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TV or film director

Alternative titles for this job include Movie director, television director, director

TV and film directors lead the creative and technical production for cinema and television.

Average salary (a year)

Variable

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 irregular

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a TV or film director

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • producing and releasing your own films
  • specialist courses run by private training providers

University

You could take a course at university in film or television production before moving into directing.

Subjects like theatre studies, drama and English can also be useful.

Screen Skills offers more advice on relevant university courses.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You may find it helpful to take a film-making or media production course that helps you to build practical skills and make contacts in the industry.

Relevant courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Film and Television Production
  • Level 3 Diploma in Performing and Production Arts
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative and Digital Media

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information

Work

Many directors start out as runners, helping out on film or TV sets, and work their way up through other jobs like 3rd and 2nd assistant director or floor manager. Others move into directing after getting experience in camera work, screenwriting or acting.

Volunteering

It's important to get as much experience as you can in film and TV, and an in-depth understanding of the production process.

You can do this by taking part in activities like student or community film or TV, and finding work experience placements on film projects.

You can search for film and TV companies to approach for experience through media business listing services like PACT and The Knowledge.

Other Routes

Another way to break into film directing is to make your own films, known as 'shorts'. You can market these to agents, post them online or enter them into film festivals and competitions. You'll need access to equipment, crew and actors to make your own films. Getting involved in community filming projects can help with this.

You could also take short courses in production skills for directors run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers. You can search for relevant industry approved courses on ScreenSkills.

More Information

Career tips

Get as much experience of amateur film making as you can, to develop your skills and make industry contacts. Create a portfolio to showcase your talent.

Further information

You'll find more details about directing in film and TV through ScreenSkills.

Shooting People has information, resources and networks for independent film-makers.

You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • meet producers to plan filming schedules and resources
  • develop scripts or ideas for programmes
  • develop storyboards
  • decide how the production should look and where it should be filmed
  • hire the cast and crew
  • explain technical requirements to different teams
  • direct actors on set or location
  • supervise the editing

Working environment

You could work at a film studio, at a TV studio or on a film set.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you may spend nights away from home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you might develop your own projects and raise the money to put them into production.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a TV or film director right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Film Directing

  • Provider: RICHMOND AND HILLCROFT ADULT AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE
  • Start date: 23 October 2021
  • Location: Richmond

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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