filmmaking process is commonly divided into five phases: Idea and Development;
Pre-production; Production; Post-production; and Distribution. Working
according to these phases can help you do the job in a logical order, with as
little complications as possible, since each stage of the process is based on
the successful completion of its predecessor.
1: Idea and Development
the initial idea for the film is the core of the whole filmmaking process.
Inspiration is often elusive, not only to filmmakers but to other artists as
well, and you might want to ask yourself a few questions in order to find what
it is that you want to say to the world: What topics are close to your heart? On
what topics do you feel you have a unique voice or a unique perspective? What
new ideas do you want your audience to think about? What experiences and
notions do you want to share with them?
every idea for a film is a good idea for a film, and indeed, most concepts
won’t make it to the next level. But once you find an idea that excites you,
you will need to develop it so it forms the foundation of your film. This phase
of the process will help you understand exactly what you want to say and how
you want to say it, and will make it easier for you to convey it to other
people, on-set and off-set, thus making sure that everybody’s on the same page.
on paper can help you put things in order. Think about the structure of your
film: it should have a beginning, middle and end. Think about your target
audience, who they are and what you want them to feel after watching your film.
In order to make sure you know exactly what your film is going to be about, try
to describe the whole story in just one sentence, then in just one appealing
paragraph – this will also help you when you search for funding.
write your script using a script format; think about characters, dialogues,
sights and sounds. An important tip is to have all details in the script, but
not too many details: a good filmmaker should always know his strengths and
weaknesses, and allow the professionals who work with him to make decisions in
areas he’s not familiar with. You can also make a graphic storyboard.
will often discover you need to do some research in this phase. If your film
refers to times or places you don’t know personally, research all relevant
historical and cultural aspects in order to make your film as reliable as
possible. Spend time designing round characters, their lives and their motives.
consider the pre-production phase the most important phase in the filmmaking
process. In pre-production you plan all the logistical and creative aspects of
the production, while trying to think about all possible problems and tackle
them in advance. For that reason, a good, comprehensive pre-production can save
you a lot of time, money and effort.
takes place in the pre-production phase, and as the face of your film, the
actors you choose are crucial for its success. Schedule auditions, cast actors
for all parts and conduct rehearsals. Actors should also have the time to make
researches of their own, get to know their characters and understand them.
your schedule is a major part of pre-production. Try to estimate how many days
of production you’re going to need in order to get all the wanted audio and
visual materials, and plan your days in the most cost-effective way possible.
Budget should also be taken under account when planning the production itself
and it’s important to keep track on expenses at all times.
topics that need to be settled in the pre-production phase are finding
locations, designing and constructing sets, planning basic camera movement and
coming up with Plan Bs in case things don’t go as planned (e.g. weather
production is the execution phase of the filmmaking process, during which all
the audio and visual materials are being gathered. On this phase shooting and
recording take place. A large part of the filming crew participates in this
stage, making sure that the script is being followed accurately and that the
materials are of the best possible quality.
camera makes its first appearance during production, and it is important to
know exactly what to shoot and how. Shooting must be based on the script and
storyboard in order to ensure that the right materials are being recorded; the
previous phases should eliminate any need for improvisation. When recording it
is also important to keep lighting – both natural and artificial – in mind, as
it will help you convey the film’s atmosphere to the audience.
audio recording of the film must take place on a silent set, since every
unwanted noise may be recorded on the sensitive microphones. When starting to
record, everyone on set should know they need to be silent. The cast should
also know to speak up and speak clearly so that their words are easy to follow.
post-production phase includes editing all the materials that were gathered
during shooting, thus assembling it into a fluent, consistent film. This is
also time to insert the overlay of adjustments and effects that creates the
full cinematic experience you have envisioned. Post-production usually takes
longer than the production itself!
to say, the raw material of a film is not ready for distribution. Editing is
the process of going through the footage, cutting and re-arranging it,
discarding what is not needed and making sure that what remains tells the story
clearly. To do so, choose the best takes and use the script and notes you took
during the shooting.
addition, during the post-production phase special visual and sound effects are
added and the film’s soundtrack is edited. Color corrections are made and
sometimes a narration is added. This is the time to title the film. Although
all those things may seem as “final touches”, they have a great influence on
the film’s atmosphere and message.
is the process in which the film reaches the audience, and is therefore the
final peak of the whole filmmaking process. It is done through film
distributors, either by a theatrical distribution or for home viewing, such as
DVD releases. Nowadays, a film can also be shared on the internet. Advertising
is, of course, a part of this phase; use your marketing material in order to
stand out in the busy world of media.