How to Become a Television Director

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The television industry is a multi-billion dollar, fast-paced, technical, and creative field that is an essential part of the entertainment business that plays a vital role in United States culture. Watching television is a major part of people’s lives around the world. Television directors are trained professionals that organize and supervise the production of a variety of television programs to capture the attention of the targeted audience.

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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 television director do?

Television directors (also called TV directors) are responsible for the creative decisions of television programs. They interpret scripts, select cast members, set up rehearsals, take suggestions from other staff, and organize the activities of many different television programs such as sitcoms, reality shows, news programs, sports events, and special events. TV directors decide what the viewers will see and hear in the final outcome of the program. They supervise the placement of cameras, props, microphones, and lighting aspects. They also approve costumes, sets, music, choreography, and many other aspects that assist in direction of television programs. Television directors direct television actors and tell stage and technical crew when to start and stop recording and what props, sets, lighting, sound, and other elements to change. TV directors must also maintain order of production staff on the set, in the control room, and in other areas.

What kind of training does a television director need?

Most television directors have at least a bachelor degree in directing, drama, communications, or other related field. Television directors usually complete courses in theater, management, journalism, directing, and television broadcasting. Many TV directors begin their careers as production assistants or assistant directors to gain experience in the field. Most aspiring television directors complete internships at television studios to gain practical experience. Television directors must stay up to date on the current advancements in the field and often attend workshops, seminars, and conferences.

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

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

Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition. Television directors with extensive experience and advanced education will have the best job opportunities.

How much do television directors make?

As of October 2009, the middle 50% of television directors earned annual salaries between $23,980 and $36,567. The top 10% earned annual salaries of more than $42,615 (2).

A career as a television director is a great choice for individuals interested in managing television programs. Television directors must be creative and have a solid knowledge of the technical aspects of television production. Floor management, storyboarding, camera placement, time management, and sound and technical production skills are essential for television directors. They must also have excellent communication and be able to lead others and make good decisions.

Joshua T Osborne

Founder/CEO – Mr. & Mrs. Leads

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