The Beginning...Where do you start making a movie? What are some of the steps that put ideas onto the "big screen"? Here we are going to discuss SEVEN STAGES of film making, the terms used and what they mean.
PART ONE - Development
Nearly every film begins with the DEVELOPMENT of a script. Alfred Hitchcock is reported to have responded to the question: "What are the three most important things when making a film?" with the words, "The script, the script, the script". DEVELOPMENT may also start with an idea being pitched to a producer and then the script is created. PART TWO - Pre-Production
This is the planning stage. Where you trim the fat, narrow down the ideas, and the vision of the film is made clear before the camera rolls. Auditions are held, casting is made, locations locked down and the producer (if this is not a self-made movie) hires a line/production manager who then creates the budget and schedule for the film.PART THREE - Production
Production is done with planning each day before the shoot. This keeps things running smoothly. Your aim should be to (a) stick to the schedule (b) stick to the budget. REMEMBER, if you over run on your production schedule, you will almost always over run on your budget, so the keyword here is ATTENTIVENESS. During production communication is ESSENTIAL. Everyone from location to set, office, production company, right up to the distributors, everybody must be kept up to date.PART FOUR - Principal Photography
No, you don't run out and by a camera and start taking pictures. This is where the most money is spent as the cameras roll, as you are paying everyone on set, as well as for costumes, props, sets, etc. Again, during this phase, COMMUNICATION is paramount and ATTENTION to DETAIL is of utmost importance. Keep a full set of records and diligently work to stay within budget.PART FIVE - Wrap
So this is the end of the movie right? That's why we're having a party? Wrong. This is the time to strike (take-down) the set, and clear the location. I personally like to ensure the set if it is a public venue such as a bar or restaurant, etc, is left BETTER than when I first started my shoot.
PART SIX - Post ProductionThe majority time of post production is spent reviewing footage, assembling the movie, editing the movie, adding VFX, SFX, music and sound design. The movie will then be "locked" and "delivery elements" created. PART SEVEN - Distribution
Here's some honest advice. Ensure you have a distribution deal BEFORE you make a movie. It saves a lot of time and effort. Do not be discouraged by the naysayers who do not want you to self distribute. They usually do that because they have a distribution company they get kick backs from and so advise you to go with the company that lines their pockets. (Hey this is an independent film making blog).
Your producer wants a return on his investment right? So, here's what he wants, a distribution deal, so a great deal of time and effort must be spent on securing the right deal before it can be distributed in cinemas, or on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.
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