How to Become a Movie Director

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The multi-billion dollar movie industry is a vital part of the entertainment business and plays a major role in the culture of the United States. The industry requires experienced professionals to direct motion pictures. Movie directors organize and supervise the production of movies and make executive decisions.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does a movie director do?

Movie directors interpret and visualize the written script and control the dramatic and artistic aspects of the movie. They typically develop a vision for the movie and carry out the vision by directing the actors and technical crew. They guide the tone that movie portrays and what it gives the audience as they experience viewing the movie. They choose cast and crew members and conduct rehearsals. They approve the lighting, camera angles, lens effects, and choose the design. They also approve costumes, scenery, location, and choreography. Movie directors work closely with the movie cast and crew and coordinate movements to shape the movie. They often consider suggestions on key issues.

Movie directors are often involved in the writing and editing aspects and work with editors to make sure emotions and camera shots coincide with the character. The also give advice on final images and participate in the musical composition and mix of sounds for the movie.

What kind of training does a movie director need?

Directors typically begin as actors and complete formal training in drama or directing. Some start out as assistant directors to gain experience in the industry. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Directors Guild of American both sponsor the Assistant Directors Training Program. This program is very competitive and applicants must have an associate or bachelor degree or 2 years of related experience. They must also pass a written examination. Graduates of the program are able to become a member of the Directors Guild.

What are the prospects for a career as a movie director?

Employment of movie directors is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 11% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increasing production and direction of motion pictures will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition. Directors with extensive experience and formal training will have the best prospects. The best opportunities will be with small movie production companies.

How much do movie directors make?

As of September 2009, movie directors with 1 to 4 years experience earned annual salaries between $25,434 and $198,884. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earned annual salaries between $29,479 and $97,667 (2).

A career as a movie director is an excellent choice for creative and talented people interested in the motion picture industry. Directors must have business insight and broad knowledge of the arts. Organization, inquiry, good articulation, and good communication are essential traits. Directors must be able to make good instinct judgments and decisions, give out directions, and resolve conflicts.

Joshua T Osborne

Founder/CEO – Mr. & Mrs. Leads

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