What is a Film Director?

Written by 90 Seconds
Last updated: October 4, 2023
What is a Film Director?

What is a director? Also called a film director or video director, the director is the person who controls the overall artistic and dramatic feel of a presentation – whether it is a five minute infomercial or a feature film.

They instruct and guide both the technical crew and the actors or animators to create a vision that best brings the script to life.

Primary roles

Control the vision

The director has to have a strong familiarity with the script and the ability of the actors and crew. The director works with actors to ensure that their characters are true to the script and push them to do the best work.

They also have the final say on the editing of the film. They oversee all of the technical and artistic elements.

Lead the production

The director has to set the shooting timetable to ensure that deadlines are made and that the move comes in on time and under budget. This involves juggling multiple tasks to ensure that everyone does their job well.

Secondary roles

Running interviews

The director often has to run interviews, whether to facilitate production or, in some cases, for inclusion in the end product. In the latter case they may play a role in selecting questions.

Shot composition

The director is ultimately the person who decides how a particular scene or shot needs to look. They decide whether the shot is acceptable and whether it should be saved or discarded – often, something needs to be shot multiple times. They position the cameras and rehearse shots until everything is in the right place.

A modern movie director needs to understand everything from camerawork to script writing (which is why some directors are also writers or actors). Their exact style of work may vary, but they are the one who has to hold what may be a number of conflicting visions together and ensure a coherent film comes out of the process.