🎥 Film Production Process 🎞

:movie_camera: Whos Who? :film_strip:

There are five stages of film production

Pre Production
  • Preparing the script
  • Gathering finances
  • Casting and hiring, deciding the actors
  • Finding a secure location for the filming

This is where you need to finalize a script that will start the entire story. Screenwriters are the ones all working in pre-production. As the name suggests, they do all writing. These ideas can be an original source or an adaptation from a preexisting media form (think movie to books). The ‘treatment’ is like the script’s summary, the initial plot, all bunched together for the idea. The script is expanded from that.

Once the script is properly written, they sometimes bring in a script doctor to review the writing and add additional notes. It’s usually if the producers don’t love everything the screenwriters came up with.

Producers - The ones overseeing the project at every stage. There are three types:

  • Executive producer - they manage financials and secure deals but have minimal creative talent in terms of the project. They focus on getting the film properly managed and made.
  • Line Producers - they run the day by day scenario. They manage the daily schedule, make sure what needs to be done gets done, and that the costs are reasonable.
  • Unit Producers - The one responsible for reporting and managing the receipts.

Executive manages more; Unit manages less. It’s a sliding scale.

Casting Director - They are responsible for choosing the actors for each role. On the flip side, the agents negotiate contracts and payment on behalf of the actors.

Production Designers - Manage the overall aesthetic of the film

Location Scouts - Look for places to shoot the scenes. It’s like how Star Wars was filmed in Death Valley, California, for the Tatooine scenes.

Art Director - The ones who conceptualise the actual props for the film. They do costumes and sets if the scene isn’t being shot in a real location.

Set Director - Also work on creating sets in replacement of real locations.

Costume Designers - Work with art directors for the looks and outfits for each character.


Also known as ‘Principal Photography’. This is the stage where all the shots are being filmed.

Director - The main leader on the scene. They oversee everything at this stage in the film process. They guide the actors, determine the cameras’ position, and select what images appear in the final cut. There is a different version of a director called ‘Auteors’ (sorta a newer thing), and they act as the authors of the movie. They have their own ideas for the same scene.

The director is responsible for reviewing dailies and making selects. Dailies are all the footage shot that day, and selects are the scenes that get selected. Most of the initial film will end up removed that’s why movies can sometimes include an extended cut as a bonus.

Cinematographer/ Director of Photography (DP) - Manages the camera positions, setup, and lighting details. They work with the director to determine where the camera should be for the movement. It’s good for the DP and Director to get along well.

Camera Operator - The guy holding the camera or managing the gyro/mount the camera is on.

Production Sound Mixer - Manages the music, sound effects, and anything else that needs to be added in dealing with audio. A lot of sounds have to be made up for fantasy movies using real-world objects.

Boom Operator - The one holding the mic that’s not attached to the actors.

Grips - People who install the lights on set and place camera dollies.

Makeup Artists - They run the final touchups on actors before and in between scenes.

Production Coordinator - Helps the whole process, all these people, run smoother. Probably a tough job, so good luck going into that.

Post Production

Everything is done, all the film has been made, everything in order. Now, what do you do? Chances are that while the movie is done, it doesn’t all add up yet. The footage is still being cut out, green screens edited, and more sounds brought in.

Editor - Takes all of the selects chosen and combines them into one running film. Once everything is put together, they call it a ‘Locked version’ because it is their sense of style and rhythm set in.

Sound Editor - They make the final sounds and mixing for the film. They have to combine the sounds, dialogue, acting, and the scenes for one fluid composition. Sound mixing is just the name for balancing the sound levels.

Special Effect Technicians - These blokes manage the fancy stuff. Green screens, adding in fantasy effects, magical spells, laser beams.


Lovely, so you’ve planned the film, shot it, edited it, and now, there is a full working visual story. What do you do now? To get all the money back blown on the set, you have to market the film and get others to pay to watch it.

How do you see a film? In the cinema? On Netflix? This is the step where they push a film out for all sorts of viewers.

Distributer - A company or agency that acquires the rights from the produces to distribute the film. 20th Century fox is one example of this (the iconic sound at the start of all these movies). Other examples are Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Netflix, and Amazon.

Release Stragities - Methods used for getting the film out. This is the process that has changed over time to match the current viewing trends. In the 50s, the era of the initial movies, they used a method called Book Blocking. Producers would sell their films to a movie theatre in packages to present (remember, those rolls of films?). Eventually, premiers became a thing. It’s essentially a red carpet kickoff event to announce the completion to a select audience.

Movies can have a different form of release. In limited release, they only appear in big city movie theatres. New York, San Fransico, others like that (The big movie industries are mostly in America). In a wide release, hundreds of theatres can get the movie, big or small. There is a rare case of Executive releases where only one or two theatres will get the movie.

Platforming is a form of a release strategy that involves starting with a small crowd, hyping up the film, then having a wider release.

What about Target Audiences?
Producers have to keep this in mind when creating the film. Some movies are catered to children, some for teens, and some for adults. Even the genre can have an impact. Perhaps some people like horror movies as compared to those who like a good romance.

Sometimes a movie will want to be released at a certain time to add to the creative meaning. A Christmas movie is better suited to be released during the winter holidays as opposed to the middle of the summer. Granted, different countries have different season timing so it will depend. Going back to the fact that most of the popular movie industry is American, the upper hemisphere will enjoy the effects better.

Home Release
This is the part that quarantine has affected. Most of the time, movies will release DVD’s or streaming site deals about three to six months after it hits theatres. Because no one is going to the cinema anymore, all of these movies go directly to platforms like Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more.

Blockbuster - A big-budget film intended for wide release. They have famous actor names and directors and are expected to be big hits.

Viral Marketing - A newer outside influence of how films are passed around; especially in the digital era. If a film is good, maybe it doesn’t have that much advertisement, but fans will pass around screenshot, fanart, or thoughts through social media and make it popular. It can also be affected negatively via cancel culture or bad reviews.


This is where you, as a view, come in. The producers are done, the film is out, everyone has access now.

Sites that host streaming services will decide their prices for purchasing or renting the movie from there. If it’s subscription-based, then the price is predetermined for a monthly/yearly plan for any of the movies that site has. Each site will have a different selection, so it’s a matter of what platform for the audience to choose.

Leasure Films - Movies made to be watched for fun. Something that the family watches, or you binge for personal enjoyment.

Production Films - Movies that are watched to gain insight. This can be a documentary or just a well done realistic/historical fiction about certain situations.

:movie_camera: How expensive is it? :film_strip:

Really hecken’ expensive. When the producers deal with the idea, they decide whether it’s bankable or not. The goal is to make more than it takes to create all those shots in the first place.

For example:

Suicide Squad - Costs 110 million pounds (£110,000,000 or $150,000,000 or €123,000,000) for production and marketing.

Sometimes the movie can be individually financed. Maybe the producer or writers want to start everything off for the personal project part.

:movie_camera: Questions :film_strip:

  • Have you made a movie before?
  • Do you plan to go into the film making career?
  • Would you whether be an actor or a director?
  • What other factors of film do you think the pandemic will affect?

This is great! I’ll try to remember to add to it later.

1 Like

I honestly just store a ton of useless info for just about everything, might as well throw it into words

1 Like

I love that. It’s awesome

1 Like

Yes, I’ve made four shorts and I have ideas for two more.

I am… I’ve already picked some schools. I still have to think about it, though.

A director. But I wouldn’t give up acting entirely. One can always do both


I honestly thought this was either A. about the youtube channel Film Theory or B. a Theory of a film
Now I know some very cool facts so 100% win, thanks XD

1 Like


1 Like

oh do u wanna help me edit a music video?

Added tags

1 Like

Love this thread so much!

No! And my biggest regret is that I didn’t decide to study film production because it’s something I’m really interested in…

I would love to but now it’s too late


1 Like


I plan to update it with more information as it comes out, but I’m the most unreliable person I know

The baseline is that film making is cool and even though It’s kinda late for us to jump in, there are other ways to introduce the same concept. In the end, it’s just a visual story, and that can come in many forms.

1 Like

:movie_camera: Mise-en-scène :film_strip:

Literally translates to ‘place on stage’, but it’s everything the camera captures in the world of film. Everything is covered from props, the costumes, the camera position, the setting, ultimately, how the viewing audience sees the frame. Even in realistic settings with characters that could live in the same world, someone had to put together the background for every single shot. Those ariel views of large cities, characters walking down busy streets, large vacant rooms, how much do you think is greenscreened or real? And is it possible to tell?

In the first post, I mentioned the production designer, the one working with the director to developed the vibe of the film. They research the time period and ensure that all further building materials fit the stage, even if it’s just small details. We may not directly identify every single change the production designer has added to a set, but it ends up feeling more real subconsciously. Even in fantasy realms or futuristic ones, the style has to be consistent enough or deviate from our world enough not to seem fake. Sketches can be made, and locations will be scouted.

This is where the art department goes into full swing. The set director goes into the specific details of the actual props while also keeping in mind the production budget. Once a location is chosen (since fantasy movie or not, everything is filmed somewhere on Earth), the art department will take care of building and adding in everything that doesn’t already exist at that location. The season and weather are also something to consider with movies that revolve around a specific day. For example, the movie Halloween (1978) was shot in the summer, and they had to purchase faded leaves to scatter across the set.

Another step to fooling the audience is the make sure the characters and actors look like they fit. The costume designer, hair and makeup (HMU), and the wardrobe department hop on this take to piece together a convincing costume. Iconic costumes can spin out for cosplay influences and even fashion trends when done excellently. What these characters wear can also be representations of how they grow through the film. Roxanne Ritchi from the movie Megamind starts off wearing a red dress to align with Metro Man, switches to purple around the midpoint, and finishes with a blue dress once teeming with Megamind to defeat Tighten. How characters dress can sometimes convey their personalities or what they represent better than the initial dialogue, so it’s the first impression that matters.

Since not all scenes are likely to be shot in order, the hair and makeup crew need to have specific plans for what wigs and pallets they might need. Extensive movies with alien races might need a lot more special effects with how the makeup works, but even in realistic ones, it’s something to represent that character. Keeping wigs realistic on camera while also in tune with the time setting of that film is something more complicated than making sure the materials stay safe. Applying makeup is technically putting chemicals on your face, and until recently, they weren’t very safe. Creating looks from older historical periods means trying to recreate a fashion of that time using modern methods. Other physical changes that simulate are cuts, bruises, tattoos, jagged teeth, burn marks, and the placing of blood. The HMU will spend the most time with the actors.

1 Like

:movie_camera: Elements of Cinematography :film_strip:

Point of View (POV)

The perspective of which a film is currently following.

Subjective - The character guides the camera, we look through their eyes

Objective - Less personal, we watch from above or in the third person to follow a character

However, these methods do not need to stay consistent. Often times, the camera can pan around to focus on different characters or switch between subjective and objective. out of the two formats, the objective is more common, whereas you’d find subjective in a waking-up sequence, blackout, or a spur of confusion. Most films like to give viewers a large image of the current action, so it’s not going to always be through the lens of one character.


The ‘frame’ is the literal box we see the film through; the edges of the camera. Props and characters can be in frame, or out of frame. A shot is what is captured in the frame (how far away is the camera, and what angle), and it lasts until the camera cuts away or moves on. Multiple shots make a scene, and multiple scenes make a sequence.

An example of a dutch angle, where the camera is rotated slightly to show emphasis on certain emotions or actions:

Then there is the aspect ratio, the width to height ratio of the screen. The industry standard (Academy Standard) for a long time was 4:3, and you’ll see many old shows and films shot this way. Right now, the digital medium is 16:9, or the HD youtube ratio. I always do my animations in this setting, 1920 x 1080 pixels to be exact, if you blow up the aspect ratio. In current theatres, we also have the cinemascope view, or 47:20 (2.35:1), and this is the wide one that gets curved around the big screens.

We see more with a higher aspect ratio, but watching a cinemascope on a regular telly screen can end up with cut edges or black rectangles above and below the film.


Anything in front of the camera that’s added on. Something that is literally placed on the camera lens to limit the shot or to transition the shot. This could be like the iris wipe from one scene to the next or a circular cut-out to limit the frame to a circle shot.


Camera Distance

The size of the shot. Different sizes can convey different meanings. If you wanted an emphasis on facial features of specific feelings, then you’d want a close up rather than a long shot. On the other hand, long shots are great for setting up the stage to showing the viewer the background of the film universe. Medium shots are common for conversations with groups of people, characters meeting. Sometimes, versions of long shorts can be done as wide shots for a dramatic vertical chase scene or a fight.

Not all long shots have to hold every character head to toe; sometimes it can be a large shot of something great in the distance with only a partial view of the character.


A good film example would be Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window because it’s a constant subjective shot throughout the whole set.

Awesome shots that you probably recognise:
A scene from Titanic, a medium shot. Notice the soft side lighting and how the characters are positioned.

Joker, the staircase scene. It’s a low angle shot, but the character is almost fully shown and centred.

The Empire Strikes Back, both characters are fully seen, but only in silhouette. The lighting is still present, but only backlit of the atmosphere around.

1 Like

Closed due to inactivity