Can someone be a great film director

How do I become a director?

Whether in film, television or in the theater: as a director, you stage and create great stories that inspire your viewers. There are many paths open to you to become a director. Art or film schools, for example, offer you the opportunity to study directing. A bachelor's degree lasts 6 to 8 semesters, in which, in addition to theoretical content, numerous practical projects await you. The universities also require something presentable from practice for your admission. Because if you want to study directing, you often have to go through a multi-stage selection process. If an academic degree is not an option for you, you can work your way up to a sought-after director through internships and training at production companies. Your own planned and implemented short films will help you gain a foothold in the industry as a career changer.

What does a director do?

Regardless of whether it is for feature films, soap operas, in the theater or in radio play production: as a director, you are the architect of the story. Often you get involved in the creative process to come up with ideas or while writing the script and help shape the project through your visions. A good story doesn't always have to be a drama. You will also develop a common thread for documentaries that turns reports on exotic animal species or historical events into exciting experiences for the audience.
A good story on paper is only worth something if you, as a director, can bring it to life. Your task is to convey your vision of the individual roles to the actors or speakers and to give them instructions for the respective scenes on the way. In doing so, you don't limit the talent of your colleagues by giving them instructions that are too detailed, but rather try to give them specific tips and constantly challenge them anew. In order to be able to convey your ideas to the actors, you should not be afraid to act out dialogues. When rehearsing for theater pieces, you take the position of the audience as an observer in order to judge the acting performance from their perspective.
If you specialize in the film sector, you are entrusted with the organization and shooting of the individual scenes on a daily basis. For example, you discuss with your cameramen which tracking shot is the most suitable for an apartment shoot or work out alternative perspectives with them if a section of the image does not have the desired effect. In addition, you take care of the actors, go through dialogues and positions with them or explain the placement of objects within the scenery with the outfitters. For larger productions in which there are several film crews operating around the world, you coordinate the various shootings with the help of your co-directors. In this way you ensure that the finished product has a uniform signature.
The last take is in the can, now you can start post-production in the film and television sector. Together with the editor, who is responsible for editing the film, you view the material from the shooting and choose the most suitable scenes. In a 90-minute blockbuster, that can mean over 100 hours of raw material. The trick is now to develop a common thread from these vast amounts of recordings and to shorten it to the length of a feature film or series. On average, you don't just bring your story to life. You will also find out which sections work moderately or make little sense in the overall context. With this knowledge you organize re-shoots, so-called reshoots, to fill story holes or to completely re-tell passages.

What are the job prospects?

Directing is a popular profession that attracts with exciting projects and a lot of fame. However, international films, musicals or expensive theatrical productions only make up a fraction of all productions. A small number of high-paying jobs contrasts with a large number of directors. Due to the popularity of the profession, well-trained graduates from a media academy or film school are added every year. Therefore, for optimal career prospects, you should not only focus on these areas, but also on smaller companies such as television films, series or commercials. As a director, you are often project-based and not always busy. For this reason, you acquire new employers over the year or work on your own productions.

Which qualities help me in my job?

    What specializations are there?

    Developing a cinema success or a long-standing television series is something every budding film director dreams of. Whether soap opera, crime thriller or science fiction: Here you have the opportunity to tell stories in a wide variety of genres. You and your team shoot both in the studio and outside the production area - depending on the concept or story, even in other countries. TV directors not only bring scripts to life, but also ensure the best entertainment at live shows or sporting events. In the TV direction, you keep an eye on the various studio cameras, announce camera changes and provide moderators with important information via in-ear headphones.
    In contrast to filming, as a theater director you have to think about the sequence of scenes very early on. You will perform plays written by authors or create completely new stories in collaboration with dramaturges. Often you also give classic stage performances a modern twist or adapt dialogues to today's expressions. In order to select the right characters for your staging, you take part in the casting for the selection of actors or negotiate personally with the actors you want. As a theater director, you can work on a permanent or freelance basis. As a freelancer, you have the luxury of rejecting uninteresting plays - but only the most renowned theater directors can afford that.
    As a radio play director, you ensure that small stories or entire books find their way into the ears of the listener. For example, you can create fairy tales for children, in which you also choose the background music and effects. You guide the various speakers in their recordings and make sure that their tracks fit together in the finished radio play in terms of intensity and emotionality. In audiobooks, there is usually only one active actor who, in addition to the role of the narrator, also takes on that of the other characters. Often you also act as a cutter and cut the audio material to the end product.
    Like the radio play director, as a dialogue director you also work with professional speakers. You can, however, examine the results afterwards on the screen or on the canvas. Dialogue directors, also known as dubbing directors, ensure the correct dubbing of films, videos and computer games. Here you pay attention to the timing of the voice actors, so that their passages are as lip-synchronized as possible with the original material. In addition, you compare the intensity and the sound of your speakers with those of the actors in order to reflect the emotions of the actors in the best possible way. There is no original sound in games or animated films. Here it is up to you to give the voice actors the desired emphasis.


    • Different media work areas
    • Insight into all production steps
    • Work as an employee or freelancer
    • Creative profession with a lot of responsibility

    What speaks for the job

    1. You are involved in every step of a film or theater production
    2. As a director, you bring stories to life
    3. If television and theater are not your thing, you can also gain a foothold in the radio or radio play area
    4. The job lives from your creative way of working

    What speaks against the job

    1. Since the director is a popular profession, the competition for vacancies is fierce
    2. Because you are primarily responsible for almost all production steps, you are faced with a high workload
    3. Long shooting days and weekend work are common, especially in the film and television sector

    Starting salary as a director

    As a director, your salary is difficult to estimate. Often your first projects are even unpaid or you have to put money into production or staging yourself. In general, the more successful and well-known your projects are, the more money you can earn with them.

    With a little experience, the paid jobs also come. As a rule, your remuneration is based on the duration of the production. For smaller projects such as image films or smaller performances in the theater, you can expect a starting salary of around € 1,200 ¹ to € 3,300 ¹ gross per month. Since many directors are self-employed, you should keep in mind that you will also have to pay for your insurance from this.

    • Director1.200 €¹
    • actor1.600 €¹

    Salary based on work experience

    After 3 years as a director, you earn an average of € 3,400 ¹ gross per month. After 10 years it is around € 4,000¹. In addition to your accumulated professional experience, your level of awareness and your successes are also decisive for your income. If you make it to the cinema or television, for example, you can even receive € 30,000 ¹ for a project. Top salaries of around € 20,000¹ are also possible at large theaters or opera houses.

    Salary based on work experience

    After 3 years as a director, you earn an average of € 3,400 ¹ gross per month. After 10 years it is around € 4,000¹. In addition to your accumulated professional experience, your level of awareness and your successes are also decisive for your income. If you make it to the cinema or television, for example, you can even receive € 30,000 ¹ for a project. Top salaries of around € 20,000¹ are also possible at large theaters or opera houses.

    Salary by state

    You earn the most as a director in Hessen. Your gross income there amounts to an average of € 4,200 ¹ per month. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, on the other hand, your monthly earnings are lowest at € 2,900 ¹. In general, you get less salary in the new federal states than in the old ones. On the other hand, the cost of living in the new federal states is usually correspondingly lower.