How to become a Creative Director

What is a creative director?

The creative director is typically the head of the creative team. Creative directors set the direction for a brand’s identity or the vision for a film. Their job is essentially to develop and oversee creative projects from concept to execution.

How to become a creative director?

You could take a course at university in film or television production before moving into directing. You may find it helpful to take a film-making or media production course that helps you to build practical skills and make contacts in the industry.

Many directors start out as runners, helping out on film or TV sets, and work their way up through other jobs like 3rd and 2nd assistant director or floor manager. Others move into directing after getting experience in camera work, screenwriting or acting.

It’s important to get as much experience as you can in film and TV, and an in-depth understanding of the production process.

You can do this by taking part in activities like student or community film or TV, and finding work experience placements on film projects.

You can search for film and TV companies to approach for experience through media business listing services like PACT and The Knowledge.

Another way to break into film directing is to make your own films, known as ‘shorts’. You can market these to agents, post them online or enter them into film festivals and competitions. You’ll need access to equipment, crew and actors to make your own films. Getting involved in community filming projects can help with this.

Creative director duties

Creative director duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Develop ideas for advertising or promotional campaigns
  • Pitch concepts to clients if you work at an agency, or presenting to directors if you work in-house
  • Oversee several projects from start to finish, keeping to deadlines, and signing off on these projects before they are presented
  • Liaise with clients to keep them informed and to highlight any issues
  • Mentor and encourage creative team members to foster a positive work environment
  • Shoulder the responsibility of the quality and completion of all work projects assigned to members of the creative team
  • Participate in and provide regular opportunities for professional development and growth to team

Creative director skills

To be an effective creative director, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Good comfort level interacting with high-profile clients and industry professionals
  • Excellent leadership
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Resilience under pressure and against deadlines
  • Familiarity with a variety of software programs, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Flash

How to find a creative director job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the creative director jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for creative director jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

What does a creative director do?

The job of a creative director varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of creative director job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a creative director include;

  • meeting producers to plan filming schedules and resources
  • developing scripts or ideas for programmes
  • deciding how the production should look and where it should be filmed
  • developing storyboards
  • supervising the editing
  • hiring the cast and crew
  • explaining technical requirements to different teams
  • directing actors on set or location

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