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Become A Television Director

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Working As A Television Director

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • $73,958

    Average Salary

What Does A Television 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 A Television 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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Television Director Demographics

Gender

Male

68.3%

Female

29.8%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

13.2%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.7%

Italian

13.3%

Swedish

6.7%

Portuguese

6.7%

Bulgarian

6.7%

Chinese

6.7%

Cantonese

6.7%

Greek

6.7%

Bengali

6.7%

Thai

6.7%

Arabic

6.7%
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Television Director Education

Schools

University of Florida

7.7%

Mississippi Valley State University

7.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

7.7%

San Jose State University

7.7%

University of Denver

7.7%

Hillsborough Community College

7.7%

Tri-County Technical College

3.8%

University of Dayton

3.8%

Syracuse University

3.8%

Thomas Nelson Community College

3.8%

Community College of the Air Force

3.8%

Purdue University

3.8%

Madonna University

3.8%

Cabrillo College

3.8%

Montclair State University

3.8%

University of West Florida

3.8%

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

3.8%

San Francisco State University

3.8%

Roosevelt University

3.8%

University of Maryland - University College

3.8%
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Majors

Communication

29.9%

Photography

14.3%

Digital Media

6.5%

Journalism

6.5%

Business

6.5%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

6.5%

Political Science

3.9%

Theatre

3.9%

Computer Networking

3.9%

Marketing

2.6%

Theology

2.6%

Education

2.6%

Linguistics

1.3%

Ethnic, Gender And Minority Studies

1.3%

Sociology

1.3%

Psychology

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Writing

1.3%

Architecture

1.3%

Music

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.6%

Masters

17.2%

Other

17.2%

Associate

7.5%

Doctorate

3.2%

Certificate

2.2%

Diploma

1.1%
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Real Television Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director, Film and Television Core Creative, Inc. CA Dec 11, 2011 $120,000
International Television Director PGA Tour, Inc. FL Dec 01, 2010 $115,000
International Television Director The PGA Tour, Inc. FL Dec 01, 2009 $115,000
Television Director Humble TV New York, NY Sep 24, 2013 $100,000
Director (Technical) for Television High-Speed Communications, Inc. NY Sep 15, 2016 $60,000
Director-Television Simin Tehrani Broadcasting Inc. CA Aug 31, 2012 $59,897
Director (Technical) for Television High-Speed Communications, Inc. NY Sep 15, 2013 $55,000

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Top Skills for A Television Director

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  1. Videoconference Issues
  2. Audio Engineering
  3. Live Broadcasts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Directed various fast-paced graphic intense newscasts with heavy emphasis on air control room involvement.
  • Produced and edited television productions.
  • Supervised and coordinated the work of camera, lighting, design, and sound crew members.
  • Received multiple Emmy Awards and Nominations for programs directed from NATAS.
  • Managed a technical crew of seven.

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Top 10 Best States for Television Directors

  1. New York
  2. District of Columbia
  3. California
  4. New Jersey
  5. Connecticut
  6. Maryland
  7. Minnesota
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Texas
  10. Georgia
  • (69 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)

Top Television Director Employers

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Jobs From Top Television Director Employers

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