Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The Production Process
A film or television program is the sum of its parts. The making of a film depends on each person, each player, and each contributor individually. If one link in the process of making the film is weak, the entire aspect of the film is weakened.
There are a number of steps any film project takes before it shows up at your local theatre. They are:
Marketing and Distribution
During this phase, a script is drafted by or bought from a writer. The screenplay may go through several drafts and rewrites, but once the producer is satisfied with the working screenplay, a preliminary shooting budget is established. This budget must take into account the cost of equipment, film stock, talent, set design, locations, etc. Simultaneously, the producer will line up the project’s key personnel: the director, cinematographer, production manager, production designer, location scout and talent.
Still in the development phase, the producer will approach funding agencies, larger corporations and personal contacts to raise money for further development and production. The producer must be able to “sell” the story and creative talent in order to green light the project.
It is during pre-production that costumes and sets are designed, the remaining crew hired and locations scouted and chosen. Shooting schedules are also developed and casting continues. Absolutely everything that can be done prior to principal photography is considered.
Production is the “active” process of making a film or television program. The script is put to the camera, in studio and on location, with actors, full costume, make-up, lights and sound. It is often referred to as “principal photography”. This stage is expensive, time-consuming and requires extensive financial and logistical planning.
Marketing and Distributing
Once the picture is completed and approved, it is marketed and distributed. If the producer has already lined up a distributor, the movie will be marketed using advertising in the theatres, television, radio, print media and online. This process builds an audience for the film even before it is released. Marketing is part skill, part guesswork and definitely creative. Good marketing can make a small film into a huge success. It can also leave a giant, expensive film floundering