Director's Job

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
The Director works closely with the cinematographer selecting and staging what will actually be photographed in a given take. As captain of the production team, the director has numerous other responsibilities - but the core of the job, the responsiblity that makes it possible to identify SOME directors as the ultimate organizers of their films, is to arrange and direct the action, to indicate where the camera ought to be and to decide what takes ought to be used in preference to others.
 

Twiztedklown316

New member
Maybe you're just assuming that everyone knows this, but I find it odd that you wrote a description of the "director's job" and neglected to even mention the word actor.

Of course the director has the responsibility of teaming with the D.P. to determine the best visual style, but he also has the responsibility of working with the actors, to make sure that they portray their characters to the best of their ability.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
Yes, he should have a good understanding of people and know what he wants from actors and at the same time be able to let them be creative and do their best work and stay out of the way. He directs the action. He works WITH the actors. I believe that the best filmmaking is done as a collaborative work effort and that it is very hard work but it is people that love their work and sharing this love and working together is the key. Letting the actor get the best out of the part is sometimes as important as communicating your vision to them. I think you need to get the right people to work with in the first place. I think good chemistry is very important. I think that some actors are very excellent or have a good idea and will take a lead in making things happen that you as a Director will need to allow to happen and at other times you will need to be able to motivate and get them out of the trailer and on the set.

Making movies is organized and messy and it takes many skills and many people working together to pull off getting the best possible footage in the can within BUDGET and on time.
 
M

Martín Yernazian

Guest
Film is an art of great amount of elements
and I think they go in this order
Story-Performance-Visuals-Music
The director has to make solid desicions to bring this 4 wonders together, if he fails with any of them... then the film will not be great.... it probably will be good but mediocre, at least on my standart
 

Lazlo

New member
Story-Performance-Visuals-Music

I find it difficult to apply set formulas to filmmaking. The thing about filmmaking, is sure some jobs have more work than others, but all of them are equally important in the final product. So where is Sound Design in there, and Production Design, and Editing??? I know you're being general, but I still don't see how there can really be an order when it doesn't matter how great a Story or Performance you have if you don't have visuals or music. How can there be an "order" for the "right" movie? Every great movie I've ever seen is great because attention was paid to every element present during the entire process. A daunting task, maybe why there are so few great films. Having said that, Story seems to be a very key component in successful filmmaking...
 
Dear LAzlo
What I meant was in general, I found That those are the 4 more important elemnts in a Directors job
The Story, Perfomance, Visuals ( and I include the productions teh design and the editing and all the "visuals")
and the Sound or MUsic ( wherever you hear)

I found that with out those 4 elements the projects will not be as good since filmmaking is a representation of life on diferents perspectives ( or people representing it)
A film should be as precise as the moment of the story determine if you don't follow the story then the film will be doomed....
maybe to dramatic hehehe
But also I don't put an order I feel they have to go hand by hand ....

Best
 
Getting beyond what makes a movie great or not (i.e. a good story, etc.), a good director's main attributes are that he is an enabler and a conductor.

He enables others to do their best work creatively (actors mainly, but also DP, editor, production designer, sound recorder, etc.) first through the casting / hiring process but also day-to-day in terms of how he (or she) encourages them to use their talents to their maximum capabilities, manages, seduces, cajoles, critiques them everyday. He is also a conductor, making sure every individual element falls into sync along a cohesive vision for the piece. He knows that if all the creative people involved do their best work towards a solid vision in support of a good narrative, he will end up looking good and getting a lot of the credit. So he's not afraid or insecure of others looking good.
 
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3CardMonte

Guest
Without a director, a film is a messy storm of shooting, editing, acting, music, special effects, lighting, sound effects. Each one is equally important, but the director is the centerpiece. The director pull what would otherwise be elements into something greater: a movie
 
P

PumaTalk

Guest
3CardMonte said:
Without a director, a film is a messy storm of shooting, editing, acting, music, special effects, lighting, sound effects. Each one is equally important, but the director is the centerpiece. The director pull what would otherwise be elements into something greater: a movie
Sort of a gree with you and disagree mate. I reject the notion of Auteurism in today's business, yes of course Auteurship did exist in the days of Hitchcock but nowadays it's not possible, well it is but it's just too stressfull to do all kinds of tasks by yourself. I believe film students as well as indie filmmakers grasp that notion of being the auteur but once you roll in a studio that notion is totally voided simply because you now collaborate with a bigger team inwhich each one is skilled at doing what he/she does best.

I truely believe a director just like in the neo-realism production enviroment should focus on the actors and work with the talent while allowing the craftmans to do all the technical work... a director does not really belong behind a screen he/she needs to work with talent (actors) while the cinematographer is behind the screen (under the supervision of the director) and the D.O.P - grips/lightman and so on practice their skills.

my best,
-Joey Dee
 
3

3CardMonte

Guest
Sort of a gree with you and disagree mate. I reject the notion of Auteurism in today's business, yes of course Auteurship did exist in the days of Hitchcock but nowadays it's not possible, well it is but it's just too stressfull to do all kinds of tasks by yourself. I believe film students as well as indie filmmakers grasp that notion of being the auteur but once you roll in a studio that notion is totally voided simply because you now collaborate with a bigger team inwhich each one is skilled at doing what he/she does best.

I truely believe a director just like in the neo-realism production enviroment should focus on the actors and work with the talent while allowing the craftmans to do all the technical work... a director does not really belong behind a screen he/she needs to work with talent (actors) while the cinematographer is behind the screen (under the supervision of the director) and the D.O.P - grips/lightman and so on practice their skills.

my best,
-Joey Dee


Is auteurship truely dead? To say that directors main concern is working with actors is to say that the director shouldn't even be around during preprod/post. I don't think the technical work should be done by the director, but that most artistic choices should be given by or run through the director. I always thought the director was like the head of a company. He doesn't have time to learn all the details of data entry, or shipping of the packages, or how to make an effective marketing campaign.. But he's such a good leader that he knows how to communicate with all the people that DO know how that stuff is done. Kind of similar to a president in that sense. Good presidents don't have to know everything.. just have to have the good sense to surround themselves with people that DO know everything.

I mean I'm still a student and have a lot to learn, but that's not the way things work?
 

Matuso

New member
Martín Yernazian said:
Film is an art of great amount of elements
and I think they go in this order
Story-Performance-Visuals-Music
The director has to make solid desicions to bring this 4 wonders together, if he fails with any of them... then the film will not be great.... it probably will be good but mediocre, at least on my standart

I don't know if they neccessarily need to go in that order, but I do know that if you don't pay attention to any one of those your film will be ruined. I forgot to pay attention to sound during my last film (high school movie), and when I put it together on the computer I realised that my chest cold was heavily audible, almost as loud as the actors themselves! And it was on both channels! I wanted to throw it out and reshoot but the deadline was fast approaching and I only had time to edit it and throw it onto a videotape to show to the whole class.

Sitting there, with my chest cold blasting out of the surround sound, I realised that I wanted to die.

So, please, pay close attention to all four things.
 

lotrfan

New member
This is what I think of a director as. I dont really think of the director as being a job in itself, but rather, he is everything, the cinematographer, editor, production designer, sound mixer, etc. along with having the job of having to direct the actors' performances. And particularly in low-budget films, this is true: the director IS actually everything. A few people above said that the director's main job is to work with the actors. I think that's maybe true for theater, but not so much for film. Film is a highly technical art. Some people also said the director is the person who makes all the artistic decision, not the technical ones. I agree with this by the fact that directors do make mostly artistic decisions, but that's not to say they dont make technical decision, nor to say that they shouldn't have any technical knowledge at all. In fact, I think it should be the director who has the most technical knowledge overall, so that he or she can better use it towards creating an interesting film. So I think it's wrong to say the director mainly works with actors, or he mainly controls the shots and takes of a film, because the director doesn't and shouldnt mainly work with anyone, he should work with everyone as necessary to get a good film.
 
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