Careers › Film/ TV Director

Career as Film/ TV Director

A Director is the most crucial member of the crew involved in the development of films, whether cinematic, televised or advertised. A career in film and TV direction qualifies one to ideate and lead the creation of movies of various durations and for multiple purposes. Mumbai is the hub of the Indian film industry; however, over the past years, film and TV institutes have emerged across the country. With the rapid emergence of internet-based streaming services requiring new content frequently, the need for directors in the industry has never been greater. This requirement is only expected to grow in the coming years, with a shift from traditional forms of entertainment to online streaming. This is bound to open new doors for youngsters with interest in, and passion for, cinematic arts.

Job Profile

Career as Film/ TV Director

The nature of a Film Director’s job is highly fluctuating and depends on the kind of projects he gets. During the creation of a film, the Director is involved in various aspects of filmmaking, right from writing to pre-production and shooting to post-production. During shooting, the director is expected to handle the whole set and coordinate work among different departments working on set.

Novice Directors will generally start off with short films and minor advertisements, and grow up to feature films and TV series. Salaries from short films and commercials can range from 5,000 to 50,000, depending on the prestige of the client. For feature films, directors may be paid from lakhs to crores of rupees, depending on the movie budget.

The pressure level in a Director’s job can be immense and is continuously hounded by the deadline and budget constraints. Hours can be very long, and working hours depend on the environment, weather and conditions required for the scene to be shot.

Future Growth Prospects and How to get there faster

Being a highly volatile career, being ‘successful’ in film direction can depend significantly on chance and the kind of projects you get. Your first movie may take off and become a blockbuster, rendering you in-demand very early in your career. Similarly, your first project may be a failure and take you out of contention for further major projects.  It is observed that a minimum of ten years of experience is required to learn and get a feel for the various elements involved in filmmaking. You can expedite your success in the field of filmmaking by working in tandem with experienced filmmakers as an assistant or apprentice.

Pros and Cons of Film and TV Direction

Pros

  • The Director is the highest-paid individual in the production team of a film.

  • Being a Director allows an individual to express his opinions creatively, and considerably shape the track that a film takes.

  • Film Direction is a highly flexible job, allowing the individual to change tracks between commercial cinema, TV and advertisement direction and even teach his art via institutes and coaching centres.

  • Among the major pros is the immense travelling opportunity that a director gets, vetting locations and shooting across the country and globe.

Cons

  • As a career, film direction is highly volatile. An unsuccessful film can mean an end to your career.

  • During shoot days, the workload on the shoulders of a director is higher than other individuals involved in filmmaking.

  • The job of a Director depends significantly on the reception of his ideas and the projects that he gets. This can often mean long durations with no work.

How do I get there?

The subjects a student takes up after Class 10 is mostly inconsequential to admission to a film and television training institute. However, it is highly recommended that subjects related to arts or humanities be chosen. Alongside, it is recommended that the student starts cultivating experience in the art of film direction through internships, independent projects, etc. 

After school, one may choose to join a film and TV institute, offering a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in direction or movie making, followed by a corresponding Master’s degree. Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degrees are also available in similar subjects. However, it must be noted that several major film directors have little to no formal education in film direction. The major takeaway from this fact must be that even more than formal education, the experience is essential in mastering the art of film direction. This experience may include short-term jobs in associated companies, apprenticeships, self-projects, etc.

 

How much does it cost?

The cost for a course in filmmaking largely depend on the institute from where the course is being pursued in government institutes, the course cost is generally under Rs 3,00,000. In private institutes, prices can go as high as Rs 25,00,000. Certificate courses in private institutes cost in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 10,00,000.

What are the Top Colleges where one should be studying to become a Film and TV Director

Having as prolific a film industry as that in India is bound to give rise to multiple institutes who profess the art. India has among the most renowned film and television institutes in the world. Aspirants get a range of schools and courses to choose from, in both government and private institutions.

Rank of College 

Name of College, City

Programme Fees 

1

Film and Television Institute of India, Pune

Rs 65,000-2,35,000

2

Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata

Rs 62,000

3

Whistling Woods International, Mumbai

Rs 24,00,000

4

The ICE Institute, Mumbai

Rs 50,000-5,00,000

5

Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida

Rs 4,00,000-6,00,000

Books and other Study Material

  • The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (2013 Edition) by Steven Ascher and Edward Pincus

  • On Directing Film (1992) by David Mamet

  • Directing: Film Techniques & Aesthetics (Fifth Edition, 2013) by Michael Rabinger and Mick Hubris-Cherrier

  • On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director (2005) by Alexander Mackendrick, edited by Paul Cronin

What if this career does not work out for me? What are the other options for a person with these credentials?

Failing in film and TV direction still keeps a host of doors open for an individual. One can teach at a filmmaking institute, or practice his art as a director of advertisements, plays, etc.

Content on this page is by Career Expert
Mrs. Kum Kum Tandon
MA (Psychology), M.Ed, Diploma in Educational Psychology, Vocational Guidance & Counseling (NCERT, Delhi) | View Complete Profile
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