Female Filmmaker Friday

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Battle of the Writers

I suppose it does happen that the director and screenwriter are two different people? In such case, is the writer required on set, or is his job limited to just the writing? — Spidernana93

The director and writer are VERY OFTEN not the same person. And this question has two completely different answers based on whether we are talking about film or television. The golden rule is:

On a film set, the director is king. The writers are either not invited / allowed on set at all or they aren’t really giving much feedback. Their job, at that point, is done. 

On a television set, the writer is king. Writers, on TV shows, are also producers (after a certain level), which means their word is …not law, because they have bosses too, but you get the idea. A TV director is a hired hand and he absolutely has a lot of say in a lot of things, but at the end of the day, Writer = Producer = Big Cheese.

As film & tv get blurrier and blurrier, I imagine there will be a shift, if there hasn’t already been. I think TV writers will start to expect more of a say in film and film directors doing episodes of TV will want more authority over their sets. Years ago, film & tv didn’t really mingle; it was really hard for a TV actor to “make the jump” to film. Big directors didn’t take the step down to work television. But now… everything’s different. I think right now it’s still a “big get” for a television show to invite a film director on, but I don’t think that will be the case forever. TV is big money and it’s prestigious now, so there is ever more competition. I’m curious to see how this winds up shaking out!

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