Lessons in Filmmaking | Directing 101

Let’s learn a bit about directing.

Let’s learn a bit about directing.

Lessons in Filmmaking | Directing 101

If you find yourself in the position of director for the very first time, this article is for you. Whether you're shooting a short film, feature film, TV commercial, or music video, following these tips will help make your shoot a success!

1. Do the Thing: One of the most unnecessary things you can do as a director is try to act like a director. A lot of people have an image in their heads of what a director looks like and talks like, and they spend a great deal of time trying to emulate that. It's an easy trap to fall into but it's an extremely counterproductive step. Just concentrate on doing the directing and don't worry about being a "director."

2. Let Other People Do Their Thing: One of the best things you can do as a director is let your crew do their jobs without micromanaging them. If you're a director, there's a lot you know, but there's also a lot you don't know, and there's no shame in that. There's a good chance your sound person knows more about sound than you, and your lighting person knows more about lighting than you... so let them do their thing and listen to them as much as possible. You can always disagree with them but you don't have to give opinions just for the sake of giving opinions.

3. Don't Settle for Good Enough: Shooting involves long hours and a lot of repetition, so there will be many instances where you'll be tempted to settle for "good enough" on a shot or a scene. Don't make that mistake. If enough scenes or shots in your production are "good enough" than the whole thing will be just "good enough," and you'll be considered a "good enough" director. So always keep in mind that good enough is never good enough.

4. Don't Be a Dick: Just because you're in charge doesn't mean you're any more important than anyone else on your set. There are many directors who proudly say things like "I'm Hitler on my sets." I personally don't think this is something to be proud of. If you have to treat people badly in order to make a good film, then it just means you're not a good enough of a director to do it the right way.

5. Have Fun: The most important thing you can do as a director is enjoy what you're doing and make sure everyone else is as well. There will be stressful moments for sure, but those should be few and far between. Be sure to occasionally check in with yourself to make sure that you're having a good time, because if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right.

AUTHOR: Ik Jagait