Fleshing Out The 5 Stages Of Film Production
Film production takes a multitude of people working together behind the scenes to make a movie come alive on the screen. A film production company develops, produces and ensures that your film will be seen and hopes that you will be entertained enough to recoup expenses.
Developing the Details
The first step in film production is the development stage where stories are fleshed out, first drafts are written and the budget logistics are mapped out. The process for small indie films can take a few months to develop, while mainstream big-budget films can take a few years to iron out preliminary details.
Producing the Content
The production stage is divided up into the pre-production, production and post-production stages. The pre-production stage is arguably the "make-or-break" step in the production process. It's in this stage that you'll build the foundation that sets your film's production in motion.
After developing your film and getting the necessary financial backers on board, you'll get the green light to establish your production company. You will open your office so you can plan your film shoots and hire your actors, producers, and directors. It's during this step that you'll establish the shooting schedule, filming locations, hire the crews, and purchase the needed equipment and outline the costs for each scene.
The casting director auditions actors during the pre-production phase. Once the director okays the actors, they're hired, many just on contract for bit parts. Your production team and all the behind-the-scenes creatives like hair, makeup, costume, and sound designers will also be hired. This includes all the different kinds of directors and producers needed to map out the creative planning that executes the film according to the director's vision. Hiring will continue as needed through the post-production phase.
The Production Stage
One of the shorter stages of film production is shooting the movie. Shooting the actual movie takes anywhere from a few days to a few months, with the norm being about six weeks for mainstream flicks. The principal photography crew consists of not only of the creatives, but the supplemental departments that keep filmmakers on schedule during the day-to-day shoots.
Without catering, accounting and scheduling crews, production logistics would quickly fall apart and capturing the film's necessary footage would be off-schedule. Time is money when you're on a film shoot. You don't shoot, you still pay the crew and the actors.
The Post-Production Stage
Film scenes are not shot in order. Once the production schedule wraps up, the post-production editing begins. The editors will create a rough cut of the movie by splicing all the scenes together with the audio. A film's rough cut is like a first draft of a novel and editing can take months.
Film editing can be a very tedious process. Assembling a film is a shot-by-shot process where all the pieces of what you will see on the screen are meshed together. The producers and directors will view the edited film and make corrections as needed before the completed film is off to the distribution company.
The Distribution Stage
Film production's final stage is distribution. After the movie wraps up, editing is complete and the executives have signed off, and commitments to investors are paid, then the movie is marketed and distributed to theaters, DVDs or digital media.
Films don't make money unless the viewer's entertained. Every film production stage is necessary and planning is key to making the process run smoothly.