A film director’s job is to take a script and turn it into an audio-visual piece of art for an audience to watch.
Though a lot of the work in making a great film comes from writing the script, the director still needs to have a lot of imagination and be able to transfer what they see in their minds onto the screen for others to see.
What does a film director do?
As a film director, you’ll need to:
- Supervise script-editing
- Cast acting roles
- Find the right locations to film
- Choose the right costumes and music
- Direct the actors
- Direct the crew
- Ensure film production sticks to the budget and schedule
As a film director, you’ll need good people and communication skills, since though you’ll be acting as the main storyteller, there’ll be other people giving their input, from writers to editors and producers.
For the film-making process to be successful, you’ll need to take into consideration what they say while still trying to make it your own.
As the job title suggests, a film director needs to direct people.
This could be anything from telling an actor how they need to act a certain part, to telling the cameramen (or women) what sort of shots you’re looking for.
Where does a film director start?
Many directors learn the trade by starting at the bottom, often as runners, and slowly making their way up to assistant director, and then, finally, director. You’ll gain lots of the practical experience necessary to direct films.
Starting from the bottom also means you’ll have the opportunity to meet lots of people working in the industry, so always try to do the best job possible so that you’ll be remembered.
What skills does a film director need to develop?
Below are some of the attributes vital for a great film director to have. These are the skills you’ll be looking to constantly develop:
- Attention to detail
- Communication skills
- Organisational skills
- Decision-making skills
- Creative with a big imagination
- An ability to remain calm in difficult situations
Becoming a better film director – training and qualifications
Like all artistic industries, the film industry is incredibly competitive, so you need to make sure you have as much skill as possible.
Even though it takes lots of natural talent, there are plenty of ways to hone your skills to become a better film director.
Studying, either through a short course, college, or university, will help give you the edge.
Below are some places to check out different directing courses:
- National Film and Television School
- The London Film School
- The London Film Academy
- British Film Institute
How to find work as a film director
Like all other creative industries, the film industry is very competitive, and difficult to break into, but below are some places that will help you find work as a film director, or other jobs in the industry:
- 4rfv: a directory for the UK film and TV industry.
- Broadcast Now: a news site specific to the film and TV industry, also featuring a job board.
- Directors Guild Trust: An organisation representing directors in the UK.
- Take-home pay
- Which VAT scheme to register for
- Tax allowances
- Choosing between sole trader and limited company
- Running your business in a tax-efficient way
Accounting as a freelance film director
There are various benefits to freelancing as a film director, from the freedom and flexibility to work with a variety of businesses and individuals to more take-home pay.
But there is one downside – accounting.
As a full-time employee, your tax is usually taken care of on your behalf in the form of PAYE.
As a freelancer you’ll have to keep a range of financial records and then prepare and pay a Self-Assessment tax return at the end of each business year.
Accountancy can be very confusing and can distract you from directing films.
Getting tax and accountancy advice
With most accountants, you’ll pay them to do your year-end accounts, and then they’ll forget about you until the next year.
But for your business to be run smoothly and successfully, you’ll need advice on tax and accountancy throughout the year, especially in the early days.
Pearl Accountants is different
Pearl Accountants provides an affordable and specialist accountancy service designed just for freelancers.
Throughout the year we’ll be on hand to give you any tax and accountancy advice you might need, including things like:
We charge for our accountancy services in a clear and simple way, which means you’ll never receive an unexpected bill, and you can get in touch for advice whenever you want without the worry of being charged a fortune like you would with many other accountants.
Get in touch for more information and advice
For more information and a free consultation call us now on 020 8582 0076