Is film directing right for you?

film directing

Film directors bring their artistic visions to life and create memorable movie going experiences. Directors oversee the entire process of a creating a movie, from conceptualization to completion, ensuring every aspect runs smoothly. Directors have a hand in casting, costume design, editing, lighting, props, scenery and writing. Through their leadership, directors make sure there is a unified creative vision for the film. In this challenging yet rewarding field, certain traits are fundamental to successfully bringing stories to life.

The top five personality traits you need as a film director:

1. Adaptable

If you can’t adapt to changing circumstances, then movie directing may not be the best avenue for you. With so many factors involved in making a film, anything can happen. Your budget can be cut. Locations (where you’re shooting) can change. Your equipment can arrive late. But the show must go on! You need to be able to adapt and find a way to stay on schedule.

2. Authoritative and communicative

Leadership is one of the most important qualities for a director. As a director, you need to be a strong, fearless leader to ensure a smooth delivery of the film on a deadline. You need to give the cast and crew clear feedback and expectations. For instance, it may require 20 takes to get a scene right. But it's a director's job to keep the team motivated until completion. Being authoritative is not the same as being forceful or difficult. You need to quickly address problems and mediate conflict whenever necessary with careful and clear communication.

3. Creative

Directors weigh in on everything, including the story itself. After reading a final script, directors are the creative force that determines the most effective way to tell the story to the targeted audience. Translating a story to an audience means deciding everything from framing shots to overseeing the film score. Applying a wide range of creative abilities, directors unify the multitude of film components into a comprehensive, seamless finished product.  

4. Driven

Despite the glamorous image of a film director's lifestyle, the hours are long, and stress is part of the job. You must be willing to do whatever it takes for your film to succeed, including sacrificing your free time and sleep. Famous directors like Francis Ford Coppola have done tremendous things to make film history. During the filming of Apocalypse Now, Coppola dealt with a typhoon, tropical disease, dead bodies and the typical problems of jungle locations. Like Coppola, your drive needs to be strong enough to meet deadlines and create strong films no matter what happens. 

5. Goal oriented

The best film directors are goal oriented and strategize their projects. Breaking up a film’s completion into smaller, more achievable goals and prioritizing tasks is a vital skill. If you have a tendency to start working toward goals only to give up halfway through, directing will likely be a heartbreaking endeavor for you. Directing takes a lot of grit and stamina. It requires being able to break down huge, complex projects into manageable parts. Through methodical, well-planned steps, a director can see a film through to its final product. 

Get started with Lynn

A bachelor of arts in film and television from Lynn University builds a strong foundation toward becoming a film director and gives you a head start in the competitive film industry. You’ll learn about all aspects of film and television. Classes include editing, filmmaking, the preplanning and postproduction process and sound recording. 

Learn about related degree programs including bachelor of arts in drama and a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism