The film director is in charge of producing a film whose elements come together as a whole to perfectly tell a story. The work of a film director involves making his own interpretation of the scripts, guiding the actors in their performances, collaborating with the montagist, and ensuring that all these aspects of the film are connected to ensure the successful production of a film. Most learned people of the movie industry think that directors start doing their tasks by concocting first an idea for a film and use their ideas in deciding the things that should happen with the film that they are directing. Directors are also known to crave for freedom in the directing movie projects.
THE ROLE OF THE DIRECTOR IN TRADITIONAL FILMMAKING
The position taken by directors in filmmaking is hard to qualify using specific standards. A director is commonly perceived as the leader of a film crew who provides all the members guidance for their work, and depending on the script, shots, performance of the actors, and final editing, the final movie produced is also based on the director’s vision for the movie.
If a number of directors would be asked to describe their jobs, most would probably scratch their heads and get lost in their heads trying to find some answers. Some strictly follow the script when directing, whereas others are more focused on creating a work of art. On the other hand, there are also some directors who are more focused with the performance of their actors. Aside from trying to create a notable movie in general, directors also pay attention to some small details that can add to the beauty of a movie.
In some cases, directors pay special attention to the camera angle and the editing process as these two important factors determine if the final form of the movie will be in accordance with their vision.
When people watch a certain film, they do not really see how the different aspects of film production came together to form the movie that they are watching. It is the director who sees to it that the individual work of the camera crew, the actors, and the editor fall into place and become part of a whole film.
Though the director is physically apart from the various elements of a film, he makes sure that the film will come out as great as a whole.
May it be as a leader, controller, or artist, the presence of a director during the creation of a film is undeniable, and his participation can be explicit or implicit.
A FILM’S DIRECTOR APPROACH IN DIRECTING A MOVIE
A director’s approach in directing a movie is more or less based on the meaning of the story, which to some extent, limits the things that he can do with the movie. In most cases, the director focuses on what the movie will look like as a whole and serves as a guide in bringing all the elements together.
Though the role of the director is more an overseer, his vision of the movie is not that entirely clear. In fact, only when the production of the movie is making progress that the director finally realizes its final form.
KNOWING THE FILM DIRECTOR
The director can be described as a creative translator of the script which he does through manipulation of sounds and images. The director interprets the script and brings it to life in the big screen. In addition, it is the job of the director to ensure the smooth flow of the story and the proper dramatic pacing that should coincide with the images and sounds that the audience perceive. Furthermore, he must be able to engage the attention of the audience throughout the movie and he does this by ensuring that all the members of the film crew work together to the best of their abilities.
THE DIRECTOR AS AN ARCHITECT
The director is like an architect because the director sees his film as a sort of some structure that he builds from the vision that he has in his mind. Directors also act as leaders who sees to it that each member of the crew is able to do his job properly and guides them when they need it. In short, the director takes on various roles depending on the issues that may arise during the production of a movie.
DIRECTING IN THE WORLD OF FILM INDUSTRY
Some directors have been known to pursue their passion since they have entered the movie industry. There are also some who had other jobs, such as being actors, before they decided to try directing themselves.
Directors who have always wanted their jobs include Peter Bogdanovich and Stephen Spielberg. On other hand, actors, such as Paul Mazursky and Woody Allen first worked in front of the screen before they moved on to directing. Other famous directors include Allan Dwan, Quentin Tarantino, Louis Malle, an Irvin Kershner.
THE DIRECTOR AND THE SCRIPT
The director uses the script as a guide when directing a film. After film production, the editing process allows the director to see the kind of work that he has done and he collaborates with the editor regarding some elements of the movie that should be edited.
Directors are known to take only scripts that have well told stories. And in many cases, the concept of a script begins with a visualized concept. Throughout the production of the film, the script may undergo revision depending on the director and if such revision is deemed to result in successful creation of the movie.
For them to accept a script, directors usually decide based on the protagonist of the story. The protagonist in the script should be presented in a remarkable way. The protagonist must go through an unforgettable journey and meet similarly notable character that will make the story colorful.
After accepting a script, the director starts planning the things that he wants to happen with the movie. Most of the time, the director does some research related to the theme or story of the script, and he also involves the actors in this process to make them understand how they should portray the characters assigned to them.
Afterward, the director decides if any revision should be done on the screen which can be influenced by the location of the shoot, the climate, or the situation of the characters in the story.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE FILM DIRECTOR WITH THE PRODUCER
To produce a good movie, the director and the producer should collaborate with each other. The producer is assigned of finding a good director that is bankable and approved by a studio.
Studios want to hire bankable directors because they have already made their names in the film industry. Some notable directors include Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Oliver Stone, and James Cameron. Still, the producer ensures that the director’s style and skills are apt for the script that he wants to bring to the big screen.
During pre-production, the director and the producer team up and decide about the entirety of the film that will be produced. Both should share a common goal for the film, otherwise, they may end botching their jobs. They start their collaboration by expressing first their interests for the movie and discussing who they can possibly unite them. After they are done brainstorming, the director and the producer proceed on selecting the members of the cast and crew.
In the production process, the producer helps the director by focusing on tasks, managing other film crew members and working with the press. The producer also serves as an objective eye that advises the director when certain issues arise. In addition, the producer takes a look at the dailies together with the director and provides necessary comments.
WORKING WITH A BUDGET AND UNDER A FILM STUDIO
Before a movie gets filmed, a packaging, which includes the supposed writer, actors, and directors for a project, is presented to prospective financiers. These people will decide if they should buy an offered script as well as the actors and directors eyed for its production.
In the case of the studio, the director must be able to sell the script and convince that they can successfully turn it into a movie. Convincing studios are necessary since they will serve as the major source of funding for the production of a movie.
During the production process, the producer constantly updates the studio regarding the progress of the film and to prevent them from breathing down on the director’s neck.
SHOWING THE FILM ON THE BIG SCREEN
The primary aim of the director is bringing a good story to life and showing it on the big screen. He accomplishes this job by first creating storyboards and planning the angles for the camera during the shoot. The storyboards also include pertinent details like camera movements, the dialogues, sound effects and music used in the movie. It is also through the storyboards that the director demonstrates the things that he wants to see or happen in the movie.
On the other hand, some directors use diagrams, mimeographs, sketches, and cards, whereas some prefer using viewfinders or director finders to present their vision for their movies.
CASTING OF ACTORS
The director works with the producer in choosing the actors that will be included in the film. However, their decision is usually influence by the budget allotted for the film in addition to the experience of the actors.
When choosing a character for a specific role, the director must have a clear idea about the characters that he wants to present in the movie. It is the job of the director to bring out the best in his actors in order to create a good movie.
When casting an actor for a role, the director should also consider the audience, the characters of the story, and the physical appearance of the actors. The audience have a certain preference for the appearance of the characters that they see in the movie and the actors, on the other hand, should be able to portray their roles effectively.
After casting, the director starts the film rehearsals for the actors. Through the rehearsal the director aims to help the actors in internalizing their characters. During the rehearsals, the actors are also given the opportunity to be comfortable with one another and raise their concerns to the director.
On the other hand, some directors forego doing rehearsals and just settle on doing multiple takes as the need arises.
THE FILM SHOOT
Before the start of the shoot, the director gives instructions regarding how the scenes should be shot during the whole productions process. Along with his instructions are the proper placing of the camera and the blocking of the actors.
The shooting will begin afterward and the director organizes the shots taken and requires multiple takes if necessary. The director also determines how the different viewpoints are established and during editing, he collaborates with the editor and they decide together which scenes should be included or removed from the movie.
In addition, the director should be able to provide clear instructions to the cameraman regarding the kind of shot that he wants to take as well as the lighting for each of the movie. On the other hand, an efficient cameraman should be able to follow the director’s instructions right away and understand his vision for the movie.
As for the actors, the director describes to the actors how they should portray their roles though in some instances, the actors may have some ideas on how they should tackle their characters. They can raise such issue to the director and discuss how they should go about in shooting the movie. When they establish a good working relationship, the director can bring out the best performances from an actor.
EDITING OF THE MOVIE
One of the people that a director works closely with during the production of a movie is the editor. These people should completely understand each other and know their own expectations for the movie. Basically, the editor polishes the movie and aims at transforming it into its best form as possible with the blessing of the director.
The process of editing involves cutting out scenes and organizing those that will be included in the final output of the movie. Along with the producer, the editor views the scenes shot within a day and discuss how the scenes are to be edited.
Though the director does not really tell the editor what he must do, the editor tries his best to accommodate the director’s vision when editing a movie and provides additional insights when he thinks that they can contribute to a film’s success.
After film production and editing, a movie is previewed by select number of audience. During the sneak preview, the studios determine the reactions of the people to the movie. Depending on the reactions of the audience during the preview, studios may require further editing which can possibly compromise the quality of the movie produced.
Still, a sneak preview is an effective way of gauging the people’s reception to a film once it is released. When the overall reaction to the film is favorable, studios can already approve the release of the film. The studio will decide whether a film will be screened in theater across the country or even overseas.
On the other hand, not all directors really care about how the audience will receive their films. Some are more concerned in being able to practice their craft which is to create movie that they can only help will appeal to the taste of the people.
The critics’ review on a film can greatly vary, and such reviews usually focus on the quality of a director’s work. Some critics may not favor a film even though it is a box office hit, whereas other only have praises to spare.
For directors, it is necessary that they do not take all criticisms, good or bad, seriously. They should realize that as long as they believe in their capabilities in doing a good quality movie, then they must not be affected by any negative criticism that they receive.
Meanwhile, though a movie might have received unfavorable reviews, it does not mean that people will defer watching it. In fact, there are a number of movies out there who gravely criticized but still managed to gain a following among its audience.
To summarize, a director can take on various roles during the whole production process of a movie. His main task involves the translation of the script into a moving picture with sounds on a big screen. And in order to accomplish such task, the director oversees every member of his film crew, including the scriptwriters, the cameramen, the actors, the editor, and other members belonging to different film departments.
In addition, before shooting for a movie can start, the director also holds casting auditions, rehearsals, and plans for the locations, costumes, music, and other factors that are important in the production of a movie. The directors are the sole in charge of managing the crew and actors that they may sometimes require the aid of assistant directors who can help them in relaying their instructions to various members of the production team.
Directors find their calling in various ways. Some already know that their place is in the director’s chair since they have started their careers, whereas other might have held other jobs before they realized that directing was meant for them.
Various members of the film crew, such as the screenwriter and the cameramen, should be able to understand not only the instructions of the director but also his vision for the film. They must be able to manifest in their work the things that a director aims to see in the film.
Meanwhile, an editor works closely with the director regarding the final output of the whole production process. Same with the crew, the editor should have a thorough understanding of the overall idea that a director has for a film. At the same time, he should know the scenes which can contribute to a film’s success and which would only serve as a hindrance and thus, should be cut from the movie. In addition, regarding any decision that the makes when it comes to editing the movie, the editor should convey this to the director and explain as clearly as possible how it can affect the movie as a whole. The editor also usually provides objective criticisms and suggestions in cases when the director seems to divert from his original plans.
In the end, directors are always present at each stage of the movie production process. Though they are directly involved with the tasks of the film crew, his instructions serve as guide for these people to fulfill their jobs correctly. Moreover, the director is the one who brings forth together all the elements of a film to create a good quality movie.
In the film industry, the director is required to interact and work with a number of people. Thus, it is necessary that a director forms a good working relationship with the entire film crew in order to establish a conducive working environment. As a leader, the director should ensure the cohesion of the entire crew during the whole production process.
On other hand, a director also sees his movie as a form of art. In this regard, he is like an architecture who builds a structure piece by piece and sees his idea form before his very eyes. As for the actors, the directors should be able to make them understand their roles in the movie and describe how they would be able to perfectly portray the roles that are given to them. Thus, a director is an important factor that can help actors in showing of their skills in acting and giving very remarkable performances in a movie.