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Becoming a Film Director

Majors Overview November 15, 2012

It is a film director’s responsibility to convert a script into a film while overseeing all the technical aspects of the process. S/he guides cast and crew members of the film and take care of the production process as a whole. S/he must be adept at managing big groups of individuals.

An aspiring film director may want to attend film school and work their way up by beginning their career as a low level member of the production team or as a production assistant. Success is not guaranteed to everyone that pursues film directing as a career.

A director may have a degree in any field, but preferably in journalism, communication, acting, film or other related programs. Preference is given to those who have one to five years of experience as an actor or film editor. A film director needs strong leadership skills apart from creativity, leadership and communication (written and verbal) skills.

Technical Skills are needed in the form of familiarity with equipment employed in the making of a film, as for instance, recording equipment(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)).

Degrees for Film Directors

Though not essential, formal training via a bachelor degree in communications, film, or other related field would probably help. These could apply to other areas of film-making such as acting, production, cinematography and editing, including hands-on training. You should start creating a portfolio highlighting your abilities to direct plays, videos and other productions. In many instances, recruiters for film directors expect to see portfolios.

You should take part in an internship program that gives hands-on work experience with entertainment corporation production crews among others. Such programs will help you network.

Graduate Film Study Programs

Graduate film learning programs promote greater attention to your preparation for the chosen career path as a film director. Such programs could give you learning opportunities in regard to producing and screenwriting under the supervision of industry professionals as guest lecturers or faculty members.

Advancement through Experience

Have experience in writing, acting or any other production team member function will help you advance in your career as a film director. Many begin by directing short films and move on to make bigger ones. You may work on several jobs initially to remain financially stable.

Film and Video Studies Statistics

the film director

Top Schools For Film and Video Studies Programs

School Name Tuition Size Degrees Granted Degrees Granted By Type
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
$31,746 18,620 175 Bachelor’s (169), Master’s (3), Doctoral (3)
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA
$15,900 25,430 174 Bachelor’s (152), Master’s (22)
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
$21,634 26,618 166 Bachelor’s (155), Master’s (11)
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
$39,183 16,751 144 Bachelor’s (122), Master’s (15), Doctoral (7)
American Film Conservatory
Los Angeles, CA
Unknown 0 130 Certificate (13), Master’s (117)
School of Visual Arts
New York, NY
$29,500 3,431 128 Bachelor’s (108), Master’s (20)
UC Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA
$31,531 15,945 127 Bachelor’s (127)
University of Colorado – Boulder
Boulder, CO
$28,186 27,069 124 Bachelor’s (124)
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
$20,596 58,404 124 Certificate (10), Bachelor’s (114)
University of California – Irvine
Irvine, CA
$31,387 21,952 119 Bachelor’s (119)

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