The Process of Film Production

Natasha HARMER

  Film Production is the process of creating and distributing a film, and it involves three main stages; pre-production, production and post-production, all of which are equally important to the successful creation of a film.

  Pre-production involves the initial idea, usually pitched to a producer who decides if he/she likes the idea enough to take it further. The pitch should be no more than a sentence or two long, and should sum up the idea without giving too much away. It is the job of the screenwriter to write the screenplay, but this is a lengthy process. Once the idea has been pitched, the writer will be asked to produce an outline. This is a description of the story, but not in much detail. It is usually quite short, and should be a synopsis of the film. Next comes the treatment, which is much longer, as it is the full story in chronological order with no dialogue, and then finally its time to write the script.

  Also during pre-production, the producer has to get funding, often by sponsorship, find costumes props and locations and get together a team of people. Actors will be cast and locations chosen, the film will be storyboarded and everything will be prepared ready to film.

Production is the creation of the text. If pre-production has been thorough then the production of the film should run smoothly with as little problems as possible. Often during the production of a feature film, the editor will be hard at work, editing the footage as its being shot, however the final edit and all finishing touches will be pulled together in post-production.

Post-production includes all the finishing touches, and then the distribution of the film. Final changes can be made in the editing room, sound effects and visual effects can be added and everything comes together.

There are many different roles in the production process; more than one might initially think, and it takes a vast group of hardworking and talented people to bring the whole thing together. On the surface it can seem that its simply the directors job, however the credits at the end of any film will show that it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes man power. In fact some of the most important people involved in the production of a film will go unnoticed by the audience; such as the cinematographer and the editor; rarely will people who don’t actively study film know who edited the film they just watched.

Independent filmmaking goes on outside of the mainstream, and has become increasingly easier with people being able to shoot, edit and distribute media singlehandedly and on a home computer. Websites like Youtube, dedicated to “we-media” (media created by normal people from home and uploaded for the world to see) make it easy for people to get their views heard, and their films seen. Film production has therefore become widely accessible, particularly now film has changed to digital, enabling people from all walks of life to produce their own films and distribute them to a wider audience. Although financing, marketing and traditional distribution (i.e. DVD) are still difficult to access, it has definitely become easier for people to produce their own texts. While the film industry once seemed so distant from most people’s real lives, it’s actually becoming more common for normal people to get their ideas onto film and get them seen.

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