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Film Director

by Staff Reporter
If you are a creative with an ability to lead and a passion for the arts, a career as a Film Director could be for you.

Career Overview

This title requires a lot of responsibility to make sure that the entire production runs as should be. There may be a lot of pressure on Film Directors to be as creatively efficient as possible and lead the entire film team towards a successful end product.

Film Directors are responsible for a large part of how various film projects are run. They have a lot of control over the project and dictate things like which scripts are selected, casting, the team employed as well as any creative and technical logistics required for the film to progress. Film Directors often work closely with producers and work to create a productive space for everyone involved.  

Required School Subjects

There are no specific subjects that are mandatory for this career.  Creative subjects are highly recommened for studies in film.

Recommended subjects:

  • Visual Arts
  • Design
  • Dramatic Arts

Take a look at our Subject Guide to find the value of specific subjects as well as suitable subject packages for various career fields.

Institution and APS

There are a number of institutions where you can study film.  We recommend the following:

  • AFDA – No specific APS required
  • University of Witwatersrand (Wits) – APS of 34+
  • Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) – No specific APS required
  • Rhodes University – APS of 45
  • The Film Industry Learner Mentorship Programme – No specific APS required

Required Qualification/s

There are a variety of courses that you can complete in order to get qualified as a Film Director.  Some of these include an advanced diploma as well as a Bachelor of Arts.  

Required Skills

In order to succeed as a Film Director, you will need to have:

  • The ability to translate script into action
  • Flexibility
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Good time management
  • Eye for detail
  • Editing skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Organisational skills

Where you can work

Film Directors can work in various spaces depending on the project. They can either be contracted to a specific production company and work as freelancers. Camera Operators can work on a range of productions from film sets, documentaries and television productions. Projects can often be on location and may include travelling to different locations.

Working Hours

The film and television industry often operates beyond the usual 9-5 work hours. Working hours depend on each specific production and can vary and film directors work long hours during shoots as well as during post-production and the marketing stage of the film release.

Expected Salary

An average hourly rate for Film Directors in South Africa is around R620 but can fluctuate as per each project.

What to expect

As a Film Director your creative ideas dictate the way the film progresses. It is your job to direct the film in a way that allows for it to be as impactful as possible. Film Directors engage and work closely with every part of the crew to guide them in the best way possible for each production.

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