Movies by Eleanor Patrick How were they invented? When were they invented? How are they made? What was the first film?
The first American device that showed any sign of animation was called “the wheel of life” or the zoopraxiscope. Those machines were invented in 1867 by William Lincoln.
William Lincoln in 1930
What was the first movie?
Nobody is really sure who invented the first movie because many were invented at the same time.
To help me understand how films are made, I interviewed film-makers Bob Pulcini & Shari Berman and Stanley Nelson.
Some of their movies…
Making a Film Step #1
A movie can take years to make. First you start with a screenplay. Writing a screenplay takes lots of work. There can be many rewrites before a director approves and gets attached. Sometimes the writers are also the directors so it can be done more quickly.
Making a Film Step #2
Once the script is done and a director is attached, the film’s producer will make a budget and a shoot schedule. These are drafts that will change many times throughout the making of the film. A casting director is hired and works with the director to schedule auditions to find the right actors for the film.
Making a Film Step #3
The most important thing to do is cast the lead roles. The leads are often famous actors people will want to go see. Then you can get a “green light”. A “ green light”is a important thing to hear. It means that the studio or the financers are ready to pay for the film and you can start to begin pre-production.
Making a Film Step #4
Pre-production is when you plan out the movie. Then you can hire all of your department heads, (Cinematographer, Production Designer, Costume Designer, First Assistant Director, Editor, Art Director, etc) and crew members, find locations, design the shots, select costumes, rehearse the actors, etc.
Making a Film Step #5
The next step is called “principal photography.” This is when you are actually shooting the film. The shoot can take 24 to 80 days or sometimes even more. At the end of the day everyone watches “dailies.” During the filming, the editor starts putting the footage together into a rough cut of the movie.
Making a Film Step #6
When production ends, the film is wrapped which means that the filming process is over. Then comes post production when time is spent on putting the movie together. During the editing you can bring in an audience for a test screening to see how they react. At the end, there is the final cut of the film. Then you can “lock the picture,” which means you can’t change any of the images. Then you move on to sound editors.
Making a Film Step #7
Sound work is done by sound designers and sound editors. They add sound effects, music and make the dialog sound pristine. You then send the final cut of the movie to the film composer and he/she writes music or “score” to bring the scenes to life. When this is done you take the movie to a sound mixer who evens out all the sound levels in the movie.
Making a Film Step #8
The last step of the process is visual effects and color timing. For this part you have to work on a special computer system, adjusting the color, hue and brightness of the images.
Wow! All done!
Now that all of the steps are done you should have a finished film!
Written and Directed by Eleanor Patrick
Starring Bob, Shari, and Stanley
Produced by Abner Patrick
Sound effects by James Patrick
Visual effects by Eleanor
No animals were harmed in the making of this paper.