Being a Director

May 10, 2014
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“My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.’” You’ve all probably heard, and have memorized, this famous quote from the 1994 film Forrest Gump. Quotes like this only emphasize the popularity of movies. Many people are involved in making a movie; one of the more prominent people being a director. While directing a movie can be tough, I believe it is an important job in the ever-increasing entertainment industry. Today I would like to present to you three points about directors: their importance, their future, and the misconceptions the title carries.

The director is an influential part of making a movie. He or she is in charge of the creative aspects of a movie. They cast the film, approve sets and costumes, and interpret the script, among other things. Along with directing, they may also produce or even act in their own movies. Many people are under the impression that the director is the top dog on set. However, this often isn’t the case. The director is usually hired by the producer, and answers to him or her. Typically, the producer handles the technical and financial aspects of a movie, while leaving the more creative side to the director. The director may also have assistants or other workers that they can delegate tasks to. As a director, your next job can depend on your success with your last one. Also, if your movie isn’t up to public standards, you usually get the blame. So, you definitely have motivation to do well.

The future is bright for the movie industry. Movies don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, which is proven by the success of movies such as Catching Fire, Gravity, and Frozen. New movies come out on at least a weekly basis. In some cases, people camp out for hours or even days, costumed and anxious for a midnight premier. Movies are often large parts in people’s lives. They allow you to escape into someone else’s world for a couple of hours. In order for movies to keep being made, people must be willing to make them. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that directing and producing jobs would increase 11% from 2010-2020, which was about average compared to other jobs,” says education-portal.com. I don’t know about you, but I think movies are here to stay.

There are several common misconceptions about directors. First, most people seem to think that all directors make a lot of money. This is, unfortunately, not true. A lot of directors are financially unstable. You never know how much you’ll be making, because you’re never guaranteed to have another movie lined up to shoot. Directors typically make about 10% of the movie’s gross earnings, which is great – if you’re Francis Lawrence and profiting from Catching Fire. Also, it takes a while to make it big in the movie business. You can be extremely poor for years before you get your big break. Secondly, you don’t have to go to film school in order to be a director. It can be beneficial, but is not required. For instance, James Cameron majored in Physics and English in college. Experience is a must, though. Working up the ladder can be a good idea. Finally, the director is not completely in charge. As I mentioned before, the producer is usually over the director, and the director answers to them and the film company.

In conclusion, directors are a large piece of the crazy puzzle that is a movie. At the rate the movie business is growing, they will be needed for years. However, don’t be fooled into thinking a director’s life is all glitz and glam. Making a movie can be stressful and time-consuming, but in the end, it’s worth it. So the next time your favorite director releases a new movie, feel free to “Run, Forrest, Run” down to the movie theater.





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