How to become a freelance music video director and stylist: Roisin’s story

Meet Roisin and find out about her life as a freelance music video director and stylist. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

I was always incredibly good at communicating a visual idea through words.

  • Roisin directs music videos. She listens to an artist’s song and creates a video treatment for it. That includes writing down shot lists, ideas for lighting and what she’s trying to achieve visually

  • She works long days - sometimes from 6am to 11pm

  • Roisin is a freelancer, which means she is self-employed. She feels she has been able to progress further and more quickly this way

  • Roisin studied English, Media Studies and Art at A-level. She didn’t want to go to university, though she did recognise that it might have opened up opportunities for her, such as allowing her to move to another country

  • She says it’s important to get as much experience as possible. Often this can be low- or unpaid work

  • Roisin believes that the key skills for this role are good communication and organisational skills. It also helps to be able to play around with your ideas.

TV and film directors are similar to music video directors. They lead the creative and technical production for cinema and television.

What to expect if you want to be a TV or film director

  • TV or film director salary: variable
  • TV or film working hours: 39 to 41 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a TV or film director?

  • Typical entry requirements: You'll usually need two or three A-levels, or equivalent, for a degree in Film or Television Production, before moving into directing.

  • Many directors start out as interns and volunteers. They work as runners, helping out on film or TV sets, and work their way up through other jobs like third and second assistant director or floor manager. Others move into directing after getting experience in camera work, screenwriting or acting.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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