As a lover of movies, I have come to discover that like most many other film lovers, we quite familiar with the leading actor or actress, or even their supporting casts; but rarely do we pay much attention to who the director of such movies is.
For those movies that have us whooping with excitement or shaking with tears of emotion; such impacts are usually due to the brilliance of the man or woman behind the camera. People gifted with the ability to see a movie script in ways that the eyes of the ordinary layman are unable to see.
More often than not, whether a movie turns out to be a blockbuster, all-time classic or a box office flop comes down to the ability (or inability) of the director to interpret the movie script in such ways as to be able to appeal to cinema-goers.
While the average movie watcher is almost always primarily interested in the movie plots and the actors who play the leading roles; the world, however, understands the critical input of a movie director in bringing a story to life on the cinema screen.
Movies like Sound of Music (1965), An Affair to Remember (1957), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Godfather (1972), Casablanca (1947), Gone with the Wind (1939), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) are remembered for starring screen idols like Julie Andrews, Cary Grant, and Deborah Kerr; but certainly not for the directors who waved their directorial magic wands and left us spellbound for the rest of our lives with their movies.
What does a director do? You may ask.
A film director is a person who directs or controls the film’s artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay or script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision. Under European law, the director is viewed as the author of the movie.
The film director gives direction to the cast and crew and creates an overall vision through which a film eventually becomes realized or noticed. They achieve this by mediating differences in creative visions while staying within budget for such productions.
How does one get to become a movie director?
There is no fixed path to becoming a film or video director. In fact, some of the renowned names in the directorial universe started off as screenwriters, cinematographers, producers, film editors, or even actors. Some others became directors after attending film school.
Some film directors command as much star power as the leading actors and actresses that headline their movies because everyone knows that such directors possess the Midas’ touch to turn an ordinary script into cinematic masterpieces and box office blockbusters.
Some of the renowned names in this directorial stratosphere include Martin Scorsese, Joel and Ethan Cohen, Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Agnes Varda, amongst many others.
Unfortunately, according to A 2018 UNESCO report, the film industry has a disproportionately higher number of male directors than female directors, and they provide as an example the fact that only 20% of films in Europe are directed by a woman. 44% of graduates from a sample of European film schools are women, yet only 24% of working film directors in Europe are women. In Hollywood, women make up only 12.6 percent of film directors, as reported by a UCLA study of the 200 top theatrical films of 2017.
That notwithstanding, however, the next time you watch a movie that left you screaming with excitement or soapy with emotions; take a moment to find out the name of the magician who directed it.