We’ve been working with The Directors Charitable Foundation to look at the issues and pressures that directors experience – whether in film, on TV or on stage.
It can be a dream job. You have the responsibility of taking what is on the script you’re given and turn it into a fully-realised production on screen or stage. But when we spoke to a range of directors about what life is like for them, they told us that along with such a large sense of responsibility can come a lot of pressure. You might find yourself experiencing decision fatigue, stress, or feeling as though you are in a constant state of crisis.
Talking is key
We asked directors what piece of advice they would offer to others who might be feeling extreme pressure as a result of their job.
Sadly, there are some things you simply can’t avoid as a director. You might, for example, be working long hours, or facing pressure from producers to get the job done quickly but within budget.
But one of the key responses we heard was: directors should feel able to ask for help or support. Even though you might feel overwhelmed by work, making time for yourself and your loved ones can give you a much-needed boost to your mental wellbeing.
There’s another side to the importance of talking too. The fact is, directors aren’t always well treated – but one respondent told us that keeping quiet about problems enables them to continue, and urged directors to take responsibility for highlighting them. In the end, if something has gone wrong or you haven’t been treated fairly, it’s important for your experiences to be listened to and considered.
Of course, that’s just a starting point. We’ve put together a collection of resources that might help you in your role as a director – ranging from advice on getting a good night’s sleep to coping with negative attention on social media. If you – or perhaps a colleague – can identify with the issues our directors told us about, have a look below.