Why do you need a director and when is he not needed?

Publication in Russian on the Zen blog

Why and for what purpose do you need a director on the set and in commercial filming?

Publication from PiterPro_Production together with Mikhail Smirnov (founder and head of CMCproduction and SmartREC).


YES, most video production projects are implemented without the involvement of a director (this means video production for business, since films cannot be made without a director). YES, projects without a director often look no less high quality and even no less spectacular. So WHY pay the highest fee to a specialist, without whom everything is already fine?! Let's figure it out.

Let’s immediately make a reservation that “without a director” is not quite “without directing.” The authority of the director in such projects is assumed by the producer, and if we talk about filming with video studios or private owners, then by the operator himself. All specialists need to start somewhere, and when one novice specialist, for example, an operator, performs several tasks well at the same time, then there is nothing wrong with that. But we are still talking from the point of view of a production agency that carries out 200 projects a year. This volume of projects cannot be completed if specialists focus on several tasks at the same time.

Therefore, in the professional world you will not find a producer, cameraman, gaffer, editor, etc., performing the tasks of a director. In video production, the basis is time (work shifts), since it is from this parameter that the cost of the project as a whole is formed. But we will not take finance as a basis for now, but will still talk about the creative and technical component of the director’s presence.

In our glossary you can find out what the difference is between a stage director, a director and their assistants, and what “directing” is in general. To avoid confusion, we will talk about the director as the only main person in the project.

Director from a creative point of view

The director working on the project, even at the stage of ideas and ideas, forms a general vision and solution for the entire video in his head. It’s as if he already sees the finished video in his head and, reading the idea or script, looks at it like an editor on a timeline. He immediately comes up with: how the shots will be joined, where the actors in the frame will go, from what angle to start the camera movement, etc. The director begins to propose ideas that may not even occur to a group of screenwriters or, especially, to a client who himself wrote the script or came up with the idea. It is a known fact that the operator uses a tripod while filming, and people who have experienced modern filming know that the operator can use a steadicam, a slider for smooth shooting, and even aerial photography. Well, the director knows dozens of other ways to use camera mechanisms, and most importantly, he can come up with a new way, based on the script or location features. At this moment, the operator and mechanics will figure out how to implement such a method.

Directors develop this with experience and observation of a variety of videos, especially those of foreign origin, where the video industry is more developed. The director creates a “director’s script,” bringing his own vision and attitude to the project. He selects and offers the optimal cast that will embody certain images in the video. On the set, the project director manages the entire film crew and implements all ideas, also working with the actors. During the post-production stage, together with the editing co-director, he builds the tempo-rhythm of the video, and records voices with the announcers, since their sound in the video is necessary. Participates in the music and noise design of the video, and often presents and defends the final version when delivered to the client.

director Nikita Khozyainov on the set of a video for the Research Institute VECTOR


Director from a technical point of view

This is the person who coordinates the project and is responsible for the entire video creation process - from idea to implementation. The director participates in drawing up estimates, distributing funds, drawing up call sheets and filming schedules, controls the creation of scenery and props, inspects locations, creates director's treatment and director's script, and attracts specialists whom he is willing to trust in a specific project.

A director is a person who knows how to work and talk with a group of specialists “in their language” at all stages. During the preparation of the project, the director communicates freely with screenwriters and producers. At the pre-production and production stages, it sets tasks for operators, gaffers, artists and other specialists. And most importantly, he works with actors, prepares them for their roles and requires them to fulfill the tasks set by the script and storyboard. At the post-production stage, he works with specialists in editing, graphics, design, etc. Often, it is in the “editing room” when mixing materials and creating rough and finishing installations.

Let's return to the financial component

Read about what makes up the price of a video, more details in our article

Yes, the director is, as a rule, the most expensive specialist. But you are not paying for a person who will spend one or several filming shifts with you, but a specialist who will live with your project throughout the entire cycle of its creation. He will do everything possible to make every frame of the video memorable, creative, beautiful, and effective. At the same time, so that the end result is not a motley video, but a complete, unified, harmonious audiovisual work that meets all the original ideas. The director's fee is the experience and knowledge that he will bring to your project.

From all of the above, it is clear that such a specialist as a director is important and necessary. But not always. Yes it is. Having beautifully described the work of a director, we can list cases when it is better NOT to involve such a specialist:

- If you are making technical videos. These videos include a large number of areas: reporting videos from the event, video reviews for marketplaces, video instructions, briefings, training videos, etc.

- If you have your own vision of the finished video, a reference or an example that needs to be repeated one by one. In this case, the director’s creative potential will not be used, his task will be to copy the material, and the producer will cope with this task.

- If you want to direct yourself. There may be dozens of specialists on the set, but there is always only one director, everyone carries out the instructions of one person. If you are a professional or confident in your directorial abilities, then a producer will help you in all technical aspects.

- If you have been releasing a series of successful videos for a long time, for example, on YouTube. You have your own audience, they like your videos, views are growing every day, and you want to reach “the next level.” In this case, we are categorically against attracting a professional director. Subscribers like the content you produce. The director will bring his own vision, and there is no guarantee, no matter how professional he is, that the audience will like it. In this case, it is better to seek the services of a screenwriter or find yourself a full-fledged like-minded person who “thinks” like you.

In all these cases, the producer handles the project, and you will not spend extra budget. We only advise, but it's up to you!





Publication from PiterPro_Production
Official permanent partner of Yandex Taxi, Subway Russia, social network Tik Tok, Yandex charity project "Help is Near", Expoforum, Government of St. Petersburg, Association "NAUMIR", Tinkoff Bank, Company "Siberian Wellness", Volkswagen dealership network, Moley Robotics, “Magic World”, MEDI, Siberian Wellness, “My Business”, Gillette (P&G), “TatNeft”, “Geyser”, IKEA, “Sovcombank”, “Bekhterev”, “White Birch”. Seaport of St. Petersburg, international IT company T-Sistems, IT company Novardis, Rossiya airline, and many others.

Together with CMCproduction and SmartREC
Professional video production CMCproduction and SmartREC.
CMCproduction - full cycle video production.
SmartREC is a territory of free creativity, the first mobile video production in St. Petersburg.

Author's video content.
In collaboration with video studios CMCproduction & SmartREC

If you are interested in making videos, join our communities.

I'm making a video
Video for business
Promotional videos
Instagram content
TV programs and reality shows
As well as professional reviews of products, video equipment, video equipment, devices, gadgets.

Professional video production CMCproduction and SmartREC
CMCproduction - full cycle video production
SmartREC - a territory of free creativity, the first mobile video production in St. Petersburg

I am also a professional in smartphone video production. I love filming on my phone and am happy to share materials from filming and useful information about how it was filmed.
Post your work via offer news TopContent

TopContent on Zen

Telegram channel from the head and founder of CMCproduction and SmartREC.
Let's share how the filming goes. Promotions for clients, invitations to participate in joint projects.
News, promotions, invitation to participate in joint projects.

Publication in Russian on the Zen blog

How do you rate this article?


Ship Shard
Ship Shard

Professional videoproduction CMCproduction & SmartREC CMCproduction - full cycle video production SmartREC - the first mobile video production in St. Petersburg

professional videoproduction
professional videoproduction

Professional videoproduction CMCproduction & SmartREC. CMCproduction - full cycle video production. SmartREC - the first mobile video production in St. Petersburg. All Links

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.