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The 12 steps of film making
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The 12 steps of film making

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  • 1. By Anthony Richards
  • 2. 1 – The Idea Sources of inspiration – real events, books, plays, films and original ideas. Then a producer is hired and/or starts the project. Then the producer finds a director or vice versa, and he makes it a reality. Then a writer is taken on to get the script moving. They write a treatment of the main events and characters. They then make a pitch that shows a development summary and a plot in one.
  • 3. Development Finance The producer shows the treatment and uses business skills to get money for a script. This may come from film production companies, other businesses interested in the rights to the film post- release. From public funding (e.g.. UK Film Council) or from private sources.
  • 4. Script Development  The writer makes a synopsis of the key events in the film.  Then they create step outline to plan the story.  The writer delivers several drafts of the script to perfect the idea.  The financers then add their own ideas to the script.  When all the ideas are collected it becomes the final draft and the writer gets paid.  Then a sales treatment is written to sell the film to financers.
  • 5. Packaging  The producer and director package the script into a full business idea for financers.  The project developers then try to add famous stars to the film to make it more likely to make a profit.  Famous heads of departments – editors and production designers make it easier to convince financers.  The producers then works out how much it will cost to make the film.  The producer then works out who to approach for money and estimates how much profit it will make.  The producer then presents the idea to the financers.
  • 6. Financing  The producer may have to travel all over the world to find financers.  The producer then draws contracts with private individuals, production companies and public bodies.  The producer also gets money from selling the film rights before it is made.  Some banks also offer money and loans with interest.  Most financers want a completion bond as insurance for the film.  Once all of the funding and insurance is done the film is given the “green light”.
  • 7. Pre - Production  The script is given to the Heads of Department and this begins pre-production.  The casting director starts bringing actors on board.  The director and the director and photography then storyboard every shot in the film.  The production designer plans every part of the film’s look and hires people to build and design each set.  Effects shots are planned in detail and can take months to design and build.  The 1st AD, the line producer and the production manager manage all the money and day-to-day problems.
  • 8. The Shoot  Shooting starts, and the funds are released.  The camera department gets all the footage that shows the story.  The lighting and sound have to be set up and the hair and make-up are checked before the shot can begin.  The actors have to make the story believable while not being distracted by the other departments.  Every effect is carefully built and has to be filmed with the least risk of injury to the cast and the crew.  Films have to be on a tight schedule or the financers and insurance companies my shut it down.
  • 9. Post – Production  As the film comes the editor, puts it together into scenes and puts them in order.  Once filming is finished, the sound department works on the sound for the film, making and editing the soundtrack.  Digital effects are added by specialists along title and credit sequences.  The last stage of the editing is to change the colour and create the overall aesthetic feel.  After shooting is finished the sound mix goes to a dubbing studio where the sound mixer perfects it.  After the final cut the film is finished completely and it goes to whoever has the rights to it.
  • 10. Sales  To help the producer sell the film the producer hires a sales agent.  The producer will then have a trailer made to help sell the film to distributors.  The producer and sales agent collect everything they need to sell the film.  The producer has to fight to get the film noticed by distributors.  A screening at a big film festival generates publicity for the film.  The film is now a potential success and negotiates deals with distributors worldwide.
  • 11. Marketing  To help sell the film, the producer secures a sales agent.  The marketing team runs test screenings to test audience reception.  The marketing team release posters, trailers, TV spots, and other marketing materials.  TV, radio, papers, and magazines review the film and raise the profile.  Internet marketing campaigns are used to gain publicity.  The distributors negotiate deals with cinemas to screen the film.
  • 12. Exhibition  A premiere is launched to get the media’s attention, using well-known stars.  The film is then shown in the largest possible number of cinema screens worldwide.  Distributors supply cinemas with copies of the film.  Cinemas take their share of the profits, after which the distributors pay for their recoup marketing costs.  Once the distributor has been paid, the financers can be paid for their investments, according the recoupment schedule.
  • 13. After The Film The film is sold to hotel pay-per-view channels and on planes to make an extra profit.  The film is then released on DVD and this can make more profit than the cinema release.  Another source of profit is selling to broadcast companies.  Also, video games can be licensed to bring in extra profit.  Once the film has made a profit, the producer and others involved in production can take their share of the product.  The final income is never known , distribution carries on forever and it may be re-released in future.