Professional Portfolio – The Director

If I want to become a film director, I need to know what skills I need to develop, and figure out how I am going to develop them. Creative Skillset sets out a number of skills a director needs to fill the role successfully, for example “be a strong and confident leader”, “have excellent communication and interpersonal skills”, and “inspire and motivate the team” (creativeskillset.org, 2015), amongst others. With those in mind, what can I be doing to develop these skill to increase my chance of success in the future.

Creative Skillset suggests one way to develop these skills is by “observing successful directors at work” (creativeskillset.org, 2015), this way you get to witness someone who has years of experience in the area, and more importantly, has perfected the craft of directing. This is something I need to be doing more of, and no doubt will in the future when working as a runner on film shoots. Another practical way of developing directing skills is to ‘direct’, which sounds like an obvious one, but this has two major benefits. The first is the very obvious fact that the more you do something the better you become at it, and the more you direct, the more the art of directing can be crafted and a personal style can be developed. The second reason as to why going out and directing is beneficial, is that you are constantly building our portfolio, which is how you sell yourself, and the more work you have to choose from for your portfolio or showreel, the better.

There are non-physical ways of learning how the skills of a film director, including online resources, such as the Vimeo Video School. Creative Skillset determines one major skill of the director to be an “extensive understanding of the entire filmmaking process, from both technical and creative points of view” (creativeskillset.org, 2015), which make the Vimeo Video School a more than suitable toolbox for the job, as it offers a wealth of knowledge in the form of video tutorials about all the technical aspects of filmmaking. As for an online resource for directors, NoFilmSchool.com offers a similar service as Vimeo, but covers a much broader range of skills from creative to technical, and claims to be “the leading worldwide community of filmmakers, video producers, and independent creatives.” (nofilmschool.com, 2015).

Another valuable resource that can be used to help develop directorial skills is the increasingly overlooked medium of books. After seeking directing advice from Mouse X (2014) director Justin Tagg, he highlighted the importance of a book by Judith Weston called ‘Directing Actors’. The book covers numerous elements of directing, specifically that of directing actors, which is something I have recently done, and plan to be doing a lot of in the future.

In conclusion, it is very important that I further my understanding of what it means to be a director and skills required to be a successful one. Not only do I need to identify these skills, but I need to actively develop them through practical experience and filmmaking opportunities, as well as any useful resources I can get my hands on.

References

creativeskillset [online]. (2015). Available from: <http://creativeskillset.org/job_roles_and_stories/job_roles/758_director&gt;. [Accessed 16th May 2015].

Judith Weston (1996). Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television. N/A. ed. US: Michael Wiese Productions.

Mouse X. (2014). Short Film. Directed by Justin Tagg. UK: Attercop Productions.

nofilmschool [online]. (2015). Available from: <http://nofilmschool.com/about&gt;. [Accessed 16th May 2015].

Vimeo [online]. (2015). Available from: <https://vimeo.com/videoschool&gt;. [Accessed 16th May 2015].

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