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Stages of film production


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Stages of film production

  1. 1. By Jordan Weeks
  2. 2. The IdeaCreating a big budget film can often take years to be completed andinvolves hundreds of people. However every film begins with amoment of inspiration.Wherever the idea stems from the producer forms the ‘Great Idea’into a reality.The director also makes the film a reality by visualizing the script. Thedirector knows how to take the story and put it onto the big screen.The writer would then define and proof read the idea, the plot andthe main characters and turn it into something believable.After this the writer will then write a treatment for the idea, usually aone page description of the main story and characters of the film.Then a pitch is formed which contains all the information theproducer would need in order to sell the idea to comimission a script.
  3. 3. Development FinanceThe producer then approaches financiers with the pitch and treatment to getmoney to develop a script.They would then approach film production companies for development money.As part of the deal the producer can offer the future sales and broadcast rightsto the film in return for money to develop the script.The producer can also apply to a public funding body such as the UK filmcouncil for a development grant. Pitching the film to private investors is donein hope they will support the project.
  4. 4. Script DevelopmentFirstly the write would produce a synopsis and he and the producer will agree ordisagree on the key scenes and events in the film.Once the writer and producer are happy, the draft is sent to the financiers all ofwhom will have their own ideas.Once everyone involved is happy with the script it gets locked off and becomes afinal draft. Then the writer gets paid.The final stage of the script development process is the creation of a salestreatment.
  5. 5. Packaging The producer and director would then package the script into a full commercial proposition, ready for financing. Attaching well known stars to the script also allows the project to be more commercialised. In order to turn the film into a proper business proposition the producer must know how much the film will cost to be made. Potential investors would want to know how the producer plans to raise the money and how the producer plans to pay them back.
  6. 6. FinancingTo secure the investment needed to make the film, the producer must travel to thepotential investors.The producer’s lawyer would draw up contracts to seal the deals betweenproducers and potential investors.The producer can also make money from pre-sales, selling the rights to the filmbefore its has even been made.There are departments of banks that specialise in film finance they invest incommercial projects and also offer loans.
  7. 7. Pre-ProductionThe casting director, director and producer begin to identify and cast theactors.Storyboards are used as blueprints for the film where every shot is plannedin advance by the director and director of photography.The production designer plans every aspect of how the film will look andhires people to design and build each part.Then effects shots are planned in much more detail than normal shots andcould potentially take months to design and build.
  8. 8. The ShootShooting begins and funding is released.The camera department are responsible for getting all the footage that thedirector and editor need to tell the story.Once the lighting and sound is set up and hair and make up have been checked theshot can begin.Every special effect is carefully constructed and must be filmed with minimum riskof injury to cast and crew.Film productions are ran with strict precision. If they fall behind schedule thefinanciers and insurers may step in.
  9. 9. Post ProductionThe editor will assemble the scenes into a narrative sequence for the film.Once the picture is locked the sound department work on the audio track laying,creating and editing every sound.Digital effects are added by specialist effects professionals and titles and credits areadded.The final stage of the picture edit is to adjust the colour and establish the fineaesthetic of the film.After picture lock, the rough sound mix goes to a dubbing theatre where the soundmixer sets the final levels.
  10. 10. SalesThe film distributors secure the services of a sales agent.A trailer is then made to show the film buyers the most marketableaspects of the film.The producer and sales agent collect everything they need to sell thefilm to the distributors.The producer must go to great lengths to attract attention to theirproduct.High profile screenings at top film festivals can be great forgenerating ‘heat’ around a film.