Education for Everyone Everywhere

Horizons University MFA

Interested in a career in filmmaking?  What is filmmaking all about??  Here is a basic overview.   If you are interested in learning more..check out our new MFA program in Filmmaking.

Filmmaking is essentially the creation of a film. It involves all the processes surrounding the finished product including pre and postproduction issues. Filmmaking starts by finding a good script, and moves on from there.

Before the process of filmmaking can begin, a script must be found. Studios are swarmed with millions of requests every year, from high profile filmmakers, to the neighbor down the street. The majority of scripts will never be read. Some studios have a policy of not accepting unsolicited work, which means that 90% of the scripts sent in every year, are never read. In some cases the script goes directly from the mail bag to the trash can, as some film studios request their internal mail room workers to toss unsolicited scripts.

The scripts that are accepted for film making primarily come from agents the studio has worked with in the past. These agents are aware of what the film making studios want, or need and only suggest the best of the best. Once a script is chosen, there’s still no guarantee as to when it will be made, or if it will ever be produced. The studio will choose which scripts they are interested in, and continue with the process of filmmaking.

The next step in the film making process is development. During film development, changes will be made to the script. The studio may choose to bring in a different writer, use a writer they have on staff, or ask the scriptwriter to re-work the idea. The script will be re-worked until the producers are satisfied with the final result, and changes may still be made even as filming progresses.

Pre-production is the next step in film making. Pre-production involves every step leading up to the actual filming. It includes scouting and choosing locations, hiring the crew and actors, and building sets. Production follows pre-production in the world of filmmaking. During production, the movie is shot, scripts are changed as needed, and the sound is recorded.

Post-production and distribution are the last two steps in the film making process. Post-production works to ready the film for the general public. The director, studio, and producers will edit the film, add digital effects, and decide on a soundtrack. This creates a finished product that the studio likes, and one they are ready to market and distribute. Posters are made, publicity scheduled, and screenings held. One the studio is satisfied that they can make money off the film; it is released to the general public.

Filmmaking is a long, and drawn out process. Some films take years, or even decades to be made. A script written ten or twenty years ago may be found, changes made, and then rushed into production, as is the case with film remakes. Two scripts finished at the same time may have very different schedules, with one finished in a year and the other still sitting in pre-production after several years. There’s no way to estimate how the film making process will work.

…More later


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