Film Director - Characteristics of Film Directors

Characteristics of Film Directors

Different directors can vary immensely amongst themselves, under various characteristics. Several examples are:

  • Outline a general plotline and let the actors improvise dialogue. Notable examples include Ingmar Bergman, Christopher Guest, Wong Kar-wai, Spike Lee, Wim Wenders, Mike Leigh, Jean-Luc Godard, Miklós Jancsó, Gus Van Sant, Judd Apatow, and occasionally Robert Altman, Sergio Leone and Federico Fellini.
  • Control every aspect, and demand that the actors and crew follow instructions precisely. Notable examples include David Lean, Akira Kurosawa, Steven Spielberg, Victor Fleming, James Cameron, George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick, Sidney Lumet, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Guillermo del Toro and Alfred Hitchcock.
  • Write their own screenplays. Notable examples include Woody Allen, Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John Cassavetes, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron, George Lucas, J. F. Lawton, David Cronenberg, Charlie Chaplin, Billy Wilder, Ed Wood, David Lynch, the Coen brothers, Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Pedro Almodóvar, John Hughes, Nick Park, Edward Burns, Kevin Smith, Todd Field, Cameron Crowe, Oren Peli, Eli Roth, Paul Thomas Anderson, Guillermo del Toro, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Oliver Stone, Terrence Malick, John Singleton, Spike Lee, Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Hayao Miyazaki, M. Night Shyamalan, Paul Haggis, Billy Bob Thornton, James Wong, Tyler Perry, Robert Rodriguez, Christopher Nolan, George A. Romero, Sergio Leone, Satyajit Ray and Joss Whedon. Steven Spielberg and Sidney J. Furie have written screenplays for a small number of their films.
  • Collaborate on screenplays with long-standing writing partners. Notable examples include Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga, Elia Kazan and Tennessee Williams, Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown/Tony Grisoni, Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson/Noah Baumbach, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, Martin Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi/Paul Schrader/Jay Cocks, Yasujirō Ozu and Kôgo Noda, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière/Luis Alcoriza, Krzysztof Kieślowski/Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Frank Capra/Robert Riskin, Michelangelo Antonioni/Tonino Guerra, Billy Wilder/I.A.L. Diamond, Sergio Leone and Sergio Donati, Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins, and Christopher Nolan/Jonathan Nolan/David S. Goyer.
  • Be the cinematographer and/or editor. Notable examples include Nicolas Roeg, Akira Kurosawa, Peter Hyams, Steven Soderbergh, Josef von Sternberg, David Lean, Don Coscarelli, Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, Ed Wood, Gaspar Noe, Tony Kaye, Takeshi Kitano, Andy Warhol, Shinya Tsukamoto, Kenneth Anger, the Coen brothers.
  • Appear in their films. Notable examples include Clint Eastwood, Orson Welles, Mel Gibson, Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, John Waters, John Carpenter, Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Anger, Woody Allen, Jon Favreau, Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, Michael Bay, Mel Brooks, Ben Stiller, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Charlie Chaplin, Terry Jones, Edward Burns, Sam Raimi, Roman Polanski, Billy Bob Thornton, Sylvester Stallone, M. Night Shyamalan, Harold Ramis, Robert De Niro, John Woo, Kevin Smith, Warren Beatty, Kenneth Branagh and Ed Wood. Alfred Hitchcock, Abel Ferrara, Shawn Levy, Edgar Wright and Spike Jonze made cameo appearances in their films.
  • Compose a music score for their films. Notable examples include Charlie Chaplin, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John Carpenter, Alejandro Amenábar, Satyajit Ray, Robert Rodriguez and Vishal Bhardwaj.
  • Be a single-person film crew (collaborating on cinematography, editing and music as well). Notable examples include Robert Rodriguez, William Eubank, David Lynch and John Waters

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