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TV or film director Movie director, television director, director

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TV and film directors lead the creative and technical production for cinema and television.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need experience of working in TV or film, and an in-depth understanding of the production process.

You could get this from camera or lighting work, acting or starting out as a runner. It can take several years to build up your experience.

You may find it helpful to take a filmmaking or media production course to give you some of the practical skills you'll need, and to make contacts in the industry.

Another way to break into directing is to make your own films. You can market these to agents or enter them into film festivals and competitions.

Creative Skillset has more information about working as a director.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent organisational and planning skills
  • the ability to make decisions quickly
  • leadership and motivational skills

3. What you'll do

You'll lead a team of cast and crew making films, TV programmes, commercials, music videos or corporate videos.

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • meeting producers to plan filming schedules and resources
  • developing scripts or ideas for programmes
  • developing storyboards
  • deciding how the production should look and where it should be filmed
  • hiring the cast and crew
  • explaining technical requirements to different teams
  • directing actors on set or location
  • supervising the editing

On smaller productions, you may be involved in production work.

4. Salary

Directors are usually paid a fee for each contract or project. Rates vary depending on experience and the type of production.

The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working hours on a shoot will often be long and irregular, and may include evenings and weekends.

You might work in a film or TV studio, or on location. Work may be anywhere in the UK or overseas, so conditions will vary.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you might develop your own projects and raise the money to put them into production.

Last updated: 10 September 2018