I LOVE seeing this research since so many filmmakers I know are either first time directors or have first time directors attached to their projects and so I hope this article brings you confidence and hope.
My company's first film 'Lake Effects' had a first time feature director. He was there when I decided to do the film and we jumped into it together. It didn't take long for me to hear executives and industry professionals question this choice and strongly urge me to find a more experienced director in order to attach the talent I needed to sell and market it.
But...my word is my word and so despite this advice from people I frankly really admired, I moved forward with our director per my promise. Turns out we got the talent we wanted, we made a film that Hallmark licensed, and I'm proud of the final product for our first film.
I also have a mentor who is Oscar nominated and up until recently, she had only hired first time directors on all her films (all with top talent and worldwide distribution)...including the Oscar nominee!
Now, there are pros and cons to the level of experience your director has, which is a longer and deeper discussion, but I wanted to share this article and my experience to encourage you. Hire the person that is right for you project based on the resources you have and move forward confidently to make the best film you can. Don't let anyone discourage you about having a first time director if you feel in your heart they can deliver what you need!
See the article below written by Stephen Follows in partnership with our past Happy Hour Guest, Bruce Nash.