Becoming a film director is a dream job for many people. If you’re ready and willing to put in the time, have creative vision and an impressive ability to make something out of nothing, then becoming a film director might be the perfect job for you. Just keep in mind that film directing jobs are highly competitive and it may take years or even decades to accomplish your goal. However, if this is your dream, then you should go for it!
Part One of Three:
Starting Your Career Edit
Watch films critically. You have probably seen lots of films if you are interested in becoming a film director, but you can start to use your film viewing experiences as a way to learn about film making. Watch as many films as you can and pay attention to the details.
- Try to count at least 15 mistakes in each film you watch. Look for acting errors, editing errors, storyline continuity errors, etc.
- Develop your awareness of storytelling as you watch films. Try watching movies with the sound off and pay attention to how the story unfolds through images as well. Or, you can also listen to the dialogue, soundtrack, and other sounds in a film to see how the story unfolds through what characters say. 
Start making short films . To become a director, it is important to get started right away and use any means necessary to make your own films. Get a camera if you don’t already have one. Although a quality camera will help you to produce better quality films, start with any camera you can find.
- Write your own screenplay or work with a friend who writes.
- Get a group of friends together on the weekend and shoot scenes for a short film. Over time, you can edit the scenes together using a program like Adobe Premier .
- Making short films will force you to start learning the technical aspects of directing. You’ll need to know how to edit, write, and do everything else, too. Making your own short films will give you a chance to wear multiple hats and develop different skill sets.
Learn how to act . The best way to learn to direct actors is by getting experience acting, whether this is by acting in your own films or being part of a drama group. Learning more about acting and doing some acting yourself will give you a greater appreciation for the actors that you are working with and it may make it easier to communicate with them. 
- Try to learn the lingo of actors. For example, you can learn about different acting strategies or techniques, such as classical acting and method acting.
Read other people’s scripts. While you will probably start out writing your own scripts, you may need to work with other people’s scripts later on. Reading scripts that other people have written is a good way to practice bringing someone else’s story to life. When you read other people’s scripts, try to think about the details of how you would shoot each scene. 
- For example, if two people are having an argument in a scene, how would you position them? What camera angles would you use? What kind of lighting would you use? What sounds would be in the background?
Consider going to film school . Though it’s totally not required, film school is great for three things: forced experience, access to crews, and networking. Plenty have made it who did not go to film school, but plenty more have made it who have. You’ll have access to internships, workshops, and, most importantly, names, names, names. If you have a project, you can get a crew handed to you and you can network by helping others out, too.
- Although highly competitive, NYU, USC, University of California at Los Angeles, AFI (Los Angeles), and California Institute of the Arts are some of the top schools. Several well-known directors have attended these schools, such as Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Ron Howard, George Lucas, John Singleton, Amy Heckerling, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Francis Ford Coppola, and John Lasseter. 
Work as part of a production crew. Becoming a film director doesn’t happen overnight. Most directors started out working as runners, camera operators, or performing other roles as part of a production crew. No job is too small. Whether it’s filing paperwork, making sure the actors have their bagels, or watching over the camera equipment at night, it’s a step in the right direction.
- If you’re in film school, look into internships. If you’re not, check your local Craigslist, get in the know with the creative types in your area, and offer to be of service. If you’re amicable and trustworthy, people will want to work with you again. And the gigs will get bigger and better each time.
- A production company is more likely to give a chance to someone with five years of production assistant experience over some kid fresh out of film school. Try to find a production assistant job or another entry level production crew job and do your best.
Start networking . Long story short, you won’t become a director without a reel. That is the most important thing to have. That being said, this is definitely an industry where it’s a lot easier to show said reel if you have an in. To get an in, you need to start networking right away. The more people you know, the more opportunities you will have.
- Attend industry events, such as mixers, conventions, parties, premiers, etc. Introduce yourself to people and try to develop good relationships with the people you meet. Offer to help out on future projects or invite others to work with you.
“This article helped me a lot because I was worried about making a comeback into filmmaking. I have a Master of Community Development degree and went to a film school in 2009 for a diploma in directing. I had to leave because I felt I did not have enough skills or experience to be successful and frustrated over the lack of jobs and money. After seven years, I want to go back for a course in cinematography. This article opened my eyes to what I should have done to be a successful director.”. ” more
A. R. Kenneth Surlo
“wikiHow really brings many tips for the beginners. It helped me to gain some knowledge about how to become a filmmaker. I learned many things on wikiHow. Thanks for these wonderful tips.”. ” more
“I was just planning to make a short film without any experience. After reading all of these methods, I got a feel which shows my real position in a view of making a different movie.”. ” more
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