How to become a Film, Stage and Television Director

Film, stage and television directors direct the overall production, or specific aspects of the production, of films, television programs or stage shows. They have the final responsibility for making sure that everything is ready to be filmed or performed.

Personal requirements of a Film, Stage and Television Director

  • Artistic flair
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to remain calm under pressure
  • Able to exercise authority

Education & Training for a Film, Stage and Television Director

You can work as a film, stage and television director without formal qualifications. Entry to this occupation usually requires extensive experience in the film, television or theatre industries. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in screen and media. Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a film, stage and television director through a traineeship in Media or Screen and Media. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Alternatively, you can become a film, stage and television director by completing a degree in screen and media, film and television, theatre or creative arts. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. A number of institutions in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Film, Stage and Television Director

Film, stage and television directors may perform the following tasks:

  • study scripts to determine artistic interpretation
  • plan and arrange for set designs, costumes, sound effects and lighting
  • select actors for roles in the production by viewing performances and conducting screen tests and auditions
  • plan, direct and coordinate filming or taping, instructing camera operators on the position and the angle of their shots and coordinating changes in lighting and sound
  • edit film or videotape and add soundtrack and other effects
  • coordinate the activities of the studio/stage crew, performers and technicians during rehearsals and productions.

Employment Opportunities for a Film, Stage and Television Director

Film companies, television stations, video production houses and theatre companies employ film, stage and television directors. Competition for jobs is very high and interstate and/or overseas experience is often needed to enhance employment prospects. Completion of a course will not guarantee entry to this occupation. Employment and advancement depend on considerable experience and talent.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,394

Future growth:

strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 1.7%

NSW 58.7%

NT 1.2%

QLD 7.4%

SA 3.1%

TAS 0.7%

VIC 19.6%

WA 7.6%

Hours worked:

39

Unemployment:

below average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 75.6%

Proportion of female workers 24.3%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 15.9%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 12.4%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 15%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 56.6%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 32.3%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 63.6%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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