Characteristics are the things that make up a specialism while context is the background surrounding it.

My chosen specialism for this project is directing, in particular the working with actors side of things.

To direct a film you have to be able to clearly envision it in your head so that you know what you want. you have to be a good team player with the ability to get the best out of people in the role of a leader. You must have a respect for your craft and the craft of all those around you so for the the technical side of directing I believe a basic knowledge of all aspects are important as this will help yo to know what is possible and what could be pushed to new boundary’s. To direct you must be able to thoroughly read the script then use your understanding of shot types to make a shot list which will aid you in communicating the films look to others.

The characteristics of a director list from http://filmschools.com/resources/top-10-qualities-of-a-great-filmmaker goes like this:

  1. Authority
    Great filmmakers must have a strong sense of authority. They are responsible for leading a team to create an outstanding finished product and must command the team to ensure they are working at their best.
  2. Communication
    Great filmmakers must have excellent communication skills. They must be able to clearly articulate what their production goals are and be able to work with all team members to accomplish that goal.
  3. Creativity
    They must be very creative, and able to generate ideas for stories, backgrounds, music, and other elements involved in a film production.
  4. Decisiveness
    Great filmmakers must be able to make firm decisions and stick to them to help ensure production stays on track.
  5. Drive
    A great filmmaker has a tremendous sense of drive and ambition. He or she is willing to do whatever it takes to rise to the top of the industry and make great films.
  6. Grace Under Pressure
    Great filmmakers are able to handle pressure well. They understand that complications will arise during the filmmaking process and are able to handle the stress.
  7. Open Minded
    Great filmmakers are open-minded to changes in their ideas. They accept input readily and consider other points of view without judgment.
  8. Problem Solving
    Great filmmakers can quickly address problems that arise during production. They are able to identify problems and figure out the best way to fix them.
  9. Technologically Savvy
    A great filmmaker is familiar with many, if not all, of the technological elements that are involved in the film making process, and has a grasp on what is feasible and what is not.
  10. Vision
    Great filmmakers have terrific vision and can see the film from its conception through to its final product. They never lose sight of the ultimate goal.

Authority ensures that I am getting the best out of your cast and crew and means that you are going to do your best to keep them happy whilst ensuring that they are working all out towards your vision. Even though in industry this can mean having them work grueling hours in many conditions a good director should be able to use there authority to keep the team motivated and working. an example of a director who uses authority could be someone like Alfred Hitchcock however he abused his authority and over worked his cast and crew by making them do take after take after take without breaks. This shows that though directors need authority they also need self control and empathy otherwise people will hate to work along side you. there is an article here about directors who actors love to work with and why: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/jun/23/actor-magnets-terrence-malick-brad-pitt

Communication means that as a director I will have to be able to get my ideas across whether that is by word of mouth, emails and various other forms of online communications and demonstration such as shot lists and story boards so that everybody knows what my intention is and how I expect them to achieve this goal so that they can do there jobs with confidence. Directors communicate in the same ways to communicate different ideas but to do this you need confidence and patience so that if need be you can go through the idea one too one so that anyone can understand regardless of wether there brain works differently and needs a different approach.

Decisiveness is important as it means that if a problem arose and I needed to inform people as to our alternative as I director I shouldn’t stumble around making an idea then deciding to change it without giving that idea a good effort unless absolutely necessary. This means that I should be able to inspire peoples confidence by not being knocked down when something needs to change and that I can be comfortable too make a snap, but not rash decision and make it work. This is important as without a decision everybody will be held up which will lower the moral of everybody and create an aura of doubt.

‘Be decisive and live with the consequences good or bad. Trust in yourself that you’re going to get it right most of the time and that, when it really matters most, that you’ll get it right’ – http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/07/04/film-schooling-insider-insights-on-indy-filmmaking-be-decisive-in-production/

There is another list on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_director#Characteristics:

This list focuses more on the variety of characteristics that directors have had and shows that the role of director has a great deal of room for diversity.


Film directors have creative control over the project. They are there to ensure everybody is working well together to achieve your vision. they work closely with actors in order to help them create the characters and performance. As a director your mood can and will effect the moral of the entire cast and crew. it is important for a director to have good people skills and it is increasingly important that they are kind to there cast and crew. The role of director has changed very little through history the first directors however acted alone as they would work the camera and that would be all (no sound). The first moving image director could be considered Eadweard Muybridge who used multiple cameras  to capture images of motion which he then put on a disk that when spun would create the illusion of movement (the zoopraxiscope) since then the medium on which films are played and recorded has changed but the role of director hasn’t as Eadweard Muybridge had creative control over his work and worked to achieve his vision. by 1896 the first film lasting over 1 minute was directed by Alice Guy-Blaché she is thourght of as the first female director and is the earliest example of a modern stereotype director. She experimented a lot with the  Chronophone sound syncing system,  interracial casting, and special effects and color tinting. in this way she will have worked with a team of film makers bringing them together from across nations to achieve her vision since this time the only thing that has changed about the role is the size of the team people manage, the technology that it is recorded and played on and society’s attitude towards content. In the last few years with the digital revolution and availability of equipment there has been an incredible increase in the number of directors  and the amount of content being made for various mediums.

About kitjaytaylor

Film student
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