Director – The roles and responsibilities of a director
A director needs to be a leader and someone who can focus on multiple things whilst working in a number of different areas. A director needs to be patient as he or she will work closely in a mixture of environments that they may or may not understand; they will have to be trusting that others will be skillful enough to tackle an issue that requires their position.
Directors therefore needs to have people skills: He / she needs to be able to listen to people as well as being able to give orders. An amount of control and confidence is needed as many people are relying on them to bring the different areas together.
Directors work closely with actors, they need to know skills in acting to best understand and advise the performers. Also they need to be passionate enough about the film and story to understand what is going on and what is best for the situation or scene.
Directors work closely with the producers and need to keep a fixed eye on budgeting and time management, there is always a preferred time for the material to be finished and produced by, and a director needs to be able to have some sort of influence over this to keep the promoters and producers happy.
Directors can sometimes be mistaken for ‘the boss’ when in actual fact they are rather the middle man or the glue that holds the elements together (he or she is the communicator, the advisory, the friend and any other role that is needed). A cinematographer can usually have first say over the director as the director is usually carrying out the scene that has been decided upon rather than the technical and ‘possible’ aims that a cinematographer will endure.
It is important for them to take in the ideas of others as well as carrying out their own. They will face endless meeting with production staff in order to get a second opinion (which is something they will constantly be looking for) and to make sure that everyone is doing okay in their roles and achieving what has been chosen.
It is safe to say that being a director is not an easy job and perhaps a hard job to get into. Many film companies and producers will be looking for an experienced director that can be relied upon to finish a script and not over step the mark i.e. budget and time. Also a director needs to have both technical and creative skills as he is working with two oppositions that will need help and guidance in order to collaborate.
A director needs to follow everyone in his team with an analytic eye; in other words they need to be there with the team on a performance and creative level but also maintaining a supervisory role that requires a watchful eye over technical issues that are prone to change. For example, a day of shooting could be long and the camera crew may need to set up a scene they have already done earlier in the day. A directors role is to spot the differences that may be apparent and best fix them to match the original footage. Also, actors may be required to a number of takes and creating the exact same performance can be extremely difficult. The director needs to constantly be focused on contiguity for the sake of the film and the work of the editor.
The editor is the person to put the film together so a directors technical role is to make sure certain issues are met i.e. the chosen shots are adequate for the editor meaning that the framing of a shot or a choice in lens will reflect onto the previous and following shot. This is not always the case but is a technical skill that the director may want to focus on.
Another technical issue may be working with celluloid. It is a common case for a director to work under a time schedule and the amount of film may be a common factor for a director to work under. Time and other schedules are other technical roles.
A director has a close correlation with what people might consider as ‘artistic’ positions. In their work they will work with; actors; art directors; costume designers; cinematographers; choreographers; sound directors ect. and maintain close relationships. Although these people in their roles may have much freedom it is a directors job to make sure they are getting the best performance from each individual which could mean a close encounter with an actor to act or play out a scene differently. This may be because of certain things like character development over a number of scenes that will eventually change because of the challenges the story has been set for the actor and I director may want the actor do do a performance different or maybe just choose a different of way so that he has more possibilities over the story. Another example may be to discuss with a cinematographer or an arts director on how to go about creating a certain atmosphere for a character or scene.
A camera man or cinematography could be asked to do a job differently because of the affect it is having over the story. Camera angles can play a vital role to the emotion that is being portrayed through the film i.e. an intense close up could indicate that a character is under an amount of pressure and way want his team to avoid medium or long shots for this affect. Other examples of how a camera can create a more artistic approach to a character is POV shots; these can give a personal opinion of a character and through existing films have forced the opinion of a character onto the audience as it is like the audience are being held for that characters actions.
A director can guide these creative roles by having an out side approach to their work. Because of this they have absolute freedom to flow in and out of peoples efforts to either lend a hand or give an alternative to the work they are doing. There decision may not be appreciated by other members in sectors but they certainly have more knowledge over the whole project than most so their efforts are usually taken on board.