One of the most coveted positions in Hollywood, the director is in charge of all of the creative elements of a movie. It is a position that is both creative and technical, as he or she guides the crew and cast in the making of a film—from script to screen.

What a director does: Working off a screenplay, the director figures out each shot and helps the actors and actresses to bring their characters to life.

Who the director relies on: The producers and studios have ultimate responsibility for a movie’s budget, of which the director must adhere to and work with its constraints.

Who relies on the director: The director collaborates with every important creative player, from the cinematographer to the editor to the costume designer and the lighting and sound people.

How to become a director: Many study at film schools, directing student projects. TV shows and commercials are common early professional steps, though some prominent film directors have begun their careers in small-budget features.

Networking: Nearly all Hollywood directors are members of the Directors Guild of America, which represents more than 15,000 directors and members of directorial teams. To join the Guild, aside from paying a fee that varies depending on the position within the directorial team, hopeful members must be approved by a council of current Guild members.

Directors you should know: Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton.