Job Description

Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Ability to tell stories
  • Great pay
The Inside Scoop
Day in the Life

When shooting a television episode:

  • Arrive before 7am
  • Answer last minute questions about what the team will shoot that day
  • Conduct private, short rehearsal with actors for the first scene
  • Show the scene to the crew
  • Get marks on every position where the actors stand
  • Talk to the DP about how the scene will be shot
  • Watch a camera rehearsal with the stand-ins
  • Conduct a camera rehearsal with the actors
  • Shoot the scene
  • Move onto the next scene
  • WIll shoot on average 5-7 scenes per day
Skills Needed
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Leadership skills
  • Time management skills
Different Types of Organizations
  • TV and motion picture studios
  • TV networks
  • Independent Productions
Expectations/Sacrifices Necessary
  • Irregular and long work schedules
  • Working more than 40 hours a week
  • Travelling away from home
Current Industry Trends
  • Increase in the amount of product for viewing
  • More product is being watched on the internet
  • “Binge watching” is growing
  • Decline and refocusing of micro-budget filmmaking
  • Split between big cinema v. specialized cinema
  • Realignment of release windows
  • Increased demand for female-focused films
  • An ageing film audience
  • Employment shift towards post-production jobs
What kind of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were younger…
  • Acting
  • Making films
2016 Employment
2026 Projected Employment
Education and Training Needed
  • Bachelor’s degree in film or cinema
  • Some (those in stage directing) get MFA
  • Degree not needed but encouraged
Things to do during high school/college
  • Make short movies and web series
  • Intern
  • Participate in film projects with fellow students
Typical Roadmap
TV Director roadmap
How to land your 1st job
  • Work with actors
  • Direct plays
  • Create  films
  • Work on CV/cover letters
  • Network
  • Use social media / take steps to increase following
  • Once you have a reel, apply to television director development programs
Recommended Resources

Directors Tell the Story, 2nd Edition. Focal Press. By Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli

Words of Advice

”Directors direct! If you have an iPhone and a computer, you have the first tools you need to make a short film.....”


Jobs by
Source: Interviews, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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