Technical directors hold positions in the entertainment industry and are responsible for the details involved in the production of movies, television shows and stage productions. The position is subordinate the main director. Common types of technical director jobs involve lighting, animation, special effects, stunts and art. They may also work in video game design and computer software development.
In television, the technical director may have multiple roles, in essence, becoming a general director. For local programming, he or she may be responsible for lighting, staging and editing. Theater technical director jobs include lighting and art direction. These may include oversight, not only of the performance, but of the design and creation of the needed elements.
Technical directors in both television and theatre are responsible for the supervision of craftsmen as well as the coordination of outside vendors and service providers. The director’s work may also require research and production of prototypes or methods to see how well they match the project’s budget, vision, and audience expectations.
The role of technical director in video game design and development is becoming more common, but many times it is one of a number of positions that a person may hold. Technical directors specializing in 3-D, animation and graphics are sometimes employed in this sector.
A bachelor's degree in communication or journalism is usually required for technical director jobs in television, while a degree in theatre arts or drama may be required for technical director jobs in theatre. As a general rule, individuals with related degrees or experience may also serve as technical directors. In certain instances, where specialized program material or techniques are used, an advanced degree may be required.
The primary requirement for a technical director job is familiarity with the equipment and process used in the director’s specialty area. Lighting technical directors will naturally be proficient in the theory and operation of various lighting configurations, but must also know how different cameras are affected by the lighting. Animation and special effects directors will need extensive knowledge of digital equipment and techniques.
Someone who has skills in the practical or technical realm yet has a creative bent may find that landing one of the many available technical director jobs is difficult due to the keen competition. Successful directors are able to work with a wide variety of creative and sometimes difficult personality types by employing tact, being flexible and having vision. If they can do this, they may find themselves in a financially and personally rewarding career.