Film Director



OFO No: 265401





Other names for Film Director:

  • Location Director
  • Motion Picture Director
  • Studio Director
  • Theatre Director
  • Theatrical Director

What is a Film Director?

A Film Director is the person responsible for co-ordinating and overseeing every aspect of making a movie/film. They are involved from the very start to the finish. 

A Film Director will play an active role in casting right through to the final editing.

Many Film Directors are known for their distinctive ‘look’ they create in their movies.

Examples of South African Film Directors: 

  • Gavin Hood (Oscar winner), Leon Schuster and Amr Singh

Examples of USA Film Directors: 

  • Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow and Quentin Tarantino

What does a Film Director do?

  • finds a script that they would like to make into a movie
  • works with screenwriters and producers to formalise final script
  • develops a vision/look for the movie
  • takes part in hiring the cast
  • is involved in the creative aspects of the movie
  • turns the script, from words,  into a sequence of interesting film shots
  • decides camera angles, lens effects and lighting as well as sound mixing
  • chooses and commissions the soundtrack
  • decides when a scene has been filmed enough times (light, camera, action, cut!)
  • is involved in and assistswith the writing, financing and editing of the movie

Are you … ?

  • an out-the-box, creative thinker?
  • observant?
  • creative?
  • detail-orientated?
  • visually aware?
  • a peoples’ person?
  • confident?
  • a good manager?
  • a multi-tasker?
  • deadline driven?
  • able to deal with stress?

How do I become a Film Director?

Many Film Directors have worked their way up through the ranks of film making. They have spent years and years collecting skills and a better understanding of every aspect of film making.  This collection of experience is worth a ton of gold. They will be more empathic to the rest of the people working on set as they will completely understand each and every job.

Once they feel confident enough they will go ahead and make a movie.

A good education is, however, a definite advantage. A large number of colleges and other training providers offer Film, Media and Television Production courses that may provide a suitable background.

By studying Film Production, you may jump ahead of the rest and reach the position of Film Director quite early on.

Here are a few examples:

  • SA FILM (News and Resources for SA Film Makers)

Lists institutions that offer training in film and video skills. Most, however, only offer Video training. There is no all-encompassing authority that regulates the standards of these schools at this point in time.  

WARNING: Be very sure to ask exactly what they offer.

  • AFDA

A film school which offers courses and degrees in all aspect of film making.


Is an NGO which will assist you to get into the film industry.




  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Camera Operator … or … Stage Manager 

Is becoming a Film Director the right choice for me?