A television director is typically responsible for directing an episode of a television show and leading the various crews involved in the production. Unlike a film director, however, a TV director in the US often has less control over a show and typically has to abide by the vision of the producer. The exact duties and responsibilities of a television director can vary depending on what type of production he or she is working on. For a single-camera production, the director usually has similar responsibilities as a film director and must coordinate camera positions and angles, lighting, and the overall flow of a scene; for multi-camera productions, the director usually ensures the production flows well, communicates with different camera operators, and oversees floor production.
The responsibilities of a television director can vary quite a bit, depending on what type of production he or she is working on. In the US, for example, a director usually only directs one or a few episodes of a show and so has less direct influence on the show than a producer who is on the show for an entire season or the whole series. Directors for TV in other countries can have more control, however, especially if they direct multiple episodes. If a television director is also a producer, then he or she is likely to have more impact on a production.
A single-camera production, which is typically used for televised dramas with multiple locations, often requires that a television director acts much like a film director. He or she needs to communicate with the camera crew to ensure certain angles and shots are captured during a take. Actors can be called on to perform multiple takes to achieve the final results the director wants, and these are later assembled together in editing. A television director on this type of production usually also communicates his or her goals with the sound department and ensures lighting supports various shots he or she has in mind.
The responsibilities of a television director working on a multi-camera production, however, can be quite different. This type of production is often used for situation comedies, or “sitcoms,” game shows, and news broadcasts. The director of this type of production usually has to coordinate the different angles used by the cameras and ensure that every aspect of a scene is properly captured during filming. A television director may also need to facilitate communication on the set or floor, speaking with camera operators and floor managers, to ensure the speech and actions of actors or other talent are properly captured.