Characteristics & Qualities of an Excellent Director - Al Jazeera Media Institute
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Characteristics & Qualities of an Excellent Director

Characteristics & qualities of an excellent Director 

Below are some important traits and qualities of an excellent Director:


Creativity leads the work to new prospects that contribute to creating positive impact on the audiences. The fundamental principles of the Director's role are based on new secrets to be introduced to the audiences to enjoy the film. Therefore, the Director must be creative and able to generate ideas, backgrounds and other elements involved in a film production to maintain viewer interest.

The creative director will constantly be in search of attractive production that satisfies audience, as he or she is primarily responsible for the dramatic structure, visual images and the final work. Once the Director fails to achieve the goal the audiences will get upset, while the Director whose control of tension makes his/her film thrilling endurance tests. As the driving creative force in a film's production, the Director turns ideas into profitable entertainment in cultural context and produces an exciting film that will thrill the audience with its dynamic picture.


Decisiveness is among the most important personal characteristics of an excellent director in order to ensure production goes smoothly and prevent confusion, as the director is primarily responsible and final work, gives direction to the cast and crew and creates an overall vision through which a film eventually becomes realized.  Successful directors are involved in every phase of production, from the very beginning to the very end, they must be able to make firm technical and administrative decisions and stick to them to help ensure production stays on track. Directors have overall responsibility for the way films and television programs are made. The director is the head of the production unit and is responsible for directing the actors and for translating the teleplay into cinematic images in accordance with his/her vision. As a director, you would use your creativity, organizational skills and technical knowledge to manage the whole production.

Since the early days of cinema and television, the Director's role is indisputable and has a strong sense of authority, as he/she is responsible for leading a team to create an outstanding finished product to ensure they are working at their best. He/she is the one who says, "Yes" or "No", without being required to give a reason, because many decisions are associated with the Director's artistic vision. The Director has many reasons to be very strict on his set- sometimes arrogant - issues technical orders and insists on always having his way. This is because the director’s vision is developed through exploration of craft and process across a wide range of theory and the artistic vision may come to characterize the film as a whole. 

These are the norms and traditions followed by many global media institutions that adopt production standards and regulations supporting business interests; in these organizations no one interferes in the Director's work, because any interference or dispute would cause several disruptions and confusion, which would later result in harmful delay or slowdown that impedes the successive work progress, therefore a complexity in the film/programme budget and unexpected financial loss.  

A critic said once that cinematographers laugh ironically when film critics praise the Director's style and appreciate his/her vision; as some Directors (according to cameramen) are very dependent on cameramen and admit that they still do not know that much about the camera, although they generally have an idea of where they want the camera to be placed and what lighting to be presented. Cameramen say that Directors - whether they explicitly control all the subordinate work in a film or merely create a certain context through their very presence - are the only participants in a film's creation. The cameraman takes pressure off of Directors and anticipates what camera positions, lens types, and segments they are to shoot. Despite the Cameraman's skills and talents, he/she must follow the Director's orders and critical decisions on photography, decoration, lighting for each scene, clothing, design and much more. Successful Directors are involved in every phase of production, from the very beginning to the very end because they are responsible for leading the team to create outstanding finished product. 


The Director must have a terrific imagination from its conception through to its final product, and complete knowledge of the film in all its parts during preparations, preproduction, and editing, as well as learning exactly what it was that he had envisioned. Imagination shall also present in discussion meetings and verbal description, usually held after the completion of work and before releasing the film, as the art of film resides in the editing process. Imaginative and creative vision continues throughout the work process and entire shot sequence.

Professional Organization

The Directors is like the military General who decide "Yes" or "No" in many technical and administrative - related details during the whole production processes including preparations and preproductionprocessed. Most often the Director leads large groups, particularly during photography stage and the Director should work closely together and collaborate about how the production process and the entire scope of the film should take place, and should have a shared vision of the picture sequence.  

Shooting stages shall not necessarily be conducted under the Director's supervision and demands; as the latter more often does not interfere in technical aspect relating to the camera work, because the Cameraman, who functions as a viewer or view finder, is the one who determines pictorial beauty and smoothness of execution, selects appropriate camera lenses and other equipment, colors or shapes or any movement, in the sense that he/she is controlling the  scene, determining the snapshot intensity and clarity (focusing). Therefore the cameraman decides any necessary changes or alternatives if the shots are not convincing in terms movement of actors, accessories among other technical issues, which requires immediate interference, either in coordination with the Director or based on his/her talents and skills to achieve better results that would not upset the Director. The cameraman must ensure that the visual look of the film conforms to the director's vision.

Designing workflow is considered of critical importance to the success of production processes, as the position of the Director is extremely complex and requires accuracy in administrating hierarchy that helps in coordinating the miscellaneous functions and technical knowledge in managing the whole production processes. It is a multitasking job that requires many different skill sets, from knowing how to communicate with the crew, to understanding the physical requirements for accomplishing a shot, to editing the final product perfectly.

The Director should have administrative skills in managing a large number of individuals, including actors, executive producers, technicians and administrators, as well as prioritizing the work schedule. The film Director must ensure that all individuals involved in the film production are working towards an identical vision for the completed film. It is necessary to identify a head for each group, who shall directly interact with the Director, such as Director of Photography (DP), Technical Manager or Managing Director to effectively achieve sound organization in the technical work. 

selecting the right crew is one of prerequisite requirement of the work of the Director, who finds several options for determining the work elements, components and tiny details. The more clearly the director can make his vision of the process to the main crew members the smoother the entire production will go; otherwise such details could be the major reasons behind the failure of any TV or cinema film. For example, unless the casting director selects the right actor to portray the character, a cycle of criticism may arise, as the actor who is different from the envisioned character would cause enormous criticism. The same thing could be said about the TV program presenter, who shall be suitable for the type and nature of the show, otherwise the program will not be successful. Selection of right actors plays a fundamental role in determining the shape and nature of the work, including variety of colors, shapes, costumes, lighting, setting, staging and decorative accessories among various materials to be determined according to the Director's artistic vision. 

Hybridization, fitting and mixing

Among the personal qualities that a Director must have is the skills of hybridization, fitting and mixing between sciences and arts to create new art. The Director should have a taste of various forms of arts, as he/she will deal with such arts within the picture mixing processes. He will also bring together a group of technicians, artists, administrators and artisans and align them in the technical television/film work. It's worth saying that the cinema has been given the label "the seventh art" as it encompasses mixture of six visual arts form. One of the most difficult problems that Directors face in filmmaking is understanding the vision presented in their work; because the cast crew involved in the process fail to realize or best meet the Director's vision and express it artfully and creatively, perhaps because of inconsistency of different forms of arts and disciplines in the director's vision. Therefore, mixing and hybridization processes are directly associated with the Director's imagination and if they are accurately executed a more successful creative work will be produced to the audience.