VoiceTalks AV Series: What does a director do?

What does a director do? Basically, they make the movie. That’s why famous directors like Stephen Spielberg, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, and George Lucas are as world-renowned as they are important. Many of them have even won Academy Awards for their work. Because every production — film, television, AV, or otherwise — requires a director. Without one, there just wouldn’t be a movie. 

At Voice123, we deal in all things voices, which means we’ve also worked with producers, casting directors, and even executive directors. That’s why in this post, we’re taking an in-depth look into what is a director, what does a director do, and the job description of directors. So without any further ado, 1, 2, 3, Action!

Watch our tutorial on What does a director do?

What is a director

A director is a person who decides creative vision as well as the story elements and makes all the important decisions regarding them. They make sure that every element – like the scenic design, lighting, writing, and acting – comes together like pieces of a puzzle. They dictate how different scenes unfold, the props that will be used, how the characters should behave and look, and who plays specific parts in the movie. For example, during the making of Avatar 2, the director James Cameron was involved in every aspect of production right from the get-go. He even went as far as hiring underwater specialists and freedivers to teach the cast to hold their breath for up to seven minutes so they could film underwater and make the movie as realistic as possible. 

What does a director do

what does a director do?

A director does all the behind-the-scenes work that it takes to produce a movie, which mainly includes putting together a team and creating the vision, guiding the actors through their performance, and going through the footage with the editors to assemble the project. This is true for all forms of media production in any industry, from movies to audio projects. Once the director approves the script, they will hire the editors, casting director, assistant director, production designers, and actors, or in the case of an audio project, the director will hire sound engineers and voice actors. Then they work with the crew to bring the creative vision to life. 

So, now that we have a broad understanding of what a director does, what happens on a movie set?

What does a movie director do

A movie director is responsible for running the entire production on set, and they ensure that the crew adheres to the artistic vision of the film. They also monitor the different departments so that everyone is doing their job and working toward bringing the film together. The role of a director also changes during the different production stages, so here’s a quick breakdown of the job description and duties of a movie director. 

Job description and duties

  • The director’s job starts with reading the script and interpreting it. 
  • Then they assemble the right team for a project. They hire a line producer, production designer, cinematographer, and location manager.
  • They discuss their vision with the heads of all the departments since that affects lens choice, music, and lighting. 
  • They work with the casting director to find the right talent for the project.
  • The director is in charge of the cameras and guiding actors through every scene.
  • They must ensure that all the different departments are doing their job and working toward bringing the film together.
  • Directors review the editor’s cut and the breakdown of the footage and find the shots with the most meaning.
  • Directors work with the sound design team, the visual effects team, and the music supervisor to ensure that every decision that they make is in line with the original vision.
  • Finally, they give the final signoff on the film when everything is perfect by their definition.

It’s clear that directors are in charge of everything related to the movie set. But producers are also involved in the production process, so what’s the difference between a director and a producer?

Difference between a director and a producer

The difference between a director and a producer is that a producer manages the technical aspects of production while a director supervises the artistic elements. A producer oversees the hiring of key personnel along with the financial and logistical aspects, like ensuring that the project remains on schedule and stays on budget. On the other hand, a director is in charge of everything that happens on the set, from hiring the actors and cameramen to the props and lighting. So what kind of personal and professional skills does a good director need?

What skills does a director need

A director needs communication, decision-making, management, analytical skills, and creativity. For example,

  • They need communication skills to explain the overall plan, tone, and ideas during the preproduction stage.
  • They show decision-making skills by asking for changes and for actors to give them the type of performance they need.
  • They display management skills by creating a calm and respectful environment while being flexible and prepared for emergencies.
  • They display analytical skills by getting to know the people they work with so that there are fewer disagreements during production.
  • Directors have to be creative and open to new ideas in order to overcome potential roadblocks. 

Final thoughts

what does a director do?

Directors are the foundation that keeps the production standing and carries it through to the finishing line. They put together the production team and direct the actors’ performance to keep it in line with their creative vision. They also work with the editors to assemble the footage into a theatrical masterpiece.  So if you’re directing an audio project or an animation and you’re looking for voice actors, you can find professional voice talent on Voice123. And our pros also offer additional services when you post a project, like copywriting, translation, and audio editing, which you can use in your next production.  

And on that note, we wish you all the best in bringing your vision to the screen!

(This article is one of a six-part series; the other articles cover: What does a producer, a casting agent, a scriptwriter, a sound engineer, and an editor do? Don’t forget to have a look at them as well!)


What does a director do all day?

Every day, a director starts by meeting with the actors who will be filming to explain the scene to them and how he wants them to speak and act; then, he works with the camera crew to film the scene in a way that matches the tone and creative vision.

What are the three main jobs of a director?

The three main jobs of a director are to read and adjust the script’s tone and purpose before approving it, then they work with the actors to help them bring the script to life, and finally, they go through the footage with the editorial team to produce the final cut of the film.

Do directors get paid a lot?

Yes, directors get paid between $250 000 and $2 million per project, depending on their level of experience. 

What is the difference between a producer and a director?

The difference between a director and a producer is that producers manage the technical, financial, and legal aspects of production, while a director supervises the artistic elements, which are comprised of the actors, editors, and film crew.


Related Posts