Within today’s lesson, we worked on Skills. Today in particular, we learnt about how to become a director, and the general jobs a director would have as well as researching into a director of our choice.

Tim Burton on the set of “Frankenweenie” (Radish, C, 9 May 2012)

The first question we were asked was “What does a director do?” – in simple terms, they direct! However, in more complex terms they are the ultimate visionary in control of everything after the word “ACTION”. They control the actors, sound, editing, lighting and camera work.

A director also teams with the producer, usually they do a lot of things together, and the producer is more of an admin, in charge of the financial side, and making sure that everything is there for the director: actors, sound engineers, editors, lighting and cinematographers.

To become a director, you must have a specific set of skills. Some that we mentioned as a group within class were as followed:

  • A vision: Without a vision, how are you going to be able to make something? You must have the creativity to make it come alive!
  • Confidence: You need to be confident with what you are/want to create, otherwise it won’t work!
  • Respect: You have to have a type of respect for everyone working with you, otherwise nobody would be interested in what you’re creating!
  • Determination: Why would you create something if you were not determined?
  • Leadership: You must show that you can be a leader, you’re the one that’s in charge of everything that’s going on at the time!
  • Consistency: Stay consistent with what you’re creating, have a schedule, make it easier for yourself.
  • Patience: It will take time for some things, make sure that you have the patience to be able to allow it to work!
  • Passionate: If you’re not passionate about becoming a director for a certain film… What’s the point?

Finally, in the end a BIG deal is over Luck. This can be to do with creating contacts throughout your life to try and get yourself up there in the bigger market, or it could even be to do with money. If you have the money, you’ve got a much better chance.

In specific terms, to become a director, as well as everything mentioned above, you must be able to develop your skills. Generally this would be through making films yourself, or even watching films! The more you watch, the more you’ll feed your imagination. You could also go to University to make connections, as maybe someone has a full studio there, you never know!

We were also asked to write a bit about a famous director: In particular I love Tim Burton and his directing style, so I decided to choose him for this task.

Image result for Tim Burton
Tim Burton (Biography.com Editors, 24 December 2014)

Some basic background knowledge of Tim Burton is available from Biography.com, such as he was born on August the 25th, 1958 in Burbank, California where he was given the birth name “Timothy Walter Burton”. He has worked as a Painter, Screenwriter, Illustrator, Producer and as a Director: pretty much everything!

Tim Burton originally majored in animation at the California Institute of Arts creating a short film known as Stalk of the Celery Monster resulted in a job working as a Disney Animator, however he left within a year to strike out on his own.

Disney recognized his creativity giving him the green light to direct Vincent (1982). This was a short film about a boy who wanted to be like Vincent Price. The short film itself ended up winning an Audience Award and was a critical success.

Tim Burton Biography (IMDB Editors, No date)
Image result for Frankenweenie 1984
Frankenweenie (Hodgson, M, 25 July 2013)

Burton continued his passion after leaving Disney by releasing his live-action short film Frankenweenie (1984). After the success of his short film, he was then recognized more, and Paul Reubens (the writer and actor of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure) instantly wanted him and hired him to direct the film. Following from the film, he instantly became popular resulting in him being offered many different scripts, however, due to the fact that they were mainly spin-offs of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure he denied them as he wanted to do something new.

Tim Burton Biography (Thefamouspeople.com, No date)
Tim Burton: how a strange childhood gave him a taste for the bizarre (Pringle, G, 6 October 2012)

That was the short summary on how Tim Burton managed to get to where he is today, from his strange and twisted mind with animation in California to what has made him who he is today.

I feel this task was helpful towards some people within the class, personally I’m not too interested in becoming a director, at least not at this time (maybe that could change in the future). I feel that the task was helpful though as it allowed me to realize some of the main things you need towards becoming a director and the general skills you would need, as well as how you could work your way up to become a successful director one day.


IMDB Editors (No date), Tim Burton Biography. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000318/bio (Accessed: 21 September 2016)
Thefamouspeople.com (No date), Tim Burton Bipgraphy. Available at: http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/tim-burton-4168.php (Accessed: 21 September 2016)
Thefamouspeople.com (No date), Tim Burton Bipgraphy. Available at: http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/tim-burton-4168.php (Accessed: 21 September 2016)
Radish, C (9 May 2012), Tim Burton Talks FRANKENWEENIE, BEETLEJUICE 2, BIG EYES and a PINOCCHI Film with Robert Downey Jr. Available at: http://collider.com/tim-burton-frankenweenie-beetlejuice-2-sequel/ (Accessed on 21 September 2016)
Pringle, G (6 October 2012), Tim Burton: how a strange childhood gave him a taste for the bizarre. Available at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/film-tv/news/tim-burton-how-a-strange-childhood-gave-him-a-taste-for-the-bizarre-28870904.html (Accessed: 21 September 2016)
Hodgson, M (25 July 2013), FRANKENWEENIE (1984) – Tim Burton’s original short. Available at: http://blackholereviews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/frankenweenie-1984-tim-burtons-original.html (Accessed: 21 September 2016)
Biography.com Editors (24 December 2014), Tim Burton Biography. Available at: http://www.biography.com/people/tim-burton-9542431 (Accessed: 21 September 2016)