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Director (film, television, radio or stage)

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Summary of occupation

Film, stage and television directors are responsible for shaping the creative aspects of films, stage productions and television shows. They read and interpret scripts and turn those scripts into live, filmed or broadcast productions. They make decisions in conjunction with producers, cinematographers, and editors and designers, and provide creative guidance to actors, dancers, hosts and other performers. Directors also coordinate the activities of studio or stage crew and technicians, to ensure that all technical elements of a production are correct. Film, stage and television directors work all over the state, either filming in any of our State’s stunning locations, or bringing professional productions to audiences in our cities and towns.

ANZSCO description: Interprets and approves selection of scripts, and directs and instructs cast and crew during filming, recording or performance of productions. This occupation requires high levels of creative talent or personal commitment and interest as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications and experience.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Film Director, Stage Director, Television Director
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A film director needs:

  • good leadership and motivational skills
  • strong communication skills
  • the ability to stay calm in stressful situations
  • good organisational skills
  • creativity and adaptability
  • the ability to coordinate the work of large groups of people.
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Working conditions

Film, stage and television directors work in film and television studios, theatres and other performance spaces, and on film or television sets in actual locations. When working outside they generally require specific, usually clement weather conditions. They work long hours, often until late, and may be required to work on weekends or public holidays. They may be required to travel locally, across the State, interstate or overseas to shoot on location.

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Salary details

On average, film, television, radio and stage directors can expect to earn $1 618 per week ($84 120 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience. As a film, television, radio and stage director develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Film, stage and television directors use office equipment, as well as using laptop computers and mobile phones to stay in contact with key people in the entertainment industry. They also need to be familiar with many of the technical aspects of the filmmaking process, but not necessarily require any practical experience with the equipment involved.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a film, television, radio or stage director you usually need to complete a VET qualification or degree in screen, film, media or a related area. Relevant courses are widely available at TAFE Colleges and universities throughout Western Australia. Contact the training providers you are interested in for more information.​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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