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Become An Assistant Director

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Working As An Assistant Director

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $50,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Assistant Director Do

Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.

Duties

Producers and directors typically do the following:

  • Select scripts or topics for a film, show, commercial, or play
  • Audition and select cast members and the film or stage crew
  • Approve the design and financial aspects of a production
  • Oversee the production process, including performances, lighting, and choreography
  • Oversee the postproduction process, including editing, special effects, music selection, and a performance’s overall tone
  • Ensure that a project stays on schedule and within budget
  • Promote finished works or productions through interviews, advertisements, and film festivals

Large productions often have associate, assistant, and line producers who share responsibilities. For example, on a large movie set an executive producer is in charge of the entire production, and a line producer runs the day-to-day operations. A TV show may employ several assistant producers to whom the head or executive producer gives certain duties, such as supervising the costume and makeup team.

Similarly, large productions usually employ several assistant directors, who help the director with tasks such as making set changes or notifying the performers when it is their time to go onstage. The specific responsibilities of assistant producers or directors vary with the size and type of production they work on.

Producers make the business and financial decisions for a motion picture, TV show, commercial, or stage production. They raise money for the project and hire the director and crew. The crew may include set and costume designers, film and video editors, a musical director, a choreographer, and other workers. Some producers may assist in the selection of cast members. Producers set the budget and approve any major changes to the project. They make sure that the production is completed on time, and they are ultimately responsible for the final product.

Directors are responsible for the creative decisions of a production. They select cast members, conduct rehearsals, and direct the work of the cast and crew. During rehearsals, they work with the actors to help them more accurately portray their characters. For nonfiction video, such as documentaries or live broadcasts, directors choose topics or subjects to film. They investigate the topic and may interview relevant participants or experts on camera. Directors also work with cinematographers and other crew members to ensure the final product matches the overall vision.

Directors work with set designers, costume designers, location scouts, and art directors to build a project’s set. During a film’s postproduction phase, they work closely with film editors and music supervisors to make sure that the final product comes out the way the producer and director envisioned. Stage directors, unlike television or film directors who document their product with cameras, make sure the cast and crew give a consistently strong live performance. For more information, see the profiles on actors, writers and authors, film and video editors and camera operators, dancers and choreographers, and multimedia artists and animators.

Although directors are in charge of the creative aspects of a show, they ultimately answer to producers. Some directors also share producing duties for their own films.

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How To Become An Assistant Director

Most producers and directors have a bachelor’s degree and several years of work experience in an occupation related to motion picture, TV, or theater production, such as an actor, film and video editor, or cinematographer.

Education

Producers and directors usually have a bachelor’s degree. Many students study film or cinema at colleges and universities. In these programs, students learn about film history, editing, screenwriting, cinematography, and the filmmaking process. Others major in writing, acting, journalism, or communication. Some producers earn a degree in business, arts management, or nonprofit management.

Many stage directors complete a degree in theater and some go on to receive a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Classes may include directing, playwriting, set design, and acting. As of May 2015, the National Association of Schools of Theatre accredited more than 180 programs in theater arts.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Producers and directors might start out working in a theatrical management office as a business or company manager. In television or film, they might start out as an assistant or another low-profile studio job.

Advancement

As a producer’s or director’s reputation grows, he or she may work on larger projects that attract more attention or publicity.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Producers and directors must coordinate the work of many different people to finish a production on time and within budget.

Creativity. Because a script can be interpreted in different ways, directors must decide how they want to interpret it and then how to represent the script’s ideas on the screen or stage.

Leadership skills. A director instructs actors and helps them portray their characters in a believable manner. They also supervise the crew, who are responsible for the behind the scenes work.

Time-management skills. Producers must find and hire the best director and crew for the production. They make sure that all involved do their jobs effectively, keeping within a production schedule and a budget.

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Assistant Director Demographics

Gender

Female

61.3%

Male

36.4%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.1%

French

13.7%

German

5.3%

Italian

3.9%

Russian

3.2%

Portuguese

3.1%

Chinese

3.1%

Japanese

2.7%

Mandarin

2.6%

Arabic

2.1%

Korean

2.0%

Greek

1.4%

Hebrew

1.0%

Hindi

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Urdu

0.5%

Polish

0.5%

Swedish

0.4%
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Assistant Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.8%

Liberty University

7.6%

New York University

6.6%

Ashford University

6.6%

Grand Canyon University

5.6%

Florida State University

5.0%

Temple University

4.6%

University of Florida

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.3%

Capella University

4.3%

Walden University

4.0%

George Washington University

3.7%

University of Alabama

3.6%

University of Connecticut

3.6%

Kaplan University

3.5%

George Mason University

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.4%

Northeastern University

3.4%

Ball State University

3.3%

Florida International University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

21.3%

Psychology

7.1%

Education

6.4%

Communication

6.3%

Early Childhood Education

5.6%

Elementary Education

5.0%

Management

4.8%

Nursing

4.4%

Educational Leadership

3.9%

Photography

3.7%

Kinesiology

3.5%

Social Work

3.5%

English

3.4%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Human Development

3.3%

Health Care Administration

3.3%

Political Science

2.9%

Marketing

2.9%

Accounting

2.8%

Human Resources Management

2.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.4%

Masters

28.9%

Other

16.6%

Associate

7.1%

Doctorate

4.5%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Real Assistant Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Director, Regulatory Reporting-Policy and Govern AIG Employee Services, Inc. New York, NY Nov 23, 2016 $204,500
Assistant Director American General Life Insurance Company New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $200,000
Assistant Director AIG Employee Services, Inc. New York, NY May 18, 2016 $200,000
Assistant Director American International Group, Inc. New York, NY Nov 19, 2015 $200,000
Assistant Director American General Life Insurance Company New York, NY Apr 11, 2015 $200,000
Assistant Director American International Group, Inc. New York, NY Sep 03, 2015 $200,000
General Assistant Director GFR Media, LLC Guaynabo, PR Feb 22, 2016 $200,000
Assistant Director, Risk American General Life Insurance Company Los Angeles, CA Feb 15, 2016 $192,000
Assistant Director, Statistics-Biometrics Abbvie Inc. North Chicago, IL Oct 24, 2016 $165,000
Assurance Assistant Director Ernst & Young U.S. LLP Secaucus, NJ Apr 17, 2016 $163,439
Assistant Director American International Group, Inc. New York, NY Apr 13, 2015 $160,000
Assistant Director Ernst & Young U.S. LLP New York, NY Feb 08, 2016 $150,871
Assistant Director University of Central Florida Orlando, FL Jan 07, 2016 $93,657
Assistant Director, (STP), Advanced Analytics Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. Boston, MA Apr 02, 2016 $92,900 -
$157,700
Assistant Director, Product Analysis Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. Seattle, WA Jun 03, 2016 $92,900 -
$157,000
Assistant Director (FOR Research Facility Support) The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX Mar 01, 2015 $92,073
Assistant Director of Genetics Laboratory EGL Genetic Diagnostics LLC Decatur, GA Jun 09, 2016 $92,000
Assistant Director of Breast Cancer & Lymphedema Physical Rehabilitation Cyntha J. Shechter OT PC New York, NY May 10, 2015 $91,000
Assistant Director, Breast Cancer &Lymphedema Physical Rehab Cynthia J. Shechter, O.T., P.C. New York, NY Jun 09, 2015 $91,000
Assistant Director, Breast Cancer &Lymphedema Physical Rehab Cynthia J. Shechter, O.T., P.C. New York, NY Sep 06, 2015 $91,000
Assistant Director, Guest Services Hilton Worldwide, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $66,660
Assistant Director, Recruiting Pepperdine University Los Angeles, CA Jan 09, 2015 $66,300
Assistant Director The University of Connecticut Hillel Storrs, CT Sep 17, 2015 $65,000
Assistant Director University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA May 04, 2015 $65,000
Assistant Director Hennepin Elementary School Minneapolis, MN Aug 01, 2015 $65,000
Assistant Director B'NAI Brith Hillel Foundation of Connecticut, Inc. Storrs, CT Sep 19, 2015 $65,000
Assistant Director of Rehabilitation Now Pain Clinic PC Clifton, NJ Oct 01, 2015 $64,968

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Top Skills for An Assistant Director

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  1. Procedures
  2. Facility
  3. Payroll
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed detailed work procedures which rewarded high motivation, genuine ideas and their implementation, taking initiative and being productive.
  • Worked closely with educational department within the facility to ensure appropriate discipline of youth.
  • Assisted director in daily administrative activities such as payroll, scheduling staff, and organized document correspondence.
  • Supervised preparation of external financial statements to be in conformity with GAAP, including preparation of annual, audited financial statements.
  • Developed, implemented, and managed district-wide policies, regulations and procedures to ensure a safe environment for students and staff.

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Top Assistant Director Employers

Jobs From Top Assistant Director Employers

Assistant Director Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Director by Alistair B (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a 2nd Assistant Director - Television by Peter H (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a 3rd Assistant Director - Television by Antonia C (Full Version)

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