To start, everyone has their own idea about who is, and what it takes to be a “good” movie director. I use the word “good” loosely because in reality, what people think makes a good director is entirely subjective to what type, and style of movies they enjoy. Besides all of the favoritism and subjectiveness, lets break it down to the basics, to the bones of a film itself.
So what technically is the job description of a director? It’s to basically keep track of all other departments involved in the film. To maintain the vision for the film throughout the long months of shooting and post production. Obviously, the director has many helping hands to have everything running as smooth as possible, but it always falls back on the director for the final say and vision for the production. If he or she can’t keep up with the daily demands and can’t keep everyone in line, the production is hardly going to move along, or worse, turn out sloppy and half-assed.
Every director has their own style, this style starts in the earliest stages of pre-production. The type of script they choose, or if they’re also the screen writer, then what type of script they write. Even the color grading is a key factor in perceiving the style a director has. Every established director is usually widely known for their style already, for example, and possibly the most known for their style, Michael Bay. When you go to your local theater to watch one of his movies, you know there is going to be a lot of action, and a lot of explosions. Another director known for their style is Martin Scorsese, his movies are known for their long takes, and are usually always in the Drama category, and/or have Leonardo DiCaprio casted in the film (seriously, he’s in his movies a lot). Of course this kind of style and trend that directors keep, help studios and producers choose directors for certain projects that they want to be set in a certain way. A directors style could almost be called their artistic personality.
Editing, and the films pace could also likely be one of the most important aspects to what makes a good director. Of course this is now technically another department, but this leads back to what was mentioned before about the director having the last say about the films post-production process. The vision of the film has to be maintained throughout the entirety of the project, what use is it, if the vision gets lost on the cutting room floor because the director lost sight of what scenes or moments where most important to convey the best story possible. This could easily tie into the pace of the film. Too slow, or too fast could either leave the audience feeling bored, or left feeling dazed, wondering what exactly even happened. When you watch any movie, you want to feel like it got to point A to point B as smooth and as creatively as possible.
Having said this, and after breaking down these three elements of directing, you would in theory have a “by the book” director. The beauty of film making is not simply defined in good or bad movies, actors, or even directors. Of course, if you have all those things then perfect! But if a director makes you feel the emotion, the mood, if they transport you to another world and spark your own imagintion, then they have done their job. That is what makes a good director.
Let us know! What do you think makes a good director? Leave your interesting and creative responses in the comment section. We love to hear your opinions and views!