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Why does a TV series have different directors?

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  • Why does a TV series have different directors?

    I'm doing research, and I've noticed that, for many TV series, every episode has a different director. I don't know why the producers would do that, so perhaps someone can explain it to me.

  • #2
    While not always the case, that is typical for a series. I don't know that there is one particular reason behind it, but I can surmise several:

    1. As a director myself, I know I would get burned out quickly only doing the same thing over and over. I would love to come into a project, shoot for a week, then move on to something else. Keeps the mind sharp.

    2. Constantly rotating the creative team has the benefit of keeping the perspective fresh, which hopefully results in more interesting episodes.

    3. Directing entails far more than just showing up on a set. There are weeks of pre-production for each episode. Typically, an hour-long episode takes about a week to shoot. They don't just send the cast and crew home after that episode is in the can; they immediately move on to the next one. If a director is constantly shooting, when is s/he supposed to prepare? Following the shoot, then, is the post-production stage, which takes another couple of weeks. Most directors are involved in that to some extent as well.

    4. Directors are generally hired on a per project basis. In the case of TV, it's for a single episode. If they were working as a regular employee of the series, their pay would increase accordingly with each episode. It's cheaper to just offer the standard DGA rate to various interested directors.

    These are just off the top of my head. There may be other reasons as well (DGA regulations, etc.).
    2001 Productions Web Site


    • #3
      A tv series also wants to please as many as possible. I would think there will be different directorial preferences, so to please the audience, they rotate. (Just another reason they might)



      • #4
        Well, I feel like it would work the same what it does at my church. We have a rotation of 6 different editors that rotate at different times. It keeps things feeling fresh, and keeps each director from being burnt out.