Skills of a Director


Image result for the director on a film set

(Money Actions Video Production 2015)

Who is the Director?


The Director is in charge of making, leading and developing film productions. Although every role to making a film is vital for the final production to come together successfully, if the movie was seen as a book, the director would be the author. He/she is the ‘Filmmaker’ and works at the centre of the film production. However, with a film, there is no way that the director can make it on his/her own, and it is their skills together with that of the rest of the film crew that create the final movie. The producer, for example is also extremely important, as they coordinate and manage the film making process and as the producer usually sources and controls the funds used to make the film, it is clear that there would be no movie without them. However, the director of a movie certainly has the most creative control and provides the edge that sets the film apart from others.

Director Shawn Levy explaining his vision for the cinematography of a film on set (Chitwood, 2012)

Skills of a director


Having a vision is one of the key skills that a Director must have. They must be able to make the movie original and have a certain edge about it, that sets it apart from films made before. The ability to generate ideas and display them in the movie with the help of the actors, cinematographers and other crew members is essential.



Without persistence and being a perfectionist, a film could come out mediocre and lacking something. A director should never settle for okay, but instead make sure the film has the best possible quality in all the areas of film-making before it is officially finished and released. Even if it means having to do one task multiple times, it is necessary in order too achieve perfection, or the closest thing to it.


A director must have the determination to do whatever it takes to make his/her film the best it can be, and stop at nothing until satisfaction. Even under pressure, they should be able to push through and get the work done. If a problem arises, such as an actor not portraying a character like it was imagined to be, the director should do whatever in their power make it work.



A director must be able to express his ideas, opinions and thoughts without the fear of what others may think. Especially if they want to rise to the top of the film industry, confidence and making yourself known is essential, in order to get your film on the big screen recognized by a large audience.


The Director directs every aspect of the film-making process, so they must be able to have good authority and leadership skills. They have to be able to work well with the film crew and ensure they are performing at their best. The ultimate goal is to have an outstanding finished film product, and in order to achieve this, the cinematographers,editors, sound and lighting producers and actors must work  cohesively to portray exactly what the director had intended for the film.


If the director does not manage how much money they spend making the film, and spends too much in one area and not enough in another, there is a chance that the filmmaking would have to be put to a stop, as funds have run out. It is therefore essential that the director keeps track on their film budget.


If the director does not communicate his ideas and requests clwarly to the other creators on set, the film may turn out completely different to how it was intended to. Also, bad communication can lead to feuds between crew members, and this would have a negative impact on the entire production.


A director must be able to solve any issues that come up in the production of the film fairly quickly and handle the stress well, so that they can move on from it and continue production.


A good director should have a good understanding and knowledge in all areas of the film making process.


How To Become a Director

Firstly, it is important that anyone aspiring to become a Director has all of the skills that have been listed above. I addition to that, two major ways to grow ones skills is to watch and make as many films as they possibly can. Watching films you watch, the more you will pick up on common techniques many filmmakers use, as well as themes, moods and  general atmospheres created. Furthermore, practicing these skills will only make one better at what they do, and making films will level up the quality of ones work significantly.

In addition, making connections with people within the film industry will help aspiring directors reach the top of the film industry. Promoting themselves is vital in getting noticed, and this is what will get their films shown to the bigger audiences they envisioned.


(Vaillat 2016)

Sofia Coppola is an American Film Director. She was born in New York City and is the daughter of Francis Coppola, director of The Godfather movies. She has won multiple awards, including an Oscar for her directing skills in Lost in Translation and the golden lion, the top prize at the Venice film festival, and the first woman to do so.Sofia’s entire family has a background in working in the film  industry, so it is no coincidence that she turned out to be such a successful director.Sofia’s Aunt Talia Shire is an acclaimed actress and was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Adrian in Rocky (1976). In addition, actor Nicholas Cage is Coppola’s cousin, and won an Oscar for best actor in Leaving in Vegas (1995). This is a clear indication that Coppola’s success as a Film Director was largely connected with her family’s history in the industry and business, therefore giving her the right links to make it in this career.

Sofia also started out with acting,much like a lot of her family. Growing up, she appeared in a number of her fathers films, her biggest role being in her fathers acclaimed film, The Godfather Part III (1990). However, critics ‘raked her over the coals’ and criticized her acting as ‘wooden’ and ‘stiff’. This made her give up acting for good as she claimed it was never her intention to become an actor. She was extremely camera shy and said ‘It was not her personality’.

Sofia attended the California Institute of Art in her early twenties  where she explored costume design, photography and fashion for several years before dropping out and trying out many different career opportunities such as fashion design, photography, painting and hosting a TV show. In 1998 however, Sofia picked back up in pursuing a career in the film industry, and directed her first film titles Lick the Star. Sofia explained that this movies production explored how well she managed creating a film by herself, and once it was finished, she declared that she now knew exactly what she was doing. Just a year later, Coppola released her first full length feature film The Virgin Suicides.The film was a success, and her photography skills were a great asset in the production of the film.Critics were harsh judging the film, but saw her as a new and upcoming director with potential.

Sofia’s next feature film and her biggest one yet was the Oscar winning Lost in Translation (2003). It was her first time writing an original screenplay, as well as directing and producing it. The movie was shot in Tokyo, in just twenty seven days and with a budget of 4 million. It received huge recognition and positive criticism for its intimate style. Sofia’s photography and design skills once again served her well in creating her own personal film making style.



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