Media / Digital Media

Director - Film, TV, Radio or Stage

Directors are responsible for managing the creative aspects of performing arts productions.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Director - Film, TV, Radio or Stage do?

Directors are responsible for managing the creative aspects of performing arts productions, such as movies, television shows, and live theatre shows. They guide actors in how best to play their characters. They work with producers to manage the production, but ultimately directors answer to the producer.


Work activities

Your position as a director may be as the head director, or an assistant director. As a director you would:

  • supervise and coordinate the work of camera, lighting, design, and sound crew
  • plan details such as framing, composition, camera movement, sound, and actor movement for each shot or scene
  • direct live broadcasts, films and recordings, or non-broadcast programming for public entertainment or education
  • confer with technical directors, managers, crew members, and writers to discuss details of production, such as photography, script, music, sets, and costumes
  • compile cue words and phrases, and cue announcers, cast members, and technicians during performances
  • establish the pace of programs and sequences of scenes according to time requirements and cast and set accessibility.

Key skills and interests

To become a director, you would need:

  • artistic flair
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • the ability to exercise authority
  • excellent time management skills.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Your working hours would vary according to the production's needs, and may be long and irregular. They would also likely include evenings and weekends, especially if you are working on live theatre productions.


You might work inside, in a studio or theatre, or outside on location. Directors work under a lot of pressure, and are often under stress to finish their work on time.


How to become an Director - Film, TV, Radio or Stage?

Entry Level Education

You can work as a film, stage or television director without formal qualifications. Entry to this occupation usually requires extensive experience in your chosen specialty. However, your employment prospects will be improved if you have tertiary qualifications.

Such qualifications usually comprise 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 school certificate or equivalent with English. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of directors is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

Some job growth in the motion picture and video industry is expected to stem from strong demand from the public for more movies and television shows. In addition, production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online TV, which may lead to more work opportunities for directors in the future.

Directors who work in small- and medium-sized theatres may see slower job growth because many of those theatres have difficulty finding funding.


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