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Understanding Film Making

the roles, jobs, skills of film making

Dominic Morghini

on 23 September 2013

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Transcript of Understanding Film Making

Film Making

The Idea
Making a film takes years and involves hundreds of people but all good films start with a moment of inspiration
Sources of Inspiration
Inspiration is all around us in books, plays, films, DVDs and even in casual conversation
Wherever the idea comes from, its the producer who decides to turn this 'Great idea' into reality
The Director
A director can visualise a script and turn it into a reality, they know how to make a film and turn in into a reality
A writer defines and clarifies the idea, the plot, the characters and turns it into something tangeable
The writer will then write a treatment, a one page description of the characters and the main story of the film
The pitch contains all the information the producer needs in order to sell the idea to the financiers to commission a script
Development finance
The next step in thew development of the project is to turn the rough idea into a final script ready for production
Pitching the Project
The producer uses the pitch, treatment, plus her powers of persuasion, to get money to develop the script
Production Companies
The producer approaches film production companies for development money, but they have projects of there own
Sales, Distribution Broadcast
The producer can offer future sales and broadcasts rights to the film in return for money to develop the script
Public Investment
The producer can also apply to the public funding body, such as the UK film council for a development grant.
Private Investment
The producer can also pitch the film to private investors, in the hope that they will support the project
Tying down the Writer
The producer can even pitch the film to private investors, in the hope that they will fund the project
Script Development
With development finance secured it is down to the writer to deliver the project that the producer and the financiers want
First the writer develops a synopsis, and he and the producer agree, or not, on the key scenes or events in the film
Step Outline
There are as many ways of writing as there are writers, but most of the writers create a step by step outline to plan there script
Part of the writers fee is conditional on delivery of the first draft, this can be the hardest part of screenwriting.
Once the writer and producer are happy, the draft is sent to the financiers, all of whom will have their own ideas
Final Draft
When everyone is happy with the script, it is 'locked off' and becomes a final draft. Then the writer gets paid
Sales Treatment
The final stage of the script development process is the creation of the sales treatment
With development finance secured, it is down to the writer to deliver the product that the producer and financiers want
What is packaging
The producer and director must now 'package' the script into a full commercial proposition, ready for financing
The Cast
One common way to make the project more commercial is to attach well known stars to the script
The Heads of Department
Respected, commercially successful heads of department carry considerable clout with knowledgeable financiers
Detailed Budget and Production Schedule
To turn the film into a proper business production. the producer know how much it will actually cost to make.
Finance plan and Recoupment Schedule
Potential investors will want to know how the producer plans to raise the money, and how she/he plans to pay them back
The Complete Package
The producer has packaged the film into a visible commercial proposition, now its time to see what people think of it.
Film making is an expensive business, and the producer must secure enough funding to make the film to the highest standard possible.
The Market
Financiers can be anywhere in the world. to secure the investment she/he needs to make the film, the producer must travel
Private individuals, production companies and public bodies all invest in films, the producer's lawyer draws up contacts to seal the deal.
The producer can also raise money form pre-sales; selling the rights to the film before it has even been made
Banks and Cap Funding
There are departments of banks that specialise in film finance they invest in commercial projects, and also offer loans.
Completion Bonds
Most financiers insist that a bond is in place before they agree to invest, this is insurance for the production
Green Light
Once all the essential funding and insurance is secured, the film gets the 'green light', and the producer gets drunk
The Kick-off Meeting
Pre- Production
With the financing secured, the full cast and crew are hired, and detailed preparation for the shoot begins
Once all the heads of department are hired, the shooting script is circulated and pre-production begins in earnest
The casting director, with the director and producer, begins the long process of identifying and casting the actors
Story boarding
Storyboards are the blueprints for the film, where every shot is planned in advance by the director and the director of photography
Production Design
The production designer plans every aspect of how the film will look, and hires people to design and build each part.
Special Effects Planning
Effects shots are planned in much more detail then normal shots, and can take months to design and build
The Production Unit
The 1st AD, the line producer and the production manager make up the key logistic triangle of the production.
The Shoot
A large film production can involve hundreds of people,and it is a constant struggle to keep it on schedule and budget
1st day of Principal Photography
This is the key moment in film production shooting begins, funding is released, and the producer breathes a huge sigh of relief
The camera department is responsible for getting all the footage that the director and editor needs to tell the story
Lighting and sound
Once the lighting and sound are set up and hair and make-up have been checked, the 'shot' can begin
In the midst of all this commotion, the actors must create an emotional world and draw the audience in to it.
Special Physical Effects
Every special effects is carefully constructed and must be filmed with minimum risk of injury to cast ans crew
Chain of Command
Film productions are run with military precision, if they fall behind schedule, the financiers and insurers may step in.
Post Production
Post production usually starts during the shoot, as soon as the first 'rushes'-raw footage and sound- are avaliable
Rough Cut
As the producer footage comes in, the editor assembles it into scenes and creates a narrative sequence for the film
Post Production Sound
Once the picture is locked, the sound department works on the audio track laying,creating and editing every sound
Digital Effects and Titles
Digital effects are added by specialist effects compositors, and titles and credits are added in a compositing suite
Grade and Colour
The final stage of the picture edit is to adjust the colour and establish the fine aesthetic of the film
Final Mix
After picture lock, the rough sound mix copes to a dubbing theatre where the sound mixer sets the final levels
Final Cut
After the final cut the film reaches 'full lock' it is now finished and ready for duplication but who gets the final cut?
Whilst the film is still in post, the producer is out selling it, but she/he cant sell it directly to the public themselves; she needs a distributor
Selling the Product
To help her sell the film to distributors, the producer secures the services of a sales agent, a specialist in film sales
The Trailer
To help sell the film, a trailer is made to show busy film buyers the most marketable aspects of the film.
Sales Toolkit
The producer and the sales agent collect everything they will need to sell the film to distributors
Taking the film to the market
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