Film directors

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See also Film, and other roles in a film crew.

A Film director directs the artistic and dramatic aspects of a film. The role typically includes:

  • Defining the overall artistic vision of the film
  • Controlling the content and flow of the film's plot
  • Directing the performances of actors, both mechanically by putting them in certain positions, and dramatically by eliciting the required range of emotions.
  • Organizing and selecting the locations in which the film will be shot.
  • Managing technical details such as the positioning of cameras, the use of lighting, and the timing and content of the film's soundtrack.
  • Any other activity that defines or realizes the artistic vision the director has for the film.

In practice the director will delegate many of these responsibilities. For example, the director may describe the mood he or she wants from a scene, then leave it to other members of the film crew to find a suitable location, or to set up the appropriate lighting.

The degree of control that a director exerts over a film varies greatly, ranging from some who like to outline a general plot line and let the actors improvise dialog (such as Robert Altman), to those who control every aspect, and demand that the actors and crew follow instructions precisely (such as Stanley Kubrick).

Directors often work closely with film producers, who are responsible for the non-artistic elements of the film, such as financing, contract negotiation and marketing. Directors will often take on some of the responsibilities of the producer for their films (e.g. Steven Spielberg), or work so closely with the producer that the distinction in their roles becomes blurred (as is the case with Joel and Ethan Coen).

A

Robert Aldrich
Woody Allen
Pedro Almodovar
Robert Altman
Lindsay Anderson
Theo Angelopoulos
Michelangelo Antonioni
Alfonso Arau
Hal Ashby
Anthony Asquith
Richard Attenborough
Bille August
John Avildsen

B

Lloyd Bacon
Marco Bellocchio
Ingmar Bergman
Busby Berkeley
Bernardo Bertolucci
Peter Bogdanovich
John Boorman
Frank Borzage
John and Roy Boulting
Kenneth Branagh
Robert Bresson
Mel Brooks
Clarence Brown
Tod Browning
Luis Bunuel
Tim Burton

C

James Cameron
Jane Campion
Frank Capra
Marcel Carne
John Carpenter
John Cassavetes
Claude Chabrol
Charlie Chaplin
Michael Cimino
Rene Clement
Jean Cocteau
Joel and Ethan Coen
Francis Ford Coppola
Roger Corman
John Cromwell
David Cronenberg
Alfonso Cuaron
George Cukor

D

Delmar Davies
Brian De Palma
Vittorio De Sica
Guillermo Del Toro
Cecil B. DeMille
Jonathan Demme
Javques Demy
Andre de Toth
William Dieterle
Mark Donskoi
Carl Theodor Dreyer
Julien Duvivier
Allan Dwan


E

Clint Eastwood
Blake Edwards
Sergei Eisenstein

F

John Farrow
Rainer Fassbinder
Federico Fellini
Louis Feuillade
Mike Figgis
David Fincher
Terence Fisher
Robert J. Flaherty
Richard Fleischer
John Ford
Milos Forman
John Frankenheimer
William Friedkin

G

Lewis Gilbert
Terry Gilliam
Jean-Luc Godard
Heinosuke Gosho
Peter Greenaway
Jean Gremillon
D. W. Griffith
John Guillermin

H

Howard Hawks
Monte Hellman
Werner Herzog
George Roy Hill
Walter Hill
Alfred Hitchcock
Dennis Hopper
John Hughes
John Huston

I

Kon Ichikawa
Rex Ingram
James Ivory

J

Peter Jackson
Miklos Jancso
Derek Jarman
Jim Jarmusch
Norman Jewison
Spike Jonze

K

Lawrence Kasdan
Philip Kayfman
Elia Kazan
Buster Keaton
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Keisuke Kinoshita
Teinosuke Kinugasa
Zoltan Korda
Stanley Kubrick
Akira Kurosawa

L

Fritz Lang
Walter Lang
David Lean
Ang Lee
Spike Lee
Mike Leigh
Claude Lelouch
Sergio Leone
Richard Lester
Jerry Lewis
Ken Loach
Ernst Lubitsch
George Lucas
Sydney Lumet
David Lynch

M

Louis Malle
Joseph Leo Mankiewicz
Anthony Mann
Chris Marker
George Marshall
John Milius
George Miller
Vincente Minnelli
Kenji Mizoguchi
Friedrich Murnau

N

Gregory Nava
Fred Niblo
Mike Nichols


O

Max Ophuls
Nagisa Oshima
Yasujiro Ozu

P

Alan J. Pakula
Alan Parker
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Sam Peckinpah
Arthur Penn
Wolfgang Petersen
Elio Petri
Roman Polanski
Sydney Pollack
Michael Powell
Otto Preminger

Q

Richard Quine

R

Nicholas Ray
Satyajit Ray
Rob Reiner
Jean Renoir
Tony Richardson
Leni Riefenstahl
Jacques Rivette
Robert Rodriguez
Nicholas Roeg
Eric Rohmer
Roberto Rossellini
Ken Russell

S

John Sayles
Franklin Schaffner
John Schlesinger
Joel Schumacher
Martin Scorsese
Ridley Scott
Don Siegel
Robert Siodmak
Douglas Sirk
Kevin Smith
Steven Soderbergh
Steven Spielberg
Oliver Stone
John Sturges

T

Andrei Tarkovsky
Quentin Tarantino
Jacques Tati
John Lee Thompson
Francois Truffaut

U

Peter Ustinov

V

Roger Vadim
Luis Valdez
Paul Verhoeven
King Vidor
Thomas Vinterberg
Luchino Visconti
Erich von Stroheim
Lars von Trier

W

The Wachowski brothers
Andrzej Wajda
Peter Weir
Orson Welles
Wim Wenders
James Whale
Billy Wilder
John Woo
William Wyler

Y

Zhang Yimou

Z

Robert Zemeckis
Fred Zinnemann