AskDefine | Define filmmaker

Dictionary Definition

filmmaker n : a producer of motion pictures [syn: film maker, film producer, movie maker]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  1. A producer or director of films / movies

Extensive Definition

Filmmaker redirects here. Filmmaker can also mean Film producer.
A director (filmmaker) is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director visualizes the script, controlling a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of their vision.
However, film directors do not in all countries have absolute artistic control. The director can also be selected by the producer. The producer can in this case have veto power over everything from the script itself to the final cut of the film, often in anywhere from slight to extreme opposition to the director's vision.
When directing episodes for a television show, a director's responsibilities are somewhat diminished, as the visual look and feel of the series is already established, usually by the person billed as the show's creator or executive producer. Those directors who choose or are chosen to work in TV traditionally have had to accept that they will not be as lauded, or as well-paid, as their big-screen counterparts.


A film director is responsible for overseeing every creative aspect of a film. They develop a vision for a film, decide how it should look, what tone it should have, and what an audience should gain from the cinematic experience. He/she is in short the storyteller. Film directors are responsible for approving every camera angle, lens effect, lighting, and set design occasionally even taking part in the hiring of key crew members. They coordinate the actors moves, determine camera angles, and may be involved in the writing, financing, and editing of a film. The director works closely with the cast and crew to shape the film and may often take suggestions on pertinent issues. Some like to conduct rigorous rehearsals in preproduction while others do so before each scene. In either case this process is essential as it tells the director as well as other key members of the crew (Director of Photography, Stunt Choreographer, Hair Stylist etc) how the actors are going to play the scene, which enables them to make any necessary adjustments. The Director also plays a key role in post-production. The Director oversees the editing of the scenes with the editor to ensure that the emotions of the scene and the close ups, mid shots and wide shots appropriately reflect who (the character) is driving the scene. The Director also inputs into the (color) grading of the final images adding warmth or frigidity to the composition of the scenes to reflect the emotional subtext of the character or environment. The Director also participates in the sound mix and musical composition of the film.

Methods of film directing

Directors have different methods of creating a movie. Some styles include:
Directors work closely with film producers, who are responsible for both artistic and non-artistic elements of the film, such as, script approval, financing, casting notes, contract negotiation and marketing. Some directors will take on some of the responsibilities of the producer for their films. Directors like Orson Welles are famously known for writing, directing and producing their films while the early silent film director Alice Guy Blaché not only produced her own pictures, but actually created her own highly successful studio.

Professional organizations

In the United States, directors usually belong to the Directors Guild of America. The Canadian equivalent is the Directors Guild of Canada. In the UK, directors usually belong to Directors Guild of Great Britain. A new director might earn as little as $20,000 a year, while the most successful can earn over $500,000 per movie, even millions per film in some cases.


filmmaker in Bulgarian: Режисьор
filmmaker in Catalan: Director de cinema
filmmaker in Danish: Filminstruktør
filmmaker in German: Regisseur
filmmaker in Modern Greek (1453-): Σκηνοθέτης
filmmaker in Spanish: Director de cine
filmmaker in Esperanto: Reĝisoro
filmmaker in Basque: Zinema zuzendaria
filmmaker in Persian: کارگردان
filmmaker in French: Réalisateur
filmmaker in Hindi: फ़िल्म निर्देशक
filmmaker in Croatian: Redatelj
filmmaker in Indonesian: Sutradara
filmmaker in Italian: Regista
filmmaker in Hebrew: במאי קולנוע
filmmaker in Latin: Moderator cinematographicus
filmmaker in Lithuanian: Režisierius
filmmaker in Lojban: kinzbapre
filmmaker in Hungarian: Filmrendező
filmmaker in Dutch: Filmregisseur
filmmaker in Japanese: 映画監督
filmmaker in Polish: Reżyser
filmmaker in Portuguese: Diretor de cinema
filmmaker in Romanian: Regizor de film
filmmaker in Russian: Кинорежиссёр
filmmaker in Slovenian: Filmski režiser
filmmaker in Finnish: Elokuvaohjaaja
filmmaker in Swedish: Filmregissör
filmmaker in Turkish: Yönetmen
filmmaker in Chinese: 電影導演
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