Many cineasts are dreaming of becoming a director. Few follow their dream and even less succeed. That makes one wonder: What are the chances of actually succeeding in this business?
Most of you probably know the rumours about the chances: Slim to none. Unfortunately, there are very little hard facts about this branch of profession. I could not find any statistics about unemployed directors in Germany. My guess is that most of them earn their living with other jobs. Maybe unemployed directors are serious competitors to unemployed actors as waiters. ^_^
One way to get an impression of the hardships of becoming a director in Germany is the film market. In 2006, only 122 German feature films have been released (see German SPIO statictics). I guess there are more than 122 directors trying to get one of these jobs – and each semester more directors are released to the market from film schools. Among them are undoubtedly very very capable directors. It has to be very difficult for a newcomer to get established in this environment.
Chances are slightly better when you take TV productions into consideration. 265 German TV movies have been released in 2006. That number includes movie-like series like Tatort. Unfortunately it is kinda doubtful if TV movies can fit the creative needs of movie directors. Even if you are fine with directing TV movies, the total number of 387 movies is still a very low number of jobs for a whole business branch.
So I guess the rumours are indeed true: The chances of becoming a director are depressingly low.
Should you have anymore facts about the topic, please add them in the comment section! Facts from other countries are also very welcome.