How to become a TV or film assistant director
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by private training providers
You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- film production
- creative media production
- film and television
- drama or theatre studies
Courses that include practical skills and work placements are usually the most useful.
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could start by taking a college course to help you get a job with a production company. Courses include:
- Level 3 Diploma in TV and Film Production
- Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology
- T Level in Media, Broadcast and Production
- Level 4 Diploma in Media Production Film-making
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
- 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
You might start as runner or production assistant on set, and work your way up to 3rd or 2nd assistant director (AD). It can take several years to progress from being a runner through to 1st AD.
You'll need relevant work experience to get into an entry level job like a runner, from where you could work your way up. You could volunteer for student or community film and TV projects.
You could join the Assistant Directors Guild UK for professional support.
You can take short courses in production skills for assistant directors run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers.
It's important to get practical experience of the production process. You'll also need a network of contacts in the industry to help you find work.
You may find it useful to train in health and safety, as this is likely to be part of your duties.
You can find out more about careers in film and TV from ScreenSkills.
You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.