How To Become A Movie Director UK

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

There are many different steps to become a movie director, but they all start with a first step. After you’ve made that first step, the hard work and dedication will all be worth it. This article has several tips and resources to help you along your way so that you can have a successful career in film.

Whether you want to become a filmmaker, an actor, set designer and other related fields in film production, we got you covered with up-to-date information on california institute of the arts, los angeles film school and the best film schools in the world.

To gain easy access to more information on How To Become A Movie Director UK, what does a film director do and film director salary uk, search on Collegelearners.

How To Become A Film Director – Complete Guide

In this post you will learn about how to become a film director. A film director is the driving force behind a film, directing the actors and on-screen visuals they are present throughout the whole film making process.

You will learn about the qualifications to become a film director, work routes, making an income and job role breakdown.

How to be a film director jpeg.jpg

What does it take to be a movie director

One of the first lessons you learn when working in the film industry is that everyone wants to be a director.

I remember the awkward silence on one of my first film sets after I announced to several crew members during a lunch break that I was hoping to progress to director one day.

It’s not that they didn’t believe that I could be a director but simply what I said was nothing new. Personally I was young, naive and didn’t even fully understand what the job role was. After several years of working in the film industry I released that I didn’t actually want to be a film director. This would have deeply confused my younger self but a lot of us start out in the film industry convinced we know where we are heading only for that goal to change and evolve as we learn more about ourselves.

I’m not saying this to scare you but to let you know that directing is the dream job role. The dream that drives a lot of people when they first start out in the industry. It is only through working on sets, making films and spending time within the industry that will let you know if this is the right job role for yourself.

Initial Experience

Make A Short Film – The very first thing you should do if you are interested in directing is to make a short film. This film doesn’t need to have a budget and can be shot on your mobile phone. This is the best way to learn the basics of film making. Write a short screenplay, find actors, shoot and edit it.

Formal Education – Like all creative job roles you don’t need qualifications to become a film director. However many directors choose to study, either taking on a course in film production or attending film school. Film school’s are more expensive but can offer more professional, focused training. Whether you attend film school or not is a personal choice.

Work For Others – Spend time working for other student and indie filmmakers. The chance to work on a larger set or professional production will teach you a lot (professional sets are run a lot differently than low budgets, this will give the opportunity to see these differences close up). You can work any job role to get onto sets and learn from others. See if there are low budget taking place near you the need help.

Routes Into Direction

There is no one route into film directing, some directors start out as directors from the beginning making short films and independent features with the hope of getting known, and being trusted with larger budgets. Others work their way up the film crew ladder starting out in a junior job role before progressing to director. Often directors do a mixture of working for others and producing their own films.

The Independent Director – The independent director often will start out making low budget films. They make films in the hope to get picked up for larger productions, an award win at a major festival could lead to being trusted on higher budgets projects. The independent director might works as a director from the get-go, skipping the traditional route and progressing from short films to features. Directors can start off directing smaller productions such as educational videos, commercials and music videos.

The Traditional Route –  Traditionally directors work themselves up the crew ladder. Starting out as PA’s or Assistants in any department and progressing slowly up the ladder until they become trusted to be hired as directors. The plus side of this route as opposed to independent is that you are taught the professional way of working on set, gain experience working amongst a professional crew, and network within the industry.

How to be a film director - clapper board one.jpg

what does a film director do

A film director is in charge of the three main phases of filmmaking — pre-production, production and post-production.

Film directors work on a movie from conception to delivery, working with individuals in charge of lighting, scenery, writing, and so forth, to make sure all elements come together. They generally don’t do post-production work, but are in charge of overseeing it.

A film director looking over the shoulder of a cameraman to see what is being captured on film.

In addition to having control over nearly every aspect of the movie, film directors also have a large role in the smaller technical aspects of the film. They read over the script to make sure it makes sense, decide where the actors are going to stand, and how they will move. Directors also help actors to better understand the characters they are playing by explaining the motivation behind a particular action, or painting a clearer picture of the character’s back-story.

Once the editing team gets to work, the film director has the final say as to how the shots look and how they should be blended together. The director can also decide if the crew needs to do another take of a particular scene or scenes and when one scene should fade into the next.

Film directors also have the responsibility of handling most of the budgetary concerns of a film, figuring out how to make the movie work on a tight budget. This might involve hiring actors who will work for lower pay, asking family members or friends to help out with some of the behind-the-scenes work, or coming up with less expensive strategies for executing an idea.

film director salary uk

Film director salaries in United Kingdom

Showing 9 salaries for “Film director” jobs

  • Art Director20 job openings£44,021per year
  • Creative
    Director8 job openings£65,160per year
  • Animator3 job openings£35,481per year
  • Production
    Director3 job openings£63,574per year
  • Technical
    Director3 job openings£74,701per year
  • Cg
    Supervisor2 job openings£56,447per year
  • Employee Relations
    Manager2 job openings£36,019per year
  • Media Director2 job openings£58,985per year
  • Producer/Direct…2 job openings£37,046per year

About the author

Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.

Leave a Comment