A film director, or filmmaker, is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director visualizes the script, controlling a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of his or her vision. A film producer may also be considered a filmmaker.
In some cases, film directors do not have absolute artistic control. The director can also be selected by the producer. The producer can in this case have veto power over everything from the script itself to the final cut of the film, often in anywhere from slight to extreme opposition to the director's vision.
When directing episodes for a television show, a director's responsibilities are somewhat diminished, as the visual look and feel of the series is already established, usually by the person billed as the show's creator or executive producer. Those directors who choose or are chosen to work in TV traditionally have had to accept that they will not be as lauded, or as well-paid, as their big-screen counterparts.
A film director is responsible for overseeing creative aspects of a film. They often develop the vision for a film and carry the vision out, deciding how the film should look. They also direct what tone it should have and what an audience should gain from the cinematic experience. Directing a film is a kind of storytelling. Film directors are responsible for approving camera angles, lens effects, lighting, and set design, and will often take part in hiring key crew members. They coordinate the actors' moves and also may be involved in the writing, financing, and editing of a film.
The director works closely with the cast and crew to shape the film and may often take suggestions on pertinent issues. Some like to conduct rigorous rehearsals in preproduction while others do so before each scene. In either case this process is essential as it tells the director as well as other key members of the crew (Director of Photography, Stunt Choreographer, Hair Stylist etc) how the actors are going to play the scene, which enables them to make any necessary adjustments. Directors often use storyboards to illustrate and a directors viewfinder to set up camera angles. The director also plays a key role in post-production. He/she works with the editor to ensure that the emotions of the scene and the close ups, mid shots and wide shots appropriately reflect which character is driving the narrative. The director also advises on the (colour) grading of the final images, adding warmth or frigidity to the composition of the shots to reflect the emotional subtext of the character or environment. They also participate in the sound mix and musical composition of the film.
Directors have different methods of filming. Some styles include:
Directors work closely with film producers, who are responsible for both artistic and non-artistic elements of the film, such as, script approval, financing, casting notes, contract negotiation and marketing. Some directors will take on some of the responsibilities of the producer for their films. Directors like Orson Welles are famously known for writing, directing and producing their films while the early silent film director Alice Guy Blaché not only produced her own pictures, but actually created her own highly successful studio.
In the United States, directors usually belong to the Directors Guild of America. The Canadian equivalent is the Directors Guild of Canada. In the UK, directors usually belong to Directors Guild of Great Britain.A new director might earn as little as $20,000 a year, while the most successful can earn over $500,000 or even millions per film in some cases.