Theater and film directors are primarily responsible for the overall interpretation of a script and for bringing that script to life, either on stage or on screen. Directors must coach and coordinate both the cast and crew. They also ensure all aspects of a production come to life as imagined, including the set and location.
Directors and producers are often confused with one another but differ in the fact that producers typically handle budgets, hire staff and perform other managerial tasks for the venture as a whole, while directors are more involved in the creative processes of the production. Sometimes the director and producer of a play or film is the same person, and other times the director is hired by and reports directly to the producer. Sometimes the director also serves as a writer, designer or performer.
According to Media College, the position of director requires a great amount of prior experience in other parts of the production process. After working as writers, actors or designers, many directors serve as assistant directors before taking on full directorial responsibilities. The industry is a difficult one to break into, so directors need to be motivated by creative achievement rather than financial reward. Many directors, especially those in theater, work on low-pay or no-pay projects.