TV or film director

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Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would take charge of the production of a film or TV programme.

You might lead a team of any size. You could direct feature films, short films, TV programmes, adverts, music videos or corporate videos. Your creative decisions would guide the rest of the crew.

You would:

  • Meet producers
  • Commission a script or an idea for a documentary
  • Decide how to shoot the script
  • Decide how the production should look and where it should be filmed
  • Plan the shooting schedule and logistics
  • Have the final say in which cast and crew members are hired
  • Guide the technical crew
  • Direct the actors, or the contributors to a documentary
  • Supervise editing to produce the final cut
  • Enforce health and safety rules

In some cases you might write your own scripts and raise money for projects. On small productions you might also use camera or sound equipment.

Working conditions

Hours

Your working hours on a shoot would often be long and irregular according to the production's needs, and may include evenings and weekends.

Environment

The work is partly office-based, but you would also visit studios and locations.

Travel

Location work could be anywhere in the UK or overseas, so you may need to travel and stay away from home for long periods.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Taking the lead
  • Using computers
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Being creative
  • Budgeting
  • Planning and organising
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

There are no set qualifications required to enter this role however most directors have a degree (SCFQ level 9/10) and relevant industry experience.

To enter media, film, television, production or broadcasting National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) may require no formal qualifications but most courses ask for National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

To enter a postgraduate course (SCQF level 11) you will usually require an honours degree in a relevant subject.

The most useful qualifications include practical skills and work placements.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Social studies
  • Media
  • Other creative subjects such as art and design, drama or photography

You will also need

  • In-depth understanding of the production process
  • A good network of contacts in the industry

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show understanding of the industry, creative, management and production skills such as Skills for Work Creative Industries (SCFQ level 4).

There are also a number of industry bodies that can offer relevant training and qualifications such as the British Film Institute.