Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Close Look at Stages of Film-Making

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Film making and television production have close links to film studios, which are the birthplaces of movies. It is unthinkable for filmmakers to work on films and complete the production process without the involvement of film studios. 

Traditionally, film studios have provided the spaces required to create a world of make-believe by building sets for films. However, allowing filmmakers to shoot films within studios is just one of the many facilities offered by the largest film studio in Miami or any other film studio.

Film studios support the entire process of film making and not only shooting films within the premises. These are like workshops where filmmakers convert their raw stock into a finished product by availing the allied production resources like sound recording, editing, etc.  Some film studios even go to the extent of co-producing production of all sizes.

The film studios play a vital role in film production, which consists of an array of complex activities supported by various technologies. Even if a film is shot entirely outdoor, which many producers prefer as it helps to lower the cost of production by avoiding hiring spaces in film studios. After completion of the shooting, when the project reaches the post-production stage, they must go back to the studio to complete the production process that entails the use of sophisticated technology and equipment that only film studios can provide. Also, film studios have trained staff to assist filmmakers in completing their tasks.

Film production is a lengthy and complicated process, and a lot of hard work and efficient teamwork is necessary to complete a film and then screen it. Filming is just a part of the production activities that start much before the cameras start rolling. In this article, we will discuss the 5 stages in film production that that filmmakers must go through to realize their dreams.The process begins with development followed by pre-production, production, post-production and distribution.

It begins by conceptualizing the storyline. It is the stage when ideas start taking shape by creating the storyboard that forms the structure of the film. It paves the way for developing the story and drives it in the right direction.  Besides, all work related to planning and organizing the entire filming process happens at this stageto visualize the bigger picture of the project.

During the stage of development, the filmmaker will first prepare a preliminary budget, choose the casting for the film with a focus on the key cast as well as the key creatives, scout for the locations for shooting the film, and create multiple drafts of the script. All the groundwork helps to envisage how the project would look like once completed and what would be the approximate cost.

The development process can take several months or years to conclude by finding an independent producer or a studio willing to produce the film or become a co-producer. The stage is now set for the next phase of pre-production.

The work for the pre-production stage begins by amending the script, adjusting budgets, casting actors, scouting locations, selection of crew, amending the shooting schedules, designing and building sets, selecting and making costumes. Everything else related to the shoot is then planned and tested.  This stage can last for many months from the time of finding a producer for the film until finally the shooting starts. As the date of shooting draws closer, the crew members keep swelling as more people come in to provide various kinds of support to ensure a smooth startup.  As the activities gain momentum, there is a huge push for finalizing everything to ensure a smooth beginning of the production.

This is the time when you drive the new car from the showroom, and the rubber hits the road for the first time. The Producer, Writer, Director, and the entire creative team wait with bated breath to see their ideas taking shape and coming to life that they yearned for.  The excitement keeps growing as they see each bit of their ideas transform into moving images with actors bringing the story to life. Although Production is the most vital stage of film making, it lasts for a very brief period often for a few weeks of months while consuming the major budget of the project.

It is the busiest time in the cycle of film making. Everyone slogs it out to ensure efficient utilization of the resources like the equipment hire, studio rentals (if any), and location expenses.  The crew puts in real hard work during this time when the shooting schedules can stretch even up to 16 hours. The schedules are very strict, and everyone puts in their best efforts to complete the tasks on time.

The production stage, which is the most challenging phase in film making during which the major spending happens. After the grueling stages discussed so far, it is now time to assimilate the footage and give the final touches to the creative endeavors.  During this stage, the footage goes through editing, sound mixing, adding visual effects, composing a soundtrack, creating titles, and the film is now completely ready for distribution.

This is the time when the unit must badly depend on the capabilities of a film studio to support them with technology and equipment to accomplish the task. The crew related to post-production activities must work very hard over extended hours to put the pieces together and present the story on the screen.

With the film now ready for public viewing, the producer must now find ways of taking the film to the public. It can be through some film distribution company, selling the rights to some streaming service or TV network, re-releasing DVD. It is vital from the business perspective because it is the only way that the producer can get back the investment.

Distribution marks the successful completion of the project because the film is ready for public viewing, which is the ultimate test for filmmakers.

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