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What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Becoming a Movie Director?

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Movie directors are the people who are responsible for the creative vision behind a movie. They cast the actors, supervise rehearsals and performances, and make decisions about everything from costumes to scenery to props to lighting and music. This job is no easy task, but a rewarding one once the film hits the big screen.


Directing a film is very stressful work. As a film director, your role requires you to engage with writers, designers, technicians and financiers. On one side you have the producers urging you to stay on time and on budget, and on the other side you have actors who may be temperamental. It is your job as the director to coax the best possible environment so that each member both in front and behind the camera can work together to create a successful film. The buck stops with you, for everything.


Directors dedicate extensive hours during the filming process. This often includes late evenings, early mornings weekends, and potentially holidays. If filming at a destination spot, you may have to be separated from your family for a long period of time. Also, movie directors may experience unemployment as they wait for a new project to come along. Though the film industry is highly competitive, the end product is worth the daunting process.


A director's salary has potential to be very high. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the middle 50 percent of producers and directors in 2008 earned between $41,890 and $105,07. However, those numbers are not achieved over night. When beginning a career in directing, one must be prepared for a slow salary. The process of becoming a well-established director takes time, which may indicate a gradual progression of income. Director John Dowdle told website The Art of Manliness, “It took me 13 years of destitute poverty to start making a living making films.” Success in movie directing may take time, but with the right amount of passion, the success will come.


For those who really love the art of movie making and who have a compelling artistic vision, film directing offers high levels of personal satisfaction. The ability to be the one in charge and to bring your own ideas to life then have it immortalized in a form others can view and enjoy, is more than enough to make up for the stress and difficulty of the job for most directors. If your purpose in becoming a director is just to be rich and famous, you may want to reconsider a career in directing. However, if your passion for filmmaking is genuine, you will find success in your craft.


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