ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Director Career

Updated on August 12, 2019
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna wrote and directed several plays, taught acting for kids. She is a former talent scout, and at times directs or performs.


Film Director Basics

Directors are the individuals who "translate" the script from the written page into a film. A conventional director supervises hundreds of people at a time, from scriptwriters to costume and set designers. Directors are in charge of all technical and artistic aspects of the film. They conduct auditions, supervise rehearsals and approve location, scenery, costumes, choreography, and music. In short, they direct the entire cast and crew during shooting. They frequently have several assistant directors helping them with such details as handling extras, transportation of equipment, and arrangements for food and accommodations.

The job of the director is not an entry-level position. Usually, individuals start in another phase of filmmaking and then take advantage of the opportunities, and then advance to directing jobs.

Music videos provide experience for budding directors. Directors who got their start directing music videos include David Fincher, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Michael Bay, and Marc Webb.

Successful directors are involved in all three phases of production, from beginning to end. Some directors assume multiple roles, such as director-producer or writer-producer-director.

Whatever other roles they take on, as directors they must know how to hire the right people, and how to fire the wrong people, and how to handle people, so the crew works as a dedicated team.

Kazan Speaks: Being a Director

In the autumn of 1973, Elia Kazan, director of such classic films as "Gentleman's Agreement", "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "On the Waterfront", was honored by a two-week retrospective of his films at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. At the conclusion of the program, Mr. Kazan gave this timeless talk to students. This is what he said about the role of a director

"What kind of person must a film director train himself to be? What qualities does he need?" he asked. Here are a few: A construction gang foreman, who knows his physical problems and their solutions and is ready, therefore, to insist on these solutions...A hypnotist, who works with the unconscious to achieve his ends. A poet, a poet of the camera, able both to capture the decisive moment of Cartier-Bresson (Henri Cartier-Bresson, a French humanist photographer known as the master of candid photography, early user of 35 mm film) or to wait all day like Paul Strand for a single shot, which he makes with a bulky camera fixed on a tripod. An outfielder, for his legs -- the director, stands much of the day, dares not get tired, so he has strong legs. Think back and remember how the old-time directors dramatized themselves -- by puttees, right?

Reginald "Reggie" Alan Hudlin is a prolific American writer, director, and producer who has worked in both TV and in the movies.

What Do You Think?

Would you become an actor like Eastwood and Kazan to become a director?

See results

The Mountain Between Us - Hany Abu-Assad - Director

Patience is a Virtue

"He also needs to be cunning of a trader in Baghdad bazaar -- the firmness of an animal trainer --obvious tigers! A great host -- At a sign from him, fine food and heartwarming drink appear. The kindness of an old-fashioned mother who forgives all -- the authority and sternness of her husband, the father, who forgives nothing, expects obedience without question, brooks no nonsense -- these alternatively. The elusiveness of a jewel thief - no explanation -- takes my word for this one. The blarney of a PR man, especially useful when the director is out in a strange and hostile location as I have many times been. A very thick skin -- a very sensitive soul – simultaneously -- the patience, the persistence, the fortitude of a saint, the appreciation of pain, a taste for self-sacrifice, everything for the cause -- cheeriness, jokes, playfulness, alternating with sternness, unwavering firmness. Pure doggedness -- an unwavering refusal to take less than he thinks right out of a scene, a performer, a co-worker, a member of his staff, himself."

Film Director Salary

Film director's salary varies according to Directors Guild of America standards and the director's talent and success at the box office. Directors shooting a high-budget movie at $11 million or more earn minimally $19,143. Working a week on a short film or documentary directors earn $13,672.

If a movie production takes longer than a week, directors shooting high-budget productions earned $4,786 a day. Short film or documentary they earn $3,418 a day. Directors working in the industry earn on the average an annual wage of $111,320.

Directors successful at the box office earn anywhere from $1 million to $75 million per movie.

Drives the Production

Being a director is a huge responsibility because the crew, cast, producers, and audience are counting on you delivering a piece of professional art.

A director beats his heart and soul throughout the production from pre-production, production, and post-production. He is the drive that makes the film a believable and understandable story. He is the drive that makes the film a believable and understandable story.

So, if you are thinking about becoming a director, you need to have an open heart. You need to care about people in general. Then, you know you can care about your crew and actors. Otherwise, reconsider your desire or quest because a director is a people person as well as a technical whiz-bang.

Good luck with your career and let me know about all your successes.

The Man Who Invented Christmas interview with Director and Dan Stevens

© 2007 Kenna McHugh


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 

      8 months ago from UK

      I see

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      8 months ago from Northern California

      I directed a few plays, commercials, and cable shows. It is a fun process where one has complete long as everyone does what I ask of them. : )

    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 

      8 months ago from UK

      Hmm, quite interesting things about directors and the role they play in film making.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)