Career Profile: Film Director

Career Profile: Film Director

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Films can be fun or educational to watch, but a lot of work goes into making them. Many people are involved, including actors, camera crew, and more. The person who helps everything come together is the director. If you want an important role in entertaining or educating people and can work under pressure with a variety of individuals, the job of a film director could be right for you.

Most movies and films have a storyline, whether it is a romance, an action movie, or a documentary about polar bears. For the film to make sense, its parts need to fit together in a way that watchers can understand. Directors decide how they want the story to flow. They plan the scenes that they want as part of the program, and they decide on the order of the segments and say what should be added or taken out.

Directors normally work closely with the practical aspects of filming. They choose people to play in the various roles and decide on scenery, costumes, and more. When the filming starts, they tell people what to do and decide where they should stand, walk, or sit. They decide when the scene needs extra people in it and when the main actors are enough. Directors need to have a clear idea of the flow of action they want, since the scenes are often filmed out of order and put together later.

Working as a director is not normally physically demanding, but it can be very mentally tiring. Often, directors will be on a movie set for hours and then go back to the production room and spend more time looking at the film and deciding what to keep and what to redo. The days can be very long before, during, and after filming. Even after finishing the film, directors spend time marketing it and often need to travel to different cities to talk to audiences and others who might be interested.

Although educational requirements in this field vary, most directors have a bachelor’s degree in an area like film studies with some studies in production. Most universities have degrees in this field, and cities like Toronto or Vancouver have the best opportunities for connecting with others in the movie industry.  Many directors have also worked in acting, editing, or writing.

Being able to tell a story is important for film directors, but understanding the visual aspects is also essential. Even in a documentary, directors need to find the best pictures to go with the story, whether it is about an animal or a point in history. Directors sometimes work with people who might not have much experience in acting, and they should be able to know what is helpful and what is not.

Depending on their experience, directors can earn between about $66,000 and $108,000 per year. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the amount of work available, people can still find jobs in this field, especially in major cities. If you enjoy the arts and like working with people, this could be the right career for you.



Careers in Film. “Director.” https://www.careersinfilm/film-director/.

Government of Alberta. “Film Director.” https://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/occupations-in-alberta/occupation-profiles/film-director/.

Learn.org. “Film Director: Job Duties, Career Outlook and Education Requirements.” https://learn.org/articles/Film_Director_Job_Duties_Career_Outlook_and_Education_Requirements.html.

PayScale Canada. “Film Director: Salary.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Film_Director/Salary.

Leave a comment!