Directing a film can be one of the most stressful and rewarding jobs a person can fulfill.  Deadlines, budget, weather, actors, sleeplessness, technology, executives and just some of the headaches when you’re the person calling “action” on the set.  If I had to compare what it’s like being a director on a film set, think of it like the lead general contractor on the construction of a building.  The bigger the budget, the bigger the skyscraper is.  Which also means the more people to manage and oversee as well as the more “suits” to deal with.

On the flip side, good or bad, you’ve coordinated a group of people to help create something that you imagined in your mind and it’s now on a physical piece of media that you will have forever.  That is pretty amazing and rewarding job.  Just like constructing a building.

I was browsing on the Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers website and they have a feature on Directors.  Here are some of my favorites from the collection.


Alfred Hitchock

Psycho (1960)
Vertigo (1958)
Rear Window (1954)

My favorite Hitchcock film:  Psycho


Adam McKay

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Step Brothers (2008)
The Big Short (2015)

My favorite McKay film:  Step Brothers


Alexandre Aja

Horns (2013)
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Piranha 3D (2010)

My favorite Aja film: Piranha 3D


Ang Lee

Life of Pi (2012)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

My favorite Lee film:  Brokeback Mountain


Danny Boyle

Trance (2013)
127 Hours (2010)
28 Days Later (2002)

My favorite Boyle film:  Slumdog Millionaire


Clint Eastwood

American Sniper (2014)
Mystic River (2003)
Unforgiven (1992)

My favorite Eastwood film:  The Outlaw Josey Wells


Edgar Wright

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The World’s End (2013)
Hot Fuzz (2007)

My favorite Wright film:  Shaun of the Dead


David O. Russell

Joy (2015)
The Fighter (2010)
I Heart Huckabees (2004)

My favorite O. Russell film:  Three Kings


The Coen Brothers

Hail, Caesar! (2016)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Blood Simple (1984)

My favorite Coen Brothers film:  The Big Lebowski


Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather (1972)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
The Rainmaker (1997)

My favorite Coppola film:  Captain EO


The Farrelly Brothers

Kingpin (1996)
There’s Something About Mary (1998)
Stuck on You (2003)

My favorite Farrelly Brothers film:  Dumb and Dumber


David Lynch

Blue Velvet (1986)
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Dune (1984)

My favorite Lynch film:  The Elephant Man


David Fincher

Zodiac (2007)
Se7en (1995)
The Game (1997)

My favorite Fincher film:  Fight Club


Sam Raimi

Drag Me to Hell (2009)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Army of Darkness (1992)

My favorite Raimi film: A Simple Plan


Roman Polanski

Chinatown (1974)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The Pianist (2002)

My favorite Polanski film:  The Ghost Writer



Steven Spielberg

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Jaws (1975)
Schindler’s List (1993)

My favorite Spielberg film: Saving Private Ryan


Ridley Scott

Alien (1979)
Thelma & Louise (1991)
Prometheus (2012)

My favorite R. Scott film:  Gladiator


Quentin Tarantion

The Hateful Eight (2015)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)

My favorite Tarantino film: Pulp Fiction


Tony Scott

True Romance (1993)
Spy Game (2001)
Top Gun (1986)

My favorite T. Scott film:  Man on Fire


Oliver Stone

Platoon (1986)
U Turn (1997)
Wall Street (1987)

My favorite Stone film:  Natural Born Killers


John Hillcoat

Lawless (2012)
Triple 9 (2016)
The Road (2009)

My favorite Hillcoat film:  The Proposition


Chris Columbus

Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

My favorite Columbus film:  Home Alone



Wes Craven

Scream (1996)
The Last House on the Left (1972)
The People Under the Stairs (1991)

My favorite Craven film: A Nightmare on Elm Street


With some of these directors it was so hard to pick a favorite.  I just weighed in on how much the film impacted me while watching and how it has influenced or has had reference to my everyday life.  If that makes sense.

Check out lots more pics at the SMPSP: Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers website.