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Job Description

TV or film directors work closely with all departments involved in a performance or show to coordinate the appearance of the set, the actors, the storyline etc. they will have overall responsibility for the way TV programmes and films are made. Many directors are freelance and will be paid a fee for each individual contract or project, rates can vary enormously. Hours can be unsociable and irregular.

Casting directors chooses the Actors and arranges and conducts the interviews, would need to liaise with the director and producer to find out their requirements. They are responsible for matching the ideal actor to the role.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You may find it helpful to take a film-making or media production course that helps you to build practical skills and make contacts in the industry.

You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course.

The following local colleges offer courses in Media or film :

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course.


You could take a course at university in film or television production before moving into directing.

You'll usually need 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree.

Click here to search for a suitable course.


Many directors start out as runners, helping out on film or TV sets, and work their way up through other jobs like 3rd and 2nd assistant director or floor manager. Others move into directing after getting experience in camera work, screenwriting or acting.

Other Routes

Another way to break into film directing is to make your own films, known as 'shorts'. You can market these to agents, post them online or enter them into film festivals and competitions. You'll need access to equipment, crew and actors to make your own films. Getting involved in community filming projects can help with this.

You could also take short courses in production skills for directors run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers. You can search for relevant industry approved courses on ScreenSkills.

Career tips

It's important to get as much experience as you can in film and TV, and an in-depth understanding of the production process. You can do this by taking part in activities like student or community film or TV, and finding work experience placements on film projects.

You can search for film and TV companies to approach for experience through media business listing services like PACT and The Knowledge.

Career Path and Progression

With experience you might develop your own projects and raise the money to put them into production.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • TV or film assistant director
  • Screenwriter
  • TV or film producer

Required Skills

  • Creative 
  • imaginative
  • good communication and people skills
  • good leadership abilities
  • able to make decisions
  • good problem solving abilities
  • able to keep calm under pressure
  • health and safety awareness

Salary Range


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