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
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.
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
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
- T Level in Media, Broadcast and Production
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.