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Transcript of Film Production
“If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.”
Stanley Kubrick (Filmmaker)
A screen play (or shooting script) is a cross between a novel and a play. It contains....
A description of the scene (INT. EXT.), time of day (NIGHT, DAY) and the action,
A description of the composition (LONG SHOT, CLOSE-UP, POV),
The dialogue spoken by the characters, and
An indication of how the scenes are joined (DISSOLVE, FADE OUT).
The producer is responsible for overseeing every mechanical detail of the film: sets, costumes, locations. The producer sets up the budget, meets the payroll, and in short, does everything necessary for the director to walk on stage and say "Action."
Sometimes a director is involved from the start. Sometimes the producer is also the director. Their roles are different however.The director is responsible for the look of the film, and generally has final say over casting, script and post-production editing.
There can be several screen writers for a film.
A film script usually evolves in a three step process. (1) The writer begins with an idea or concept. It is (2) fleshed out in an adaption (or story), a narrative describing how the concept will be adapted to the screen. The final step is (3) the actual development of the screen play or shooting script. Each step my be developed by a different writer.
A storyboard visually tells the story of an animation panel by panel, kind of like a comic book.
This process is about going through the screenplay and the storyboards and extracting specific information about each scene or even each shot. Filmmakers find it helpful to organize these questions and answers into categories, such as what locations do we need, what cast do we need, what props or costumes. etc.
The shooting schedule details what dates and times, what locations, and what resources are required along with what scenes or shots will be filmed during each hour or day.
Determine what the first shot is to be recorded ( Check shot list)
Determine where exactly it will be filmed. Consider lighting and sound.
Actors rehearse their movements, actions and dialogues with Director's feedback (Check Screenplay)
Decide where the camera should be to best record the story ( Check storyboards)
Rehearse with all actors, camera, sound and crew until everyone agrees on what and how it will be filmed
Action! Repeat the rehearsal but this time with video camera recording.
Cut! Check the video. Is the sound recorded clearly, is the video in focus, is there enough lighting, is the action of the actors captured?
Take Two! Repeat the filming until everyone agrees that they have recorded that shot as desired.
If you have filmed more than one "Take" of a shot, note which was your favourite so you can find it quicker during editing.
Determine what your next shot is and repeat!
The production budget of an "average" film in 2006 was $ 100 million (about $ 114 million in 2012). This included $65.8 million in negative (film) costs and $34.5 million for marketing.
The production budget for John Cameron's Titanic (1997), which had a 6 month (163 day) shoot, was reported to have been 200 million dollars, making it in 1997, Hollywood's most expensive movie. (The cost in 2012 dollars would be nearly $ 287 million.) Cameron exposed 1.3 million feet of film (240 hours and 45 minutes) which was edited down to 3 hours, 14 minutes
A typical film takes Eight weeks to produce. 48 days. The more time spent in shooting a film, the more it's going to cost. Time is money. Roger Corman (1926- ), the king of the low budget B-movie, shot the original The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) on a borrowed set in one weekend (2 1/2 days -- Friday night to Monday morning). .
The film editor takes the individual shots and assembles them into the scenes which will make up the final cut of the film.
It's the actual decision-making of cutting that's hard: for instance, how to turn 1,000' (or more) of raw coverage into a 100' scene that delivers the maximum emotional and storytelling impact that the material is capable of. It's not just cutting by numbers--"the long shot, then the over-the-shoulders, then the close-ups." It's a creative process. Maybe you play the whole thing in the master shot. Or the whole thing in a series of close-ups. Or maybe you cut together any number of angles in any number of ways. It's a process requiring intense creativity, and the editor is the first person to tackle it. (Copyright © 1996 by Michael Chaskes)
How long does it normally take him to cut a film?
Six months. Although editing is considered part of Post Production, the film editor traditionally begins work at the beginning of the Production phase. Footage shot on Monday, will be developed and printed that night, and delivered to the editor on Tuesday. A rough cut of that sequence may be available for the director's screening on Wednesday. Usually the rough cut of the entire film will be available six weeks after principle photography wraps. It may take an additional 6 to 8 weeks for the producer, director and editor to create the final cut.
There are 5 individual tracks included in a film's final sound track:
3. Cued sound effects: Car crash, gun shot, tires squeal, waves breaking on shore...
4. Ambient (background) sound: Crickets, birds chirping, traffic noise, wind...
5. Foley: Foot steps, clinking glasses...
The only sound track recorded during the shooting is the dialogue track. If there is no dialogue in a scene, that scene is shot silent. Music and sound effects will be added later in post-production
The Foley track is the "sound effect" track which contains the sound of foot steps, clinking glasses, pouring drinks, etc.
Between 250 and 3500 prints are usually made of a film. The cost of producing one print, a little over 2 miles of film, is about $ 1,200 (in 2007, about $ 1,350 in 2012). The cost of producing 3500 prints for a nation wide release is approximately 4.7 million in 2012 dollars.
A film can only play in as many theatres (or screens) as there are prints. An "art film" which has limited distribution has fewer prints. On the other hand Hollywood released 3,500 copies of 50 First Dates in 2004 and over 7,000 prints of Godzilla in 1998.
Many major theatre chains today are part of the Digital Cinema revolution. The 35mm projector, lens and film platter is replaced with a high definition (2048x1080 or 4096x2160 pixel) video projector and computer. The "film" arrives at the theatre on an external hard drive which is plugged into the theatre's master computer. This computer, the server, then distributes the signal to the computer-projector combo in the assigned theatre. The savings on the media alone is huge. A single print costs approximately $ 1,350. A digital copy of the same film can comfortably fit on a 300 GB hard drive which costs about $70.
Between 10 and 65 percent of a film's box office gross stays in the local community. The first week a film is in release, the typical theatre's cut is 10%, the second week it's raised to 20%, third week-- 30%, etc. For every $10.00 ticket sold on opening weekend, the Cinema keeps $1.00 and $9.00 goes to "Hollywood." The Cinema makes more profit on the sale of popcorn than they do on the sale of tickets.