Do you envision yourself as a movie industry heavyweight who calls the shots? From commercials to short films to ads, could you see yourself directing it all?
Every individual is unique and possesses a powerhouse of ideas. These exceptional ideas can be best utilized if they are experienced and appreciated by everyone. Directing is one such avenue that offers a plethora of opportunities to turn your ideas into visual pieces of art. If you’re ready and willing to put in the time and you have the ability to make something out of nothing, then becoming a film director might be perfect for you!
With sky-rocketing growth and the ever-increasing popularity of films and OTT in both national and international markets, the demand for professionally trained directors has surged massively and with such bolstering numbers, you should be confident about establishing a career path as a film director!
What does it take to be a director?
Directing is the perfect profession for you if you’re looking for an escape from the cliché of spending 9 to 5 in the office. There’s no set work time, no definite workplace too! You just have to go where the set takes you. However, the job is not all about fun and travel, there’s much more to it.
A director acts as the ultimate source of creativity when it comes to movies. As a director, you lead the viewer into a world of fascination. You get to decide the way you wish to portray the movie to your viewer.
Just like any stage director, a movie director instructs the actors to enact a particular scene. Not just that, they set the tone for a specific type of mood for the shoot, while also moving the actors around for a particular effect.
The director also gets to control the editing process to create the right pace, rhythm, coherence, story, and character development as decided between him and the producer. They also make sure that the camera shots and lighting is appropriate to create the desired mood.
Many directors are also involved with the sound production of a movie. This includes dialogues, ambient echoes, and sound effects. Different directors have different styles, which sets the movie apart from the rest.
Now that we know who can be a director and what it takes to become one, let’s understand why there is a growing need for good directors in India.
Scope of direction in India
India happens to be the largest producer of film content in the world and continues to grow exponentially. With such magnificent growth and the increasing consumption of films through cinemas and OTT platforms, the demand for professionally trained filmmakers has received a major boost. Short films have also emerged as a reliable medium to reach the masses across sectors like education and fashion retail.
Apart from Bollywood, major cities like Chennai, Punjab, New Delhi, and Bangalore have immense opportunities for the talented workforce in the field of film, television, and even theatre. As the visual medium always attracts a larger audience, directors are now being desired in other areas other than the established film industry.
Today, even business owners require directors to create artistic representations of their products, as well as to communicate with their customers. Besides, many researchers and academics look to hire professional directors to document their findings or visually represent the research. Also, the trends around vlogging and blogging have again thrown the light on the importance of film directors.
Who can be a director & their role in each step of film-making
The role of a director sounds fun indeed and the career has a great scope of work, but the question is who can be a director and what are their responsibilities? Well, a director is expected to don many hats. They are heavily involved in every stage of production, right from the beginning of the project to the final cut. However, their role at each stage can vary.
Let’s take a look at the different roles that a director plays throughout the film-making process.
The Development Phase
A director typically won’t get involved in the project until the pre-production phase. However, there may be instances when the director has himself written the script, then they would be involved from the very beginning of the project. More hands-on directors may make comments or changes to the script during this phase.
The Pre-Production Phase
A director is always expected to take a practical approach during the pre-production phase. This is simply because their vision will be constrained by the project’s budget and script. The first step in pre-production is working with others who will be involved in the production process to create a proper strategy.
The director can ask for further revisions to the script during the pre-production phase. They are expected to work closely with the writers responsible for the script. They also review the tone of the film and communicate their vision to the leads of respective departments before the production begins.
Listing shots and creating storyboards is another key step in pre-production. This stage includes auditioning and casting actors, a part of finding the right people for each role to bring the story to life.
The Production Phase
The next major phase is production, which happens on the film set. In this phase, the director directs and watches the actors rehearse and makes important decisions regarding the portrayal of the story in the film.
Directing the actors and the cameras to get the right angles and shots is the most important role of a film director during the production phase. At the same time, the directors must get to know the actors they’re working with and should try to adjust their direction to bring out the best possible performance.
Directors work closely with the actors during rehearsals to ensure that their vision for the storyline and the finished product is portrayed well. Indeed, the filming process relies heavily on the director, as they must be satisfied with the takes before moving on to the next scene in the story.
Post-production is the final phase of a film. This phase may take place either on or off the set. In this stage, every component is cut together to create a final product. Here too, the directors are heavily involved to ensure that the film turns out the way they envisioned.
During this phase, they work closely with the editing team to produce a director’s cut and the final cut. They also work alongside the music and sound departments to ensure that their vision is reflected well in the final cut.
Opportunities as a director
Every aspiring director dreams to work with some of the best production houses from Fox Star Studios to Dharma Productions. One can definitely work with these institutions with the right training and skills. However, modern directing is not just restricted to these production houses. There are other sectors film directors can work with, like:
- Advertising agencies
- Content platforms
- Entrepreneurial roles
- Marketing firms
- Vlogging platforms
How to become a director?
How to become a director? Do I need a formal degree? Where can I study directing? These are some of the most commonly asked questions that all the aspiring directors seek answers to. For students keen on pursuing a career in directing, it is important to know that the field requires a flair for storytelling in motion, and for transitioning ideas onto the reel.
A student from any of the three relevant streams – Science, Commerce and Humanities can apply for a film direction program. Graduate students from any stream can apply for post-graduate courses in film direction.
Here are some of the top institutes in India to learn film direction:
- The ICE Institute
- Asian Academy of Film and Television
- Annapurna International School of Film and Media
- Film and Television Institute of India
- Satyajit Ray Films and Television Institute
Students willing to study abroad can check out the following universities:
- American Film Institute, Los Angeles
- New York University Tisch School of the Arts, New York
- California Institute of the Arts, California
- London Film School, London
- La Femis, Paris
Qualities needed to become a successful director
The job undoubtedly is one of the most creative and sought-after in the entertainment industry. However, there are certain skills and traits that an aspiring director should possess. A few of them are:
- Good eye for detail
- Excellent communication skills to convey creative ideas to others involved in the project
- A vision for how all elements in a film will play out
- A decisive leader and a quick problem solver
- Easily adaptable to new technologies and advanced equipment
Apart from getting a degree in film direction and possessing the right skills, practical exposure is what helps a student transition into an actual director. This practical learning can be acquired with the help of internships, certifications, both online and offline, volunteer work with production teams and directors, and similar activities that boost your profile. Hence, it’s wise to get to work!
If you are one of the best, you will definitely make it through! It’s just about mixing the right skills with knowledge and training. For more guidance on how to become a director, reach out to us at LaunchMyCareer and seek expert guidance from our career advisors.