A film's director is involved in every basic stage of its production. Being a director requires the ability to visualize how a script will be acted out, and the perseverance to see a long-term project through to the end. Generally speaking:
- A director works with the producer and the screenwriters to determine the best way to visually present the ideas being developed. An experienced director knows which cinematographers and set designers will be best suited for a given project, or who are simply most comfortable for him or her to work with, and will often have the final word on who's hired. Some directors will assert very tight control over all aspects of a production, while others might, for example, give the cinematographer a lot more free reign to decide about a film's "look."
- When the movie's being filmed, the director works with the actors on interpreting their roles, a bit of tutelage that will vary from director to director, with some offering more input on performance than others. The director also decides when a scene has been filmed enough times and of course calls all the (literal) shots behind the camera.
- During the post-production stage, a director usually helps the editor put together the best movie possible from amid the vast store of footage and camera angles typically shot on a movie set. He or she also sits with the film's music director to work out what music will be played in the background and to help explain the themes that should be suggested by the musical score.
Notwithstanding all the technical know-how most directors possess, it's interesting to note that a college degree isn't a formal requirement to be a movie director in the way that, say, doctors need to have medical degrees. Some directors, such as Quentin Tarantino, achieve success without film school. However, since directing is such a complex position, most budding directors attend a film school, where they'll study all the technical and artistic aspects of filmmaking. Attending film school also gives them opportunities to create their own films, work in the film industry and make contacts to advance their careers.
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