In this step, the idea is born. It requires a lot of organizing and planning. After you have your plan, you need to outline your project to present it to the others from your team. If you got your idea from a book, you need to start working on purchasing the film rights. If you are not a good writer, you need to hire one, so he can turn your idea into a script full of action, dialogue, plot, and characters. After you have your script, you give it to your art director and production designer. They will calculate everything you will need for the movie based on your writing: i. e. locations, actors, computer and visual effects, costumes, and props. Making a timeline and deciding on who you want your actors and crew to be is the final preparation.
But most importantly, you need funding. That itself can take months sometimes years. You either need to get your project green-lit (funded by a studio) or find independent financing.
I this step final preparations before the actual cameras roll, are made. In this stage, the script, budgets, crew schedules are adjusted, actors are hired and locations scouted, sets build and costumes fitted. Basically, in this stage, everything that has to do with the shooting is planned and tested.
Production is the step when you finally see what was once in your head captured on film. It’s the shortest step, but the busiest. Actors are contracted for a specific time. The shooting days are ranging up to sixteen hours, and the crew is more extensive to be more efficient and get everything they need on that location so they can move. Everyone has to be very productive to finish the project according to schedule.
Post-production is the step when your bits and pieces become whole (an example can be seen here). You have shot your scenes, and hopefully, you have some decent footage. The post-production crew’s job is to edit the footage, mix the sound, add visual effects, compose a soundtrack, create the title, and prepare the project for the next step. This process usually begins while you are still shooting, so you have more time to edit any mistakes or re-shoot scenes.
You should have already planned this stage in the pre-production. If your planning is proper, this stage should yield results. If your planning was poorly executed, then there is an excellent chance that your project wouldn’t see the light of day. If so, all the other stages would be irrelevant, and your costs wouldn’t be covered. Whatever your plan is (to distribute through cinemas, DVD’s or sell to a streaming service or TV network), you should market it with everything you have. That way, you can ensure a bigger audience and most substantial return on your investment. With technology changing, even as you are reading this, the distribution stage is continuously evolving.