The film director has arguably the most important role in film making because it is the director’s vision that lifts the story from the written word and brings it to life on the screen. So if you are wondering how to become a film director the answer is that you will need the right academic qualifications plus a range of personal skills in order to succeed at the role.
Many schools and colleges offer film directing courses at degree level. The degree program will probably include topics such as cinematography, screen writing, editing and film history. Other film making courses may include modules in writing, acting or journalism. All these film related topics will give you the technical background and knowledge that will help your career in the film industry.
Once you have your degree – either a BA (Bachelor of Arts), BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) or BSC (Bachelor of Science) you will be qualified enough for a job at a film studio, typically as an assistant to a film editor or director or similar role.
You don’t necessarily need to attend a physical bricks and mortar university to study film direction. There are some excellent online degree programs that can help you prepare for your career and these may be a better alternative if you are trying to keep costs down and have the self-discipline to carry out home study.
Once you have your foot in the door at the studio, you can expect several years in a lower profile studio position before you earn a directing role. This will not happen for everyone because learning how to become a film director is a highly competitive field and Hollywood is full of wannabee film directors who are well qualified for the role but are unlikely to get a chance to prove it.
You don’t necessarily need academic qualifications to become a film director. Some directors work their way up through the hierarchy of the film studio, starting as production assistants and gaining fantastic hands on experience over the course of their career. Actors too can make the transition from acting to directing.
As with all creative arts, film directing requires a blend of artistic vision combined with practical skills, hard work and great organisation. As a film director you will need to be able to lead a team and have excellent communication skills. You will need to be hard working, focused and inspirational. Films are made to a very strict budget so you can expect to work long days and nights with the added pressure of strict deadlines and very little margin for error.
If you want to know how to be a film director, you need to be prepared for a lot of hard work. This is not an easy job to get and it is not an easy job to do. However if you have the right qualities, artistic vision and a strong work ethic, the job could be yours for the taking!