Media

TV or film director

TV and film directors lead the creative and technical production for cinema and television.

Annual Salary

Variable

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

Variable

2%
Future employment

There will be 2% more TV or film director jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You'll lead a team of cast and crew making films, TV programmes, commercials, music videos or corporate videos.

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • meeting producers to plan filming schedules and resources
  • developing scripts or ideas for programmes
  • developing storyboards
  • deciding how the production should look and where it should be filmed
  • hiring the cast and crew
  • explaining technical requirements to different teams
  • directing actors on set or location
  • supervising the editing

On smaller productions, you may be involved in production work.

University

You could take a course at university in film or television production before moving into directing.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

College

You may find it helpful to take a film-making or media production course that helps you to build practical skills and make contacts in the industry.

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

Other Routes

You'll need experience of working in TV or film, and an in-depth understanding of the production process.

You could get this from camera or lighting work, acting or starting out as a runner. It can take several years to build up your experience.

You may find it helpful to take a film-making or media production course to give you some of the practical skills you'll need, and to make contacts in the industry.

Another way to break into directing is to make your own films. You can market these to agents or enter them into film festivals and competitions.

You can search for film and TV companies to approach for experience through media business listing services like PACT and The Knowledge.

A network of industry contacts will be extremely useful.

Variable

Directors are usually paid a fee for each contract or project. Rates vary depending on experience and the type of production.

The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.

Variable

Your working hours on a shoot will often be long and irregular, and may include evenings and weekends.

You might work in a film or TV studio, or on location. Work may be anywhere in the UK or overseas, so conditions will vary.

With experience you might develop your own projects and raise the money to put them into production.

Creative Skillset has more information about working as a director.

You'll find more details about directing in film and TV through ScreenSkills.

Shooting People has information, resources and networks for independent film-makers.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • excellent organisational and planning skills
  • the ability to make decisions quickly
  • leadership and motivational skills
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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