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Television Director

Make the creative calls to get the shots you want on a TV set.

What does a Television Director do?

A Television Director is responsible for the placement of cameras, lighting, microphones, and props on their set. You have many responsibilities as a Television Director, and control over a variety of elements that change depending on the type of TV show you’re working on.

The big difference between a Television Director and a Film Director, is that on a TV set most of the creative control is given over to the Television Producer. This is different than a film set, where the Film Director is the creative drive behind the movie. As a Television Director, on the other hand, you are more of an organizing force than a visionary: It’s up to you to keep everyone calm and focused and doing their jobs while on set.

TV Directors fall into two general categories: multi-camera and single-camera direction. Your duties won’t really change, but your skills in those areas can be best applied to particular kinds of shows.

Live shows, news broadcasts, sporting events, sitcoms and soap operas all use multiple cameras. And because of that, your duties will be more about coordination, and how to find the best angles and shots. For the live shows you will most likely be in a booth, directing orders to Cameramen. For a sitcom, you’ll be on the stage floor, directing the Actors’ blocking and dialogue delivery.

For hour-long dramas and made-for-TV movies, you’ll use single-camera directing. Here you’ll work much like a Film Director would, cuing Actors, yelling cut, all that good stuff. You treat each episode like a mini-movie. For this you’ll be on set; most likely watching a monitor, making sure the right shot is made.