Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Filming Industry

Film Production

Film production is the overall production of creating a film. The process of making, and creating a story through the process of motion picture.

Stages of production

The development stage is when the creator of the film comes up with an initial idea for a successful moving picture. They could get their ideas form things like novels, already made films, documentaries, real life experiences, magazines, video games, fairy tales or even a complete original idea... the list could go on. What this stage is though - is planning. Suggesting ways to get an audience to fall in love with a story or series of events. Once the ideas have been briefly made, the creator, or producer, works with writers in order to produce a clear synopsis of the plot. This is to clarify the plot of the film and make sure the team of people working on the feature, are all aware of the main points that are going to be created through making the film. Once the initial plot has been set out, the writers can then go onto breaking down the film into chapters, like chapters of a novel. This part is very important, because it is important to set out a structured outline and organize the story into parts, so when filming begins, it doesn't get confusing and awkward. Before the screenplay is produced by the writer, a 25-30 page 'treatment' is produced for the film. This basically includes, a description of the chapters in detail and the character's motives throughout the film. Also it creates a good collection of stills and drawings that would give the directors and producers some idea of what things are meant to look like and lastly, the moods and atmospheres that should be created at key parts. Sometimes, producers and writers will work together to produce a 'scriptment' once the synopsis or plot has been produced. 

Once all these steps have been completed, it is then usually the time for the screenwriter to write a clear screenplay for the film. This usually takes a good several months to do as it is a lot of work for the screenwriters and writers of the film to come up with good stage directions, dialogue and movement for the cast. They have a lot of things to consider and sometimes, it takes more than one attempt to create the perfect script. However, some producers may skip the previous steps and develop submitted screenplays which investors, studios and other interested parties assess through a process called 'script coverage'. A film director might be contacted early on at a stage when companies will assess the financial success a film is likely to have as this is something industries take into deep consideration, also relying on DVD sales and marketing sales they will receive from the film. Film distributors also consider the target audience of the film and it's general genre.

After this, the screenwriters and producers of the film, will go to potential film financiers and pitch their plot. They also take their plot and synopsis to big actors and stars. that they want to get in the film. The producer may have some actors in mind that he/ she wants to star in the film and they will be the actors that they'll go to first. The film idea will go to 'development hell' if they don't succeed this stage. Many films do end up this way, that is why it so hard for film producers to get their synopsis off the ground. If films investors and studios like the look of the film synopsis, then the film gets put on a "green light". The film studio or anyone that is interested, will want some financial banking from the film. Then both companies can sign contracts and organize a clear marketing plan and a clear target audience to advertise to. The film plans can then go into the pre-production stage, which enables more work to be done.

This is the opposite way round for the animated films, because the directors together will create a rough storyboard of the film and present them to an executive producer and once the film has been "green-lighted", then the company get in screenwriters who produce a screenplay to go with the rough story plot.

Pre- Production 
This is part of the process when the plot gets carefully analysed. At this stage, a production company and production office is made. Illustrators and designers will be called in to create a storyboard, if not already made. This is the best way to present the ideas and chapters that take place in the film. At this point also, a budget is drawn up. It will estimate how much money the film will make and the success it will have. For major productions, insurance is procured to protect against accidents. The producer and director will hire a crew, that includes a camera team and a team of editors etc. they will also hold auditions for actors to come in and claim for a role in the film. The size and success of the team, will determine on the film's budget cost. If the company isn't well known and the film has been "green-lighted" just, then the company will struggle to get a full well working team. A big Hollywood film, will take on a team of hundreds in order to get the amount of work done in the time scale they have. For example, Iron Man 3 hired a huge crew of 3,310 people.

The main roles you'll find in a crew of people working behind a film production are:

- Storyboard artist: This role is pretty self explanatory. The storyboard artist will create visual images for the directors and producers of the film.
- Director: The director is responsible for the storytelling, creative ideas and acting of the film.
- Assistant Director (AD): There are many types of ADs. These are in charge of shooting schedules and logistics of the production.
- Unit Production Manager: Manages the production budget and production schedule. They also report, on behalf of the production office, to the studio executives or financiers of the film.
- Location Manager: Again, pretty self explanatory. These people are in charge of where each chapter of the film is set. Most of the time, filming is done in the studio picked out by the location managers. It is shot in a controllable environment where sounds can be used. When filming out of the studio, location managers can call the cast to film on location.
- Art Director: The art director works with the production designer. They manage the art department, which makes production sets.
- Production Designer: They work with the art director to create visual conception of the film.
- Costume Designer: The costume designers are in charge of what each character wears. They work closely with the art department and other departments too. It's important they get the perfect costume sorted for each character for each scene of the film, as it is something the audience relates to visually.
- Makeup and Hair Designer: This is another important role, as it is also something the audience visually see and judge. The makeup and hair designers will work closely with the costume designers to create a look from the actors that they want.
- Casting Director: These types of directors are in charge of holding auditions for the actors. They take responsibility for making sure every role in the script is filled. This normally takes some time, but with good team work it is always a goal to achieve the best success in acting.
- Choreographer: They create coordinates for the movement and dance in the film. As you can imagine, a lot of choreographers and a large amount of work from them, are required for genres like musical. Some films also credit a fight choreographer.
- Director of Photography (DP): The director of photography supervises all the photography and filming of the entire film.
- Production Sound Mixer: They are the head of the sound department during the production stage of filmmaking. They record and mix the audio on set. They work with all the departments.
- Sound Designer: These designers create the aural conception of the film, working with the supervising sound editor.
- Composer: The composer will create new music for the film (usually not until post-production).


In the production phase of the filmmaking, the video production is actually created and shot. At this stage, more film crew members can be recruited. For example:
 - Property Master - Script Supervisor / Supervisors- Assistant Director/ Directors - Stills Photographer/ Photographers - Picture Editor / Editors - Sound Editor/ Editors

The production office will suggest unique roles possibly, depending on what film is being produced. Assigned roles may even have to be produced, to enable the things the Director wants to happen on set.

Then filming can begin. The Director assess 'call times' for each department in the crew. The actors normally get different call times, as they aren't needed until filming. Normally, the sound department, costume, hair and makeup department and art department all have to come in earlier as it takes weeks, sometimes months, to produce and create the right set for the film. Whilst the crew prepare, the cast are being glammed up and made ready for shooting. The actors will rehearse the script with the producers and directors alongside them helping them how to act and what to do. The crew on sound and lighting will also take time rehearsing with the cast as they need to know what everyone is doing so the sound and lighting look great alongside the acting in the film. When the crew and cast are ready, filming can begin properly.

I won't go into detail explaining the process of the director's actions on set. I think you can all picture how a team go about filming actors. The Director will confirm everyone's ready by shouting 'ACTION' and end it off by saying 'CUT'. It takes a bit of time to get all the departments ready and perfect in every shot. This is why it takes several attempts to film each scene. Were all only human.

When all the filming has been completed for the day, to the Director's wishes, he himself, decided the next day's shooting schedule. A daily progress report is then sent to the production office with everyone's 'call times' on, for the next day. The call sheets are distributed to the whole crew. Sometimes, the cast and crew will sit and review the 'dailies'. These are clips from the day's work. Actors and producers can pick up on little parts from the shooting and make any corrections in the future if needs be. It is a large amount of hard work though. There's an average of 14-18 filming hours in the day for the typical film crew. That's a long day of filming.

For the production phase on live-action films, synchronizing work schedules of key cast and crew members is very important, since for many scenes, several cast members and most of the crew must be physically present at the same place, at the same time. This is normally difficult when the bankable stars have several projects on the go at once. For animated films, this part is usually easier as all that is required is the voice talent, which is recorded in a studio. It's sometimes the case that, actors don't even meet each other until the marketing stage of the film and a premier is carried out.


At this stage in the production, the film/video is assembled by the video/film director. The shot film material is edited and so is the sound. The music that appears in the film are composed and edited in. Also, sound effects are sorted and placed. Any computer-graphic visual effects are digitally added. Finally, all sound elements are mixed into 'stems', which are then married to the picture. It's at the point then, when film production companies can 'lock' the film. Everything is complete.


The distribution stage, is the final stage of the process. The film is distributed to the cinemas around the world, or it is sent straight to direct consumer media (DVD, VCD, VHS, Blue-Ray) or lastly, direct download from digital media provider. The film is distributed as required (either onto reels or hard-disk drive) and distributed to cinemas for exhibition. Along with the film the advertisements are sent with the drive. Posters, leaflets, trailers etc. are sent out into the eyes of the media to get the film to be noticed. The film is promoted worldwide, in order to get the target audience's attention.
Then a launch party is normally organised. This includes, red carpet events, press releases, interviews with press and other companies, press preview screenings and film festival screenings. An individual website is created for the film and other social networking sites are created, normally to connect with the audience and promote the film so much further. It's sometimes a big deal for a film production team to organise promotional tours that some of the cast and crew attach themselves to. This is when the team travel to different places around the world to attend interviews and promotion evenings, screenings for fans to attend to and many more exciting things.

Independent Film-Making 

Nowadays, it's quite common to find films online, that have been produced by independent film companies.

Independent filmmaking is filmmaking produced out of the mainstream. It all began when DV technology was introduced to the media world. Independent filmmakers rely on film festivals to get their work distributed and recognised.

Nowadays, it's easier to do. With the internet as a big advantage, independent producers can attach their work onto sites, like 'YouTube', and it's through that, where they achieve a large audience of viewers, that turn into fans. With internet movie distribution, independent filmmakers who fail to garner a traditional distribution deal, now have the ability to reach global audiences.

Writer :

A screenplay writer, screenwriter for short or scriptwriter is a writer who practises the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which mass media such as films etc. are based on.

Producer :

A person responsible for the financial and managerial aspects of the making of a film or broadcast or for staging a play, opera etc.

Casting Director :

The person responsible for assigning roles in a film, play or musical.

Director :

The director is the main decision maker in the film production process. This is the person who supervises the actors and other staff in a film, play or similar production.

Film Finance :

A suspect of project finance, meaning the films project's generated cash flows rather than external sources are used to repay investors.

Camera Operator :

Part of the film crew, consisting of the director of photography and one or more camera assistants. In documentary filmmaking and news and broadcasts, the filming is unscripted events, for example, interviews and live question and answer events.

Editor :

A person who is in charge of what stays and what goes in a motion picture. The editor will trim and cut the bits of film taken and make a complete run through of  the film. A key creative role in the film production.

Marketing :

The action or business of promoting and selling products, in this case, film. The marketing included the research into advertising and also promotion of the motion picture film.

Exhibition :

This is the public display of the work. Film in this case. The public get first looks at the film, unedited scenes, deleted scenes, actor's location choices, studio tour etc.


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