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If you consider yourself a movie buff and can name directors at the drop of a hat, then film directing could soon be your claim to fame.
Bevan Cullinan became a director in 2004 after acting and doing stand-up comedy.
"I trained at Rhodes University in performance physical comedy and completed my Honours in 20th century clowning. I also lectured at Rhodes and AFDA schools," said Cullinan.
"I have done stand-up comedy events and now I am directing commercials."
The role of a film director is to execute the filming from beginning to the end, from the initial treatment of how the production will be shot, the planning of the shots and how the movie will be made, all the way through to the post production stages, including the edit and the final audio.
"Our clients are the creative directors at advertising agencies. The creative director will conceptualise an idea for a commercial on behalf of its client's brand, service or product. This idea is submitted to about three film directors, who revert with a treatment to produce the commercial," said Cullinan.
"A treatment is a document, often supported with visuals, on how the director perceives the commercial will look. This is accompanied by an expenditure spreadsheet outlining costs relating to the commercial's production. The director whose interpretation is the most exciting, most in-line with the brand's values and whose costs are within the stipulated budget, will win the directing job."
Cullinan has directed adverts for major brands such as Kulula.com, Edgars, Nashua, MTN, Vodacom, Aero, Spar, IBurst, General Motors, 1Life direct, Absa, Yogi Sip and Dettol.
He says this is one of the most difficult industries to break into. One should start off by joining a reputable film production company who will provide an infrastructure, team you up with a film producer and promote you on an ongoing basis.
Often, new film directors will donate their time and expertise to the making of adverts for charitable organisations to gain experience and build up their "reel".
No two days are alike in this profession. The schedule depends on how many directing jobs have been secured.
Preparing for a shoot is very time consuming. It entails scouting for a film location, casting the actors and approving wardrobe.
On the filming days, it could start very early in the morning and run into the late hours of the night. Some adverts take three days to film.
There are also days in between shooting, often spent building relationships with the creative directors.
"You are only as good as your last commercial. If you bomb out, it is unlikely that an ad agency will use your directing talents again," said Cullinan.