Every creative project needs a director to steer the creativity and facilitate the technical team to see the vision come to life. A creative director ensures the integrity of the message is delivered and matches the ‘vision’ with the producers, creatives and technicians.

I spoke to film director recently and he advised that good film/photography directors job is to keep an open mind to the creation as much as possible during the process and then when it is understood and decided to communicate this with expertise to the team so they know technically how to create it.


Kathryn Bigelow- Film Director

Often on low budget creative projects there are to many  ideas and not a clear and succinct direction and the message can lose the integrity in the final product, so it is always worth appointing a director to your creative project. The director will often work with other creatives closely. But director must have keen artistic skills , a deep passion, be able to make decisions and delegate responsibility and also collaborate. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are key traits of a good director.

Usually directors don’t have directors qualifications, often celebrity actors are becoming directors and anyone can try directing but a good director takes practice and talent, dedication and persistent and most importantly a love and experience of the arts.

Here are some tips for film, photographers, art and music professionals looking to direct projects.

  • Don’t limit the boundaries between you and your creative goals so creative energy can flow freely, often its not ‘how’ you need to first understand it is ‘what’ the how comes later.  Seek to expand your uptake and influences between all the arts and your typical genre.
  • Structuring your ideas can go beyond a basic outlining process. Think of DNA and fractal patterns underlining the botanical world, dualism in black and white, left, right, center etc. You can create a linear time, with thematic elements, peaks, troughs and perhaps a climax as we see in love and relationships. Synchronize events into a schema.
  • Don’t think of mistakes, art is not like science, it is a limitless world not defined by laws of gravity and magnetic poles. Sometimes the artist doesn’t know where he/she is going and the art develops in the process of creation itself. Some artists will even say honor the errors as they often have hidden intention, a break from a self imposed ideal.
  • Art is built on the shoulders of giants, everything that came before you informs and inspires, art is not made in a darkroom or vacuum. Channeling some of your favorite artists work into your creative process is a legitimate form of creation and a good dose of inspiration.
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    Sam Haskins-Photography Director Vogue

There is no manual to creative direction, its a get your hands dirty and go for it role, assisting a director is one way to get experience, its better to work it than study. Have a go on your next project and if it doesn’t have a ‘director’ appoint yourself and take charge, call in your team, collaborate and facilitate the process of producing the vision with the producers, creatives and technicians on set!

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