How to Become a Technical Director


As motion pictures move away from analogue film, the technical director position is becoming more and more important. Technical directors, also known as technical managers, are responsible for making the final decisions concerning all technical aspects of the film. A technical director also delegates and assigns duties to others working with the technical control and production of the film.

The technical director is a position which is constantly evolving within the film industry alongside the advances in film technology. Their responsibilities involve choosing the right technologies to use in production in order to satisfy the client while staying in budget. They must also be good critical thinkers, coming up with possible alternative solutions or approaches to technical problems that will arise.

It falls on the shoulders of the technical director to keep ahead of new technologies. This knowledge may provide the opportunity for a film project to be produced more efficiency and at a lower cost. The technical director is responsible for knowing the technical ins and outs of all departments, including lighting, cameras, audio, etc. He or she must be up to date on coding standards for to use in audio and visual editing software and commercial media platforms.

There are many skills that are needed in order to be a successful technical director. Attending an accredited film school will help tremendously — both with the nuts and bolts of the technology as well as the creative and artistic headspace required to work on film projects. The employment opportunities for a technical director are increasing as the film industry accelerates its move into high definition and 3D films, with ever more complex digital database, visual and audio standards. The technical director must, more than many other positions in film, keep abreast of the latest in industry technologies.

Technical Director Salary

A technical director is an upper-level position, responsible for overseeing all technical departments including engineering, production and equipment maintenance. They must be coordinated and organized, and have strong managerial and critical thinking skills. The average annual salary of a technical director is $67,000.*

*According to

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