Film Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Film Director, or Movie Director, manages and directs all the creative elements and components of a film. Their main duties include reading and adding edits to scripts, setting the blocking for Actors and collaborating with Editors during post-production to create a visually appealing and captivating final product.

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Film Director Duties And Responsibilities

The Film Director guides all the moving parts that need to come together in a video production. Many businesses hire these professionals to make videos or advertisements, which means Film Directors not only have a creative crew to supervise, but they must also work with business owners and other professionals on the company’s side to complete a project. Other important duties and responsibilities a Film Director takes on include:

  • Communicating with everyone involved in the project
  • Working with other team supervisors to ensure the project stays on task and that deadlines and budget constraints are met
  • Hiring cast members, production professionals and other individuals involved in the filmmaking process
  • Reading and editing scripts

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What Does A Film Director Do?

Film Directors work on the set of a motion picture controlling all visual and creative aspects of the film. They typically read through the script and direct the characters to follow motivated movements that support their lines and tell the script’s story in an entertaining way. Film Directors decide what the style, tone and mood of the film will be and work with the Art Directors, Camera Crew Members, Set Designers and Editors to ensure all of the creative elements match their overall vision and intentions for the production.

Film Director Skills And Qualifications

Creating a film is a complex task, and even though advertisements and company videos are much shorter, Directors need many of the same skills to produce that content. An effective Director will have many skills, both in terms of being creative and being technically competent. Some of the qualifications and skills you’ll need for this role are:

  • Creativity
  • Technical skills
  • Budget management
  • Team management
  • Communication skills

Film Director Salary Expectations

The data for an expected Film Director salary is not available. However, salary will vary widely depending on experience and the specific job you’re hiring for.

Film Director Education And Training Requirements

Many Film Directors have a combination of formal and informal education. Some start out as self-taught with nothing more than passion driving them forward. Others seek to build their knowledge as a filmmaker through community college or a by completing a university program.

People interested in this career field can complete a bachelor’s degree in film or cinema. Some candidates may also have a master’s degree in film or film studies.

Film Director Experience Requirements

Many Film Directors have technical skills and degrees, though experience is what speaks the most to a candidate’s abilities. Your applicants should have portfolios of past work you can review. This work will give you any idea of whether that director’s style and approach to creating videos will work for you. You also want to look for experience that’s relevant to the projects you hope to complete. For example, if you’ll be filming advertisements or internal training videos, look for candidates with experience creating that type of content.

You should also look for content in similar industries as yours. In your job description, list the type of experience you want candidates to have as well as the types of content you’re hiring them to create.

Job Description Samples For Similar Positions

If this template isn’t quite what you’re looking for, check out our other job description samples. Film Directors have a broad set of skills, and you might get a better idea of what you need in a candidate by looking at other qualifications you can add. These are a few roles where you can find similar skills:

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Frequently asked questions about Film Directors


What are the different types of Film Directors?

Film Directors often specialize in a specific genre or type of movie, which usually requires certain knowledge and experience working in that genre. Short Film Directors primarily work on short films, providing guidance to actors, editors and designers regarding how to convey a compelling story in a shorter time frame than a typical motion picture. 

Comedy Film Directors often have a background in acting or directing comedies and must know how to build blocking and visual elements that are humorous and entertaining for the audience. Documentary Directors work more closely in the editing process than other Directors. They also closely assist the Editor and Camera Crew in building a storyboard, planning out the story and elements they want to cover in the movie. 


What's the difference between a Film Producer and a Film Director?

While they both handle the creation and implementation process of a film, there are key differences when it comes to the responsibilities of a Film Producer and Director. A Film Producer controls the business side of the movie creation process, by completing tasks like hiring and negotiating salaries with the cast and crew, building the production budget and schedule and finding potential scripts or books to turn into films. 

The Film Director works with the crew and cast members to create the final product by following the schedule and staying within the budget the Film Producer created. 


Who reports to a Film Director?

Most films have an Assistant Director on staff to handle the daily operations of the film. They typically fulfill any of the smaller, clerical duties involved in creating a film, freeing up more time for the Film Director to work on big-picture tasks involved in creating a visually appealing production. 

Assistant Film Directors implement any schedules, goals or policies Film Directors put in place and ensure all employees on set are following these guidelines. If the Assistant Director has any issues with employees or is having trouble overcoming complex obstacles, they’ll report it to the Film Director, who provides guidance and resolves the problems.


What makes a good Film Director?

A good Film Director must have a creative mindset to tell a story in a unique way and correctly express the words and feelings the writer is trying to convey in the script. They must also have strong leadership and communications abilities, as they constantly work with almost every team member on a film set to provide direction on how to follow their vision for the film. Strong Film Director candidates should also have impressive attention to detail to ensure every element of the film makes sense and entertains viewers.

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