Here Are Some Great Tips for Directors Who Are Just Starting Out
Directing is a tough gig, especially if you're not completely clear on what it is you'll be doing on set.
You show up on set for the first day of shooting after months of brainstorming, budgeting, and organizing, and all of a sudden it's like, "What the hell do I even do?" Don't worry — we've all been there. If you're a little lost on how to not only direct actors, but also lead a team of creatives on a film project, Simon Cade of DLSRguide has some excellent tips for you in the video below:
The work of a director isn't really straightforward with clear-cut tasks to be performed in a specific way. A lot of it is nuanced and gut-driven. I mean, working with actors is probably the most important responsibility a director has, but that alone is just as vague as everything else.
That's why knowing certain qualities a director should possess might be a helpful way of learning how to direct (aside from going out and actually doing it), and Cade gives you a list of such qualities:
- Know what you're looking for
- Make decisions
Cade also suggests continuously asking yourself these questions when making choices on camera placement/movement, actors' performances, cinematography, sound, etc.
- What does the audience need to see?
- How do we want the audience to feel?
Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino have given some of the most valuable pieces of advice on directing, which sum up Cade's video perfectly:
As a director, you don't have to do that. Your job is to hire talented people who can do that -- Your job is explaining your vision. Your job is articulating to them what you want on the screen.
All you have to do is be able to answer questions; that's what the job is -- You're always kind of open to suggestions, so really the direction job solely comes down to your ability to answer questions at a moment's notice and turn the ship on a dime if you have to.
Really, that's pretty much what it comes down to: know what you want, communicate those things to people who can give them to you, and then be able to answer any question your cast and crew throw at you. That's the job. Still pretty vague, I know, but it's definitely a great foundation.