Filmmaking: Stages of Filmmaking

The Five Stages of Film Production

As a film lover, ever wondered how a film is produced? Filmmaking requires more work than you can imagine, not to mention the manpower it requires. Let us take a glance at the stages of filmmaking!

Stage 1 — Development

This stage can also be viewed as the “birth” of a film concept. It is when ideas for films evolve, discovered, and decided. Creative Executives from Film Studios discuss subject matters they wish to explore.

What Happens?
- Purchasing Rights: Including and not limited to articles, bestselling novels, plays, remaking older films, stories with some basis in real life through a person or event, a video game, fairy tale, comic book, graphic novel.
- Screenplay: It is written during this stage and sold to a production studio, distributor, or investor
- Financial Planning/Logistics: Financing for the project has to be sought and obtained.

Stage 2 — Pre-production

This stage is when a production company and office is established. Arrangements and preparations are also made for the production stage, such as hiring the cast and filming crew, selecting filming locations, sourcing costumes, and creating the storyboard.

What Happens?
- Storyboard Creation: The storyboard artist acts as a bridge by creating visual images in order to make sure the director and production designer are on the same page.
- Timeline and Logistics: The assistant director plans shooting schedules and logistics, the location manager also searches for suitable locations for filming.
- Hire Cast and Film Crew: Producer and casting director recruit and hire the cast and film crew for the production.
- Sound/Music Composing, Choreographing, Costume Designing: Visual and audio elements are being prepared at this stage.

Stage 3 — Production

This stage is when shooting begins. This is when raw footage and other visual elements for the film are recorded.

What Happens?
- Crew Recruitment: Property master, script supervisor, assistant directors, stills photographer, picture editor, and sound editors.
- Shooting: Electric and production design crews arrive, then the sound departments arrive. As they prepare their equipment, actors ready their costumes and make-up.
- Reporting: After shooting, the director sends a daily progress report and the next shooting plan to the production office. This includes the report sheets from continuity, sound, and camera teams.

Stage 4 — Post-production

After the principal shooting is complete, the stage of post-production begins by putting audio and visual materials together.

What Happens?
- Footage Review: The footage filmed in the production stage will be evaluated and screened.
- Overall Editing: The editor assembles the footage, music, sound and visual effects to create a multi-sensory experience.
- Sound Editing: The production sound (dialogue) is edited; music tracks and songs are composed and recorded; and sound effects are designed and recorded
- Visual Editing: Any computer-graphic visual effects/CGI are digitally added by an artist in this stage.

Stage 5 — Distribution

At this point, the film editing is complete and is ready to be viewed. This is when the film is released to cinemas or, occasionally, directly to consumer media or direct download from a digital media provider.

What Happens?
- Promotional Marketing: Advertising of each film though posters, videos, social media etc.
- Screenings: Films might be promoted in festivals and competitions, and are showcased at screenings.
- Distribution Rights: The distribution rights for the film are also usually sold for worldwide distribution. The distributor and the production company share profits and manage losses.