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How A Movie Is Made
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When you sit down in the theater, or turn on Netflix, or the TV, or rent a movie from Redbox (or Blockbuster if you’re living in the past) and you watch a movie you can tell there’s a lot of work that goes into it. But generally unless you’ve had hands on experience you can miss the whole scope of the work. That’s why there are credits at the end so you can see a long list of names on the screen while you walk out of the theater or turn the TV off.

Behind that two hour film are many hard working people who work twelve or more hours a day for weeks and sometimes months on end to create that film. It’s hard work that goes largely unnoticed. A film is made in three parts. Pre-production, Production, and Post-Production and within each phase are a lot of different people with different talents.

When a movie gets made it always starts in pre-production. This phase involves writing the script (which is a long process itself) then the script gets picked apart and broken down to its base needs and then using that the producers can figure out how long it will take to film and from that how much it will cost. And they plan it to cost as little as possible. The more locations there are in the script and the longer and more complicated it is the more expensive it will be. So this is also the time when any changes are made to the script to keep costs down. It forces the writers to be a little more creative with their stories because if the film makers don’t have a lot of money they need to be able to tell the entire story without certain elements from their script. This is also the time when the Director gets attached to the script and the other crew members all join in and prepare for the next phase of making the film. It’s this pre-production time that can make or break the whole film.

The next step that goes into making a movie is the production phase. For me it is my favorite time in the whole process, it’s a time that can either be a couple days to a couple months of intense work for everyone involved. This is the time when you take the camera and record the actors playing out the scene. Simple enough right? not so much, the process is not a set the camera up and forget it, it’s set up the camera, film some, move the camera, film some more, and repeat. It can take hours to film even a short one minute scene. During this phase there are people working with the camera, people working with lights, people recording the sound, there’s a group whose soul job is to move equipment from one place to another and even people getting coffee for the others. It’s not an easy part of making a movie but obviously it’s vital to the success of the movie.

The last step is post production. This is where a team of editors take all the footage that was recorded in the production phase and takes different parts and performances to tell the story of the movie. The editors are able to take a whole smorgasbord and turn it into a polished movie. There are people to edit each part of the movie, the video, the sound, the music, even the special effects. Everything needs to happen at just the right moments in the movie for the story to be told properly.

When all is said and done, which can take months or even years, the film is put into theaters or released onto DVD. And the end credits are put at the end of the film so we can know who worked on it so they get the recognition they deserve for the work they do, with a little more study you can soon learn what each title means and know exactly what each person did to bring that movie to this big screen.


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