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How to Produce a Movie
Have your eyes set on filmmaking? Here is a basic and precise guide on how to produce a movie, which will certainly give you an idea of what all is involved in getting a story to feature on the silver screen.
Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
Last Updated: Mar 14, 2019
So, you intend to take your career Hollywood-wards and dream of making some of the most prominent names of the Tinseltown to feature in the cast and crew of your cinematic inception? Well, if you prefer breathing life into your own ideas rather than working on making someone else's ideas alive, you certainly have the makings of a genuine film producer.
Here's a precise outline of how to produce a movie by enumerating the steps involved, one after the other, in making a movie from scratch.
Steps In Producing a Movie
Right from the inception of an idea through its material conceptualization leading to its successful completion as a film, the steps here will give you some insight into how you should proceed with producing your first film.
Add your individual dexterity, creativity, right choice of cast and crew, adequate financial backing, and organizational skills to these and you'll definitely have a blockbuster in your hands.
Come up with a Concept
This one goes without saying. Unless you plan on creating a random video collage, you need to zero in on an idea if you plan on making a movie.
It is better to come up with 3-4 similar ideas and then decide upon one. When you have more ideas than one to work upon, you have the flexibility to decide on the best among them by checking in which direction each idea has possibility of further developing.
Scripting the Concept
Once you have successfully decided on your main theme, you should start preparing the script by further developing that idea. During this phase, it is advisable to carry writing equipment with you all time, as you never know when and where you get a cinematic inspiration that you would like to note down for adding sub-themes or twists to your main theme.
Work hard on the dialogs as catchy movie quotes and their effective delivery are remembered even decades after the movie was released, and become imbibed in the common parlance of the global audience. Think of I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse from The Godfather and you'll know what we mean.
Draw a Storyboard
clapperboard with sketchbook for writing storyboard
This especially helps communicate to the tech-guys how you visualize a particular shot―say, an action sequence.
A series of pictures is a better way to give your stunt directors an idea on how you see your film's protagonist and antagonist positioned against each other in that final showdown.
Get the Money Rolling
film industry
Once you are final with your movie's script and storyboard, you can assemble these together in form of a project and show this project to financiers and companies which may take interest in your project and finance your venture.
The cost of producing a movie depends upon how big your project is, besides whom you hire as your cast and crew. Remember, how you present your script and storyboard is very important when approaching financiers.
Theater Group Rehearsing
If you are not very confident about your drawing and writing capabilities, get professional writers and sketch artists to do the work for you so that your film project floors the big guys with the money.
Cast and Crew
Film Crew
These are the most vital components that would determine whether the film would be successful. A talented and cooperative crew coupled with the right star cast can make a film successful even if the idea is not very extraordinary.
On the other hand, a lax crew and the wrong cast can make even an ingenious idea fall flat. Work hard to find the right cast, take auditions and screen tests to zero in on the right actors―don't just hire any actor just because he/she is popular and has previously delivered many hits.
Hunt for the Locales
After your cast and crew is assembled, hunt for locations based upon your script and its central idea if you plan to shoot the film outdoors. Also, when hunting for locations, keep in mind the scenes that are to be shot in those locations. The proper visual backdrop defines the mood of any scene. Hence, a proper sync must be reached between the two.
Prepare the Shooting Script
This is the actual script based on which the film is shot. This contains the actual cinematic situations, dialogs, effects, and other things which you intend the audience to see once the film is screened.
Organize a Well-defined Schedule
Make a well-defined timeline for each day of the shooting and plan ahead on what proportion is to be completed each day. Make optimum exemptions for re-takes, etc., but make sure these things don't take up more time than usual and delay your project.
Prepare Call Sheets
Call sheets contain information and schedule regarding which members of the cast are to arrive for make-up, which crew members are due to arrive at the sets and at what time, a record of the scenes to be shot and which cast members are in it, etc.
In short, these sheets show a summary of each day's activities and attendance along with time. Distribute a copy of the call sheet to each cast and crew member so that they know what is expected of them and at what time.
Get the Equipment
Film studio office decorations
Once everything is set, concentrate upon the filmmaking equipment depending upon the requirements. Besides the basic lighting and shooting equipment, you may need advanced digital support if you intend to incorporate special effects in your film.
Arrange for Sounds
Arrange for the sounds, background score, and audio effects of your movie, and keep in mind the theme while doing so.
Lights, Camera, Action
Cameraman on set
Now that everything has been finalized, give your director the green flag and proceed on commencing the shooting of your first cinematic project.
So, now that you know the basics of how to produce a movie, go ahead with your dream venture and create history.