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Digital Video Directing: Job & Career Information

Mar 04, 2019

Digital video directing is a relatively new career track that also includes digital film editing, newscasting and video production. Learn about the educational requirements for a digital video director here, and find information about career and salary prospects for creative professionals working in this cutting-edge field.

Career Definition for a Digital Video Director

Digital video directors oversee the actions of cast and crew during a production. They are also responsible for interpreting scripts, executing scenes, conducting rehearsals and maintaining a cohesive storyline throughout the filmmaking process. Filming decisions typically include those associated with camera angles, lighting and performance styles, as well as the choice of locations and sets. Unlike film and video shot with 35mm film, digital formats are considerably cheaper and easier to edit; however, as the files tend to degenerate quickly, they may result in long-term data storage problems.

Education Bachelor's degree in film studies or cinema recommended, other options include acting, communications studies, or writing
Job Skills Flexibility, leadership, management
Median Salary (2017) $71,620 for producers and directors
Job Growth (2016-2026) 12% for producers and directors

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Aspiring directors in general usually complete a bachelor's degree program in cinema or film studies, which may include courses in editing, the history of film and lighting. Individual schools may offer undergraduate programs in digital filmmaking. Some students pursue alternative degree programs in acting, communications studies, journalism or writing. Experience in the industry is essential for obtaining a position; some directors enter the field as assistants or lower-level employees in film or television studios.

Skills Required

Digital video directors must be flexible and able to work on a project-to-project basis. Strong creative and visualization abilities are important, as well as the leadership and management abilities needed to oversee the actions of cast and crew members in material settings. Digital video directors should also be skilled communicators and coordinators who can help others perform according to budgets and schedules.

Career and Salary Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment opportunities for producers and directors in general are expected to grow by 12% nationwide, or faster than average, between 2016 and 2026. As of May 2017, the median annual salary for a producer or director employed in the film or video industry was $86,890. In the same year, California, New York and Florida had the highest levels of employment for producers and directors. California and New York were also some of the highest-paying states in May 2017, along with New Jersey (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

Here are some other career choices in the field of directing:

Art Directors

Art directors are responsible for the overall 'look' of a production or publication, which may include a film or television project. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts or Fine Arts, art directors usually have prior experience in graphic or set design, fine arts or photography, among other related areas. Art directors who were employed in the film and video industries in May 2017 earned median annual salaries of $112,800. Opportunities for employment nationwide are expected to grow by 5% from 2016 to 2026.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators use their knowledge of computer software programs to create cartoon features and visuals for films, television shows and other media productions. To help students prepare for the field, some schools offer technical majors in computer graphics, game design or interactive media; bachelor's degree programs in the fine arts may also be helpful. Graduates who are entering this highly competitive field can expect an 8% increase in opportunities nationwide from 2016-2026. In May 2017, the median annual salary for multimedia artists and animators was $70,530.

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