Movie Director Job Description: A Look at What it Takes to Be a Film Director


Most people know that a director is the main creative force behind every movie, but a lot of people just see the director as the person shouting through a megaphone and saying “lights, camera, action!” There is more to it than just shouting. Here is an exhaustive movie director job description that would help you understand more what a director actually does.

The Script

The director is heavily involved in finalizing the script for the movie. Usually, the script is presented to the director and they revise it if they see modifications are needed to make the movie better according to their creative sensibilities. Whether the script gets some minor modifications or a major overhaul, the director is there to have the final say as to what the final version of the script should be.

The Cast

The director is also usually involved in finalizing the star cast of the movie. It is the director's job to communicate clearly what kind of performance they want from the star cast, so it is essential that the director has a full grasp of the acting performance they want and they should be able to communicate it with the actors.

The Location

The director is involved in choosing the locations and the sets the movie will be shot in. This part of the job needs coordination skills between different behind the scene crew members, film producer and actors so their shooting schedule can be worked around the availability of the sets or the locations.

The Shooting Process

The director is in charge of coordinating all elements of the movie like the actors, the sets and the crew so everything will work in perfect sync as they shoot scenes. Multiple takes may be required to get a scene right and it is up to the director to determine if they have already gotten the right take for the scene or if they need to do 1 or 10 more to get it right. This requires a lot of patience, communication skills and coordination skills in the director's part because the more takes the entire crew does, the more tired they become, and in turn, the quality of the performance goes down.

Leader with Deep Understanding

In order to be an effective director, one must have a deep understanding of the material they are translating into moving pictures, the various acting talents involved, the technical capabilities currently available to them and a firm grasp on their own creative vision. The main driving force of the director, however, is creativity. The director must be aware that having all the latest technology and the hottest actors at their disposal may still lead to disaster if they do not exert control on the entire stages of filmmaking.

The General

In essence, the movie director job description revolves around being the general of an army of people with different sets of skills. The director uses the different elements of the movies to achieve their own creative vision. It involves a lot of multitasking and giving directions to people, whether those people are on camera or behind the camera.


Photo Courtesy of / Supplied by Dan Prates