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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.