYU, USC, the University of California at Los Angeles, AFI (Los Angeles), and California Institute of the Arts. Such schools have been visited by a variety of well-known directors, including Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Ron Howard, George Lucas, John Singleton, Amy Heckerling, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Francis Ford Coppola, and John Lasseter.
6.Function as part of the manufacturing team. It doesn’t happen overnight to become a cinema director. Many directors began working as drivers, camera operators, or as part of a production team performing other tasks. It is not too small a task. It’s a step in the right direction, whether it’s filing paperwork, making sure the actors have their bagels or watching the camera equipment in the night.
- If you are in the school of film, look into the internships. If you are not, check your local Craigslist, get in touch with your area’s creative types, and offer to be of service. When you’re nice and dependable, people would want to work with you again. And the gigs will get bigger and better each time.
- A production company is more likely to give someone with five years of experience as a production assistant than some kid fresh out of film school a chance. Try to do your best to find a production assistant job or some other entry-level crew work.
7. Commence networks. Long story short, without a reel you ‘re not going to become a director. This is the best thing to get. This being said, this is certainly an industry where, if you have an in, it’s much easier to display said video. You need to start networking straight away to get in.
- Attend events in the industry, such as mixers, conferences, parties, premiers … Bring in people and strive to build positive relationships with the people you encounter. Offer support on future projects or allow others to work with you.
Make the Cut
1. Check out other gigs to get by. You’ll need to build your resume along the road to becoming a film director with certain forms of directing work, such as directing music videos, TV shows, and advertisements. The paychecks you earn for these positions aren’t going to be in the millions, but these positions will help fill out your resume with experience in directing.
- Some of these gigs will pay off well and you might even enjoy the work, so don’t turn down a directing job just because it’s for a commercial and not a feature-length movie.
2. Develop cutting-edge short films. The easiest way to fill up your reel is to make short films with friends you’ve made in the industry. Work with your friends, and other people who are also trying to break into the industry. Sometimes the budget comes out of your pocket, sometimes it’s not going to, but it’s a necessary step to success on the ladder.
3. Enter your film festivals for the shorts. If you have a movie of which you are particularly proud, then you can enter it into a movie festival. The big thing about this is that you can participate anywhere in a film festival. There are certainly some movie festivals you can participate in in your state or country.
- Sundanese receives 12,000 applications annually so it is successful. You might want to take a smaller start and work your way up. Only make sure you follow the criteria of time limits and formatting!
- Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” was found at the Sundanese Film Festival, and Steven Spielberg failed at a film festival, which was then unheard of, entitled “Paranormal Activity.”
4. Put up your reel. The reel, or portfolio, is what you are going to send to every project that is looking for a director, so make sure it is impressive. Models submit portfolios of their modeling, actors submit their headshots and resumes and directors submit their reels. Your reel will include material about your college, work experience, and films. Here’s what it takes you:
- Information on your educational experience
- An accompanying CV showing your experience so far
- Your contact information
- Clips which also demonstrate your editing, writing, animation and cinematography skills
- They participated in many film festivals and won awards
- Different encounters — music videos, advertisements, animated films, tv programs, etc.
- Stories and shutdowns showing the method
5. Focus on skills for your men. You ‘re not really on top of totem pole even after you become a manager. You are going to have to work with lots of different people and sometimes people are going to clash with each other or you. As the manager, it will also be your duty to keep everyone happy. Start working on your people’s skills early so that you will be well-equipped to manage various problems and personalities later.
- Bear in mind that some very stressful circumstances might need to be tackled. Imagine your friend calling you and telling you that he doesn’t like the scene you’ve filmed in the middle of Nowhere at 5 AM, Kansas to get the same shot at the golden hour. The actress had changed some of her lines to give more depth to her character and the money was gone. You will spend the whole night reworking the script, making room for something that can be filmed in the studio tomorrow.
Tackling the Big Time
1. Get a cop. One agent may want to represent you until you have a good reel. An attorney will negotiate the contracts for you, and help you determine what is in the best interest and what is not. You should never pay money upfront to get an agent, though. An agent will only charge you if his or her actions result in making money.
- A large part of an agent ‘s job will be to negotiate your “gross points.” This is a fancy term because you get X percent of it, however much money the movie makes. When a film makes $100 it’s not the big deal. But imagine raking your next movie at $1bn! Those gross points matter and big-time matters.
2. Try not to get discouraged by lack of acknowledgment. Get ready to take all the blame and none of the credit. When a film is doing well, it is rare for the director to be seen as the reason why. Yet when a film is doing badly, the director still gets blamed. If it’s a flop, you’ll be hard-pressed pretty soon to get another parallel gig. Even if a film you direct is good you may not get as much credit in your film as the actors.
- Perhaps not for you, but for the average street Joe, the directors are not seen as the outstanding visionaries of films they are. It is the actors which make the film. And when it comes to the public, you are going to go unappreciated. And as for your crew, that’s no different. If your film is bad, then your producers are going to blame you. If the actor is upset about how their hair looks, then they are going to blame you. It’s a loop you’ll learn to embrace, best case scenario.
3. Consider yourself a member of the Union. You can become a part of the Director’s Guild of America (DAG) after you’ve had a few directing jobs (provided you’re based in the US, of course). In being a DAG participant, you’re given 10 weeks of a $160,000 salary.
- In most cases, to apply you need to be employed by a signatory organization. Or you make it big from nowhere. The initial fee is a few thousand dollars, and after that, you pay minimal dues. Especially if the projects are not constant, it is worth it altogether.
4. Enjoy your excellent work. Make sure you enjoy and appreciate your job after you attain your goal. Occasionally it will be frustrating but it will be very rewarding as well. Depending on the stage of the film you are working on, you will always be doing something different.
- You are turning the script into a film in preproduction. Visual stuff. You work out all of the planning, casting, and the actual nuts and bolts of all of it. That’s probably the most important thing.
- You will be doing what every director of pictures is doing in production. You are going to let the actors know what you are seeing for them and how you want the scene to play out. You’ll also be on a massive crunch of time to paint a masterpiece though. It’s going to be chaotic but also exciting.
- You’ll sit down with the editing team in post-production and piece it all together. Make sure you develop good relationships with your publishers to make sure you are on the same page. You’ll also figure out the music in post-production, and all the other finer points to draw it all together.