Like professional actors, professional directors have their own union, the Directors Guild of America (DGA; www.DGA.org). According to the DGA, “The Director's function is to contribute to all of the creative elements of a film and to participate in molding and integrating them into one cohesive dramatic and aesthetic whole.”1

Although many independent films are made with nonunion directors, the DGA's definition of a director is instructional in that it outlines the expectation of every director—that is, to be involved in all of the creative aspects of a film's production. Not surprisingly, many of the battles fought between directors and the production companies that hire them involve issues of creative ...

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