It goes without saying that directing a great movie is your objective if you are an aspiring director, however you will need to take other jobs along the way to build your portfolio and to take care of your living expenses. No job related to shooting a video is irrelevant, you can practice your craft to perfection even when doing such menial jobs.
Right from shooting a music video for a local band, to shooting a B-grade commercial for a Mom & Pop store to play on a local cable TV channel, everything counts. You may create a documentary or try your hand at directing independent films for competitions; irrespective of which path you choose never lose heart, several top directors of our time started just like you. Tim Burton was just an animation expert, Sydney Pollack was a Broadway actor, Steven Spielberg directed TV movies and Sylvester Stallone was thrown out of his apartment. You can succeed if you have perseverance and the right attitude.
The Things You Need to Pursue Your Goals:
A well shot video is the most important cog in the wheel of direction, even Adobe Aftereffects and animation experts need good footage to create a successful promo video. There are amazing instruments available today to shoot great videos, however most of them are not affordable for a budding director. For instance a RED Epic M-Dragon camera costs around $50,0000, even renting such a camera for a week would cost you around $3000. It is therefore extremely important to choose a good camera that meets your requirement and is also affordable.
There are several latest popular camcorders that are available at an affordable rate (from $2000 to $5000), these camcorders also have excellent specs and features. Most of these camcorders and cameras have a 20x HD video lens for impressive optical zooming, an 8-blade circular aperture, state of the art electronic view finder, an OLED Touch Panel Display and an impressive industry-standard recording rate (MP4) of up to 35mbps. 5 years back it would cost a fortune to buy a camcorder with these specs, however the prices of the camcorders are falling and this is the right time to get a great one at an affordable price.
The next important thing is a good lighting set-up, ideally you should procure 400-600 watt lights (especially for indoor shoots). White light is best for a video shoot, and is also the widely used lighting, however you may use color fills to compliment the mood of the video, many directors over the last decade subtly used blue or red fill lighting to portray a particular mood.
It is also important to have the basic understanding of video editing and movie production software. A well shot video can be greatly enhanced by these software when skillfully used.