How do I become a director?

Get tips on becoming a director from film and television industry professionals.

So you’re interested in becoming a director, but how d’you achieve that goal? Watch the videos to see professional directors discuss their roles and work.

If you’re interested in training courses (and are aged 16 to 19) then the BFI Film Academy Specialist residential programme focuses on different specialisms with leading industry professionals delivering masterclasses and practical skills training. Participants also receive bespoke careers advice.

Sarah Gavron on directing

Filmmaker Sarah Gavron discusses the directors who inspired her at the start of her career, how she wishes she had worked as a runner alongside her film school education to increase her experience and the importance of finding her own voice as a director. She offers advice to other women who wish to work as directors, and quotes advice from filmmaker Stephen Frears, her tutor at film school.

Sarah was nominated for a BAFTA for her feature film debut, Brick Lane (2007), and directed Suffragette (2015) starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, which opened the 2015 BFI London Film Festival.

Interviewer: Pelumi Akindude

Iain B. MacDonald on directing for film and television

TV veteran Iain B. MacDonald reveals how he first got into directing, his methods when preparing a scene, and how to source a cast and crew. He also describes the challenges of finding funding for a short film, and how he approaches the difficulties in working with child actors.

Iain has directed many short films and TV series, including medical soap Doctors (2000-), sitcom Episodes (2011), starring Matt LeBlanc, and bomb disposal comedy drama Bluestone 42 (2013-).

Interviewer: Pelumi Akindude