Average Salary
$64,461
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
11,819
Job Openings

Motion Picture Director Careers

What Does a Motion Picture 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.

How To Become a Motion Picture 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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Average Salary
$64,461
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
11,819
Job Openings

Average Salary for a Motion Picture Director

Motion Picture Directors in America make an average salary of $64,461 per year or $31 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $128,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $32,000 per year.
Average Salary
$64,461
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Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Sales Director, Motion Picture & Related
TYG Media, LLC
09/22/2010
$139,00009/22/2010
Sales Director Motion Picture & Related
TYG Media, LLC
09/12/2010
$139,00009/12/2010
Directors-Stage, Motion Pictures, Television, and Radio
Entravision Communications Corporation
09/03/2010
$65,00009/03/2010
Television and Motion Picture Director
Tokyo Television Broadcasting Corporation
06/22/2010
$52,17506/22/2010

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Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Motion Picture Director Demographics

Gender

male

52.9 %

female

41.2 %

unknown

5.9 %

Ethnicity

White

70.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.1 %

Black or African American

7.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0 %

German

25.0 %

French

25.0 %
Show More Motion Picture Director Demographics

Motion Picture Director Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

72.5 %

Associate

15.0 %

Masters

10.0 %

Top Colleges for Motion Picture Directors

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

7. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

9. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

10. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,656
Enrollment
32,072
Show More Motion Picture Director Education Requirements

Online Courses For Motion Picture Director That You May Like

Project Management Applications
ed2go

Learn how to maximize your project's chance of success and become proficient at recruiting and empowering your project's team members...

Project Management Fundamentals
ed2go

Gain the skills you'll need to succeed in the fast-growing field of project management...

Project Management Fundamentals II
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Learn the essential skills that every project manager needs to successfully plan and manage projects...

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Updated August 18, 2021