In this stage, the project's producer finds a story, which may come from a book, play, another film, a true story, original idea, etc. After identifying a theme or underlying message, the producer works with writers to prepare a synopsis. Next they produce a step outline, which breaks the story down into one-paragraph scenes that concentrate on dramatic structure.Then, they prepare a treatment, a 25 to 30 page description of the story, its mood, and characters.
Next, a screenwriter writes a screenplay over a period of several months. A film distributor may be contacted at an early stage to assess the likely market and potential financial success of the film. Hollywood distributors adopt a hard-headed business approach and consider factors such as the filmgenre, the target audience, the historical success of similar films, the actors who might appear in the film, and potential directors. All these factors imply a certain appeal of the film to a possible audience and hence the number of "A.I.S." (or "Asses in Seats") during the theatrical release. Not all films make a profit from the theatrical release alone, so film companies take DVD sales andworldwide distribution rights into account.
The producer and screenwriter prepare a film pitch, or treatment, and present it to potential financiers. If the pitch is successful, the film receives a "green light", meaning someone offers financial backing: typically a major film studio, film council, or independent investor. The parties involved negotiate a deal and sign contracts. Once all partieshave met and the deal has been set, the film may proceed into the pre-production period. By this stage, the film should have a clearly defined marketing strategy and target audience.
In pre-production, every step of actually creating the film is carefully designed and planned. The production company is created and a production office established. The productionis storyboarded and visualized with the help of illustrators and concept artists. A production budget is drawn up to plan expenditures for the film. For major productions, insurance is procured to protect against accidents.
The producer hires a crew. The nature of the film, and the budget, determine the size and type of crew used during filmmaking. Many Hollywood blockbusters employ a cast and crew of hundreds,while a low-budget, independent film may be made by a skeleton crew of eight or nine (or fewer). These are typical crew positions:
* The director is primarily responsible for the storytelling, creative decisions and acting of the film.
* The assistant director manages the shooting schedule and logistics of the production, among other tasks.
* The casting director finds actors to fillthe parts in the script. This normally requires that actors audition.
* The location manager finds and manages film locations. Most pictures are shot in the controllable environment of a studio sound stage but occasionally, outdoor sequences call for filming on location.
* The production manager manages the production budget and production schedule. They also report, on behalf of theproduction office, to the studio executives or financiers of the film.
* The director of photography is the cinematographer who supervises the photography of the entire film
* The director of audiography is the audiographer who supervises the audiography of the entire film.
* The production sound mixer is the head of the sound department during the production stage of filmmaking. Theyrecord and mix the audio on set - dialogue, presence and sound effects in mono and ambience in stereo.
* The sound designer creates the aural conception of the film, working with the supervising sound editor. On some productions the sound designer plays the role of a director of audiography.
* The composer creates new music for the film.
* The production designer creates the visual...
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