A movie director is a person who gives a film creative direction by guiding actors through each scene. Film directors often have the final say in which actors are cast in the film as well, although they do have the producer to answer to in most cases. While a movie producer usually initiates a film project, handles financing and oversees the production from behind the scenes, a movie director is directly involved with the film’s cast and crew. Movie directors have a creative vision of what the finished movie should be and must make sure that the cast and crew work together effectively to fulfill that creative concept.
Department heads often report to the film director. Movie directors approve the lighting, music, costumes and other creative details that make each film a unique production. Some film directors are also scriptwriters or they may approve the movie’s scriptwriter. All movie directors interpret the script creatively and instruct actors in order to carry out this interpretation.
For example, if a director feels that a script about a couple’s relationship breaking up should be shown with more psychological rather than physical action, this would affect how a script’s line such as “I’m leaving you, Billie — this time for good" would be emoted by the actor in the role. If the action were to be physical, the movie director may instruct the actor to throw an object to the floor in anger or shout the line and slam the door. If instead, the director wanted a more psychological focus, he or she may direct the actor to let the character’s feelings show in the eyes and face when voicing the line and ask the cameraperson for a close-up shot.
In some cases, a movie director may also act in the film — usually in a small role. Many film directors were actors for several years before they branched out into directing. This acting background can be helpful because directors must work very closely with actors. Understanding acting and all the other creative aspects of film production is important for aspiring movie directors. Not all movie directors have been to film school, but most have connections with producers in the film industry.
A movie director receives a lot of glory when a film is well received, but usually gets bad criticism if the movie doesn’t do well. The director must also deal with problems that arise during filming such as bad weather for outdoor shoots or not getting a much needed film permit in time for a scheduled location shoot. While the movie’s producer may approve the shoots, it’s usually the director who manages them.