Film directing is an art form, that many people don’t understand.
Without good directing, a film with a great script and cast will probably not do well.
They are chosen by the movie’s producer, unless of course the producer and the director are the same person.
Directors are chosen for their ability to bring a screenwriter’s script to life using their unique interpretation of the script and subsequent portrayal of the material.
Sometimes writer’s disapprove the director’s creative input so it is important to have a legal agreement including compensation for allowing movie studios and directors to interpret the screenplay their own way.
Some directors, such as George Lucas, act as producers, writers, and directors all at once. There have even been directors such as Peter Jackson who appear as actors in the films they are directing.
The director also guides the actors and actresses to deliver their lines and physically portray their characters in a way that is coherent with the entire story of the film.
The best actor can say some lines “wrong” even if he gets the words exactly right, or the best actress can try to portray her character in a way that may not be best for the film.
Truth is a term used to denote whether the scenes seem believable. The more truthful, the better chance the scene will connect with the audience.
Some film directors tend to micromanage projects. Newer actors and actresses usually find this beneficial but more mature professionals prefer minimal direction from directors.
This style of directing constitutes figuring out a general plot line and dramatic direction for the film and then permitting the cast members to interpret their characters, sometimes even letting them improvise new lines.
Independent film directors direct films that are not produced by the major studios. Directors are more likely to play multiple roles in the making of these films. They can often enjoy total control over a film as a result.
TV directors do not enjoy nearly as much power. The writers and producers of TV shows are the main conceptualizers of how everything will look, sound, and feel, and thus TV directors are mainly act like office managers who help keep things in line but don’t get to offer more than minor creative suggestions at best. TV directors do not get the glory film directors enjoy.
As glorious as a director seems, it doesn’t always pay, and often it does not pay big money. Even when it does, it’s so precarious that a director may go from earning millions of dollars this year to nothing at all for the next two years.