Monday, March 2, 2009

Filmmaker 101

The Six Phases of Filmmaking

1. THE IDEA -- This phase is where the idea is born. The roots of the story start to take hold. Usually the idea holder chews on it like a cow chews on a cud.

2. DEVELOPMENT -- First real hurdle for most filmmakers. And Development is something most just don't know too much about. Sure, the scriptwriting is here and that's covered a million different ways. But the hard part of development? Raising money. I do see more and more seminars on how to raise money for your movie. I've even thought of doing the same. I've got a feeling a lot of the seminars are really more appropo for documentaries-- how to get grants and such. Grants in the feature wordls are extremely rare, unless you have a film that pushes a unique agenda, and pushes it hard. No, at the end of the day, raising money is going to be leg work and phone calls, and putting yourself out there.

3. PRE PRODUCTION -- The movie's quality will be determined here. For low budget, do you get outstanding locations? Do you get talented actors? Do you polish the script to a fine hue? Do you pull together the right team with the right attitude?

4. PRODUCTION -- This is where the indie filmmaker knows a lot. There's tons of books out there. Still doesn't mean anything though. A friend of mine is right now out there working a movie where the director is clueless. But basically, Production phases is where you go out and execute the game plan you devised in Pre-prod. If your game plan wasn't well thought out, your execution will be suspect.

5. POST PRODUCTION -- This is the editing, sound, music and lab portion. At this point, the indie filmmaker is traditionally out of money and begging everyone for time on the FCP or ProTools system. Good coloring makes a huge difference. Great sound design makes a huge difference.

6. DISTRIBUTION -- The other area most filmmakers know nothing about. This is the phase where if you had a name talent in your movie, Sales Agents offer you a teeny bit of money so that they can go get rich off selling your film. If you don't have name talent, this is where you beg, plead and pray for a teeny bit of money so that they can go earn a teeny bit for themselves too.

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