What Is Cinematography?

Filmmaking Cinematography Cinematography (from Greek: κίνημα, kinema “movements” and γράφειν, graphein “to record”) is the science or art of motion-picture photography by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as film stock.

Typically, a lens is used to repeatedly focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into real images on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure creating multiple images. With an electronic image sensor, this produces an electrical charge at each pixel, which is electronically processed and stored in a video file for subsequent display or processing. The result with photographic emulsion is series of invisible latent images on the film stock, which are later chemically “developed” into a visible image. The images on the film stock are played back at a rapid speed and projected on a screen creating the illusion of a movie. Cinematography is employed in many fields of science and business as well as its more direct uses for recreational purposes and mass communication.

Film Cinematography The experimental film, Roundhay Garden Scene, filmed by Louis Le Prince on October 14, 1888 in Roundhay, Leeds, England, is the earliest surviving motion picture. This movie was shot on paper film.

The first though to design a successful apparatus was W. K. L. Dickson, working under the direction of Thomas Alva Edison, called the Kinetograph, and patented in 1891. This camera took a series of instantaneous photographs on standard Eastman Kodak photographic emulsion coated onto a transparent celluloid strip 35 mm wide. The results of this work were first shown in public in 1893, using the viewing apparatus also designed by Dickson, and called the Kinetoscope. Contained within a large box, only one person at a time looking into it through a peephole could view the movie.

In the following year, Charles Francis Jenkins and his projector, the Phantoscope, made a successful audience viewing while Louis and Auguste Lumière perfected the Cinématographe, an apparatus that took, printed, and projected film in Paris in December 1895. Lumiere brothers were the first to present projected, moving, photographic, pictures to a paying audience of more that one person.

In 1896, Edison showed his improved Vitascope projector and it was the first commercially, successful, projector in the U.S. Cooper Hewitt invented mercury lamps which made it practical to shoot films indoors without sunlight in 1905. The first animated cartoon is produced in 1906. Credits begin to appear at the beginning of motion pictures in 1911. The Bell & Howell 2709 movie camera invented in 1915 allows directors to make close-ups without physically moving the camera. By late 1920’s most of the movies produced were sound films.

Widescreen formats first experimented in the 1950’s. By the 1970’s, most of the movies produced were colour films. In 1970’s, IMAX and other 70mm formats gained popularity. The wide distribution of films became commonplace setting the ground for so-called blockbusters. Film cinematography dominated the motion picture industry from its inception till 2010’s when digital cinematography became dominant. Film cinematography is still used by some directors especially in specific applications or out of fondness of the format.

Digital Cinematography

In digital cinematography, the movie is shot on a digital medium such as flash storage as well as distributed through a digital medium such as a hard drive. Beginning in the late 1980s, Sony began marketing the concept of “electronic cinematography,” utilizing its analogue Sony HDVS professional video cameras. The effort met with very little success. However, this led to one of the earliest digitally shot feature movies, Julia and Julia, to be produced in 1987. In 1998, with the introduction of HDCAM recorders and 1920 × 1080 pixel digital professional video cameras based on CCD technology, the idea, now re-branded as “digital cinematography,” began to gain traction in the market. Shot and released in 1998, The Last Broadcast is believed by some to be the first feature-length video shot and edited entirely on consumer-level digital equipment. In May 1999 George Lucas challenged the supremacy of the movie-making medium of film for the first time by including footage filmed with high-definition digital cameras in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In late 2013, Paramount became the first major studio to distribute movies to theatres in digital format eliminating 35mm film entirely. As digital technology improved, movie studios began increasingly shifting towards digital cinematography. Since 2010’s , digital cinematography has become the dominant form of cinematography after largely superseding film cinematography.

Who Is Director OF Photography (Cinematographer).

A cinematographer or director of photography (sometimes shortened to DP or DOP) is the chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, television production or other live action piece and is responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image. The study and practice of this field is referred to as cinematography. Some filmmakers say that cinematographer is just the chief over the camera and lightning, and the Director of Photography is the chief over the all photography components of film, including: framing, costumes, makeup, lighting, and its the assistant of the post producer for color correction & grading. The cinematographer selects the film stock, lens, filters, etc., to realize the scene in accordance with the intentions of the director. Relations between the cinematographer and director vary; in some instances the director will allow the cinematographer complete independence; in others, the director allows little to none, even going so far as to specify exact camera placement and lens selection. Such a level of involvement is not common once the director and cinematographer have become comfortable with each other, the director will typically convey to the cinematographer what is wanted from a scene visually, and allow the cinematographer latitude in achieving that effect.

Several American cinematographers have become directors, including Barry Sonnenfeld, originally the Coen brothers’ DP; Jan de Bont, the cinematographer on films as Die Hard and Basic Instinct, directed Speed and Twister. Recently Wally Pfister, cinematographer on Christopher Nolan’s three Batman films made his directorial debut with Transcendence.

In the infancy of motion pictures, the cinematographer was usually also the director and the person physically handling the camera. As the art form and technology evolved, a separation between director and camera operator emerged. With the advent of artificial lighting and faster (more light sensitive) film stocks, in addition to technological advancements in optics, the technical aspects of cinematography necessitated a specialist in that area.

Film Director Explained

A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. Generally, a film director controls a film’s artistic and dramatic aspects, and visualizes the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfilment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. In some European countries, the director is viewed as the author of the film. The film director gives direction to the cast and crew and create an overall vision through which a film eventually becomes realized. Directors need to be able to mediate differences in creative visions and stay in the boundaries of the film’s budget. There are many pathways to becoming a film director. Some film directors started as screenwriters, film editors or actors. Other film directors have attended a film school. Directors use different approaches. Some outline a general plotline and let the actors improvise dialogue, while others control every aspect, and demand that the actors and crew follow instructions precisely. Some directors also write their own screenplays or collaborate on screenplays with long-standing writing partners. Some directors edit or appear in their films, or compose the music score for their films.

Activities

Film directors create an overall vision through which a film eventually becomes realized. Realizing this vision includes overseeing the artistic and technical elements of film production, as well as directing the shooting timetable and meeting deadlines. This entails organizing the film crew in such a way as to achieve his or her vision of the film. This requires skills of group leadership, as well as the ability to maintain a singular focus even in the stressful, fast-paced environment of a film set. Moreover, it is necessary to have an artistic eye to frame shots and to give precise feedback to cast and crew, thus, excellent communication skills are a must.

Since the film director depends on the successful cooperation of many different creative individuals with possibly strongly contradicting artistic ideals and visions, he or she also needs to possess conflict resolution skills in order to mediate whenever necessary. Thus the director ensures that all individuals involved in the film production are working towards an identical vision for the compleated film. The set of varying challenges he or she has to tackle has been described as “a multi-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with egos and weather thrown in for good measure”. It adds to the pressure that the success of a film can influence when and how they will work again. Omnipresent are the boundaries of the budget of the film. Additionally, the director may also have to ensure an intended age rating. Theoretically, the sole superior of a director is the studio that is financing the film, however, a poor working relationship between a film director and an actor could possibly result in the director being replaced if the actor is a major film star. Even so, it is arguable that the director spends more time on a project than anyone else, considering that the director is one of the few positions that requires intimate involvement during every stage of film production. Thus, the position of film director is widely considered to be a highly stressful and demanding one. It has been said that “20-hour days are not unusual”.

Under European Union law, the film director is considered the “author” or one of the authors of a film, largely as a result of the influence of auteur theory. Auteur theory is a film criticism concept that holds that a film director’s film reflects the director’s personal creative vision as if they were the primary “auteur” (the French word for “author”). In spite of—and sometimes even because of—the production of the film as part of an industrial process, the auteur’s creative voice is distinct enough to shine through studio interference and the collective process.

Characteristics

  • Different directors can vary immensely amongst themselves, under various characteristics. Several examples are: Those who outline a general plotline and let the actors improvise dialogue. Notable examples include Ingmar Bergman, Christopher Guest, Wong Kar-wai, Spike Lee, Wim Wenders, Mike Leigh, Barry Levinson, Jean-Luc Godard, Miklós Jancsó, Gus Van Sant, Judd Apatow, Terrence Malick, Harmony Korine, Jay and Mark Duplass, and occasionally Robert Altman, Joe Swanberg, Sergio Leone and Federico Fellini.
  • Those who control every aspect, and demand that the actors and crew follow instructions precisely. Notable examples include David Lean, Akira Kurosawa, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Victor Fleming, Erich von Stroheim, James Cameron, George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick, Sidney Lumet, Andrew Bujalski, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Guillermo del Toro and Alfred Hitchcock.
  • Those who write their own screenplays. Notable examples include Woody Allen, Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John Cassavetes, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron, George Lucas, J. F. Lawton, David Cronenberg, Charlie Chaplin, Billy Wilder, Ed Wood, David Lynch, the Coen brothers, Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Pedro Almodóvar, John Hughes, Nick Park, Edward Burns, Kevin Smith, Todd Field, Cameron Crowe, Terrence Malick, Oren Peli, Eli Roth, Harmony Korine, Paul Thomas Anderson, Guillermo del Toro, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Oliver Stone, John Singleton, Spike Lee, Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Hayao Miyazaki, M. Night Shyamalan,Daryush Shokof, Paul Haggis, Billy Bob Thornton, James Wong, Tyler Perry, Robert Rodriguez, Christopher Nolan, George A. Romero, Sergio Leone, Satyajit Ray, Joss Whedon and David O. Russell. Steven Spielberg and Sidney J. Furie have written screenplays for a small number of their films.
  • Those who collaborate on screenplays with long-standing writing partners. Notable examples include Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga, Elia Kazan and Tennessee Williams, Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown/Tony Grisoni, Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson/Noah Baumbach, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, Martin Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi/Paul Schrader/Jay Cocks, Yasujirō Ozu and Kôgo Noda, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière/Luis Alcoriza, Krzysztof Kieślowski/Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Frank Capra/Robert Riskin, Michelangelo Antonioni/Tonino Guerra, Billy Wilder/I.A.L. Diamond, Sergio Leone and Sergio Donati, Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins, and Christopher Nolan/Jonathan Nolan/David S. Goyer.
  • Those who edit their own films. Notable examples include Akira Kurosawa, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Cahill, Jean-Marc Vallée, Steven Soderbergh, David Lean, Don Coscarelli, Charlie Chaplin, Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, Ed Wood, Gaspar Noe, Takeshi Kitano, John Woo, Andy Warhol, Shinya Tsukamoto, Kenneth Anger, Gregg Araki, Gus Van Sant, Xavier Dolan, Ben Wheatley, Kelly Reichardt, Leni Riefenstahl, Kevin Smith, Rodrigo Cortes, Joe Swanberg, Steve James, Jafar Panahi, Ti West, Joel and Ethan Coen and many indie, Internet and arthouse filmmakers.
  • Those who shoot their own films. Notable examples include Nicolas Roeg, Mike Cahill, Peter Hyams, Steven Soderbergh, Joe Swanberg, Tony Kaye, Gaspar Noe, Gregg Araki, Robert Rodriguez, Don Coscarelli, Josef von Sternberg, Shinya Tsukamoto and Kenneth Anger. Those who appear in their films. Notable examples include Clint Eastwood, Orson Welles, Mel Gibson, Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, John Waters, John Carpenter, Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Anger, Woody Allen, Jon Favreau, Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, Michael Bay, Mel Brooks, Ben Stiller, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Charlie Chaplin, Terry Jones, Edward Burns, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sam Raimi, Roman Polanski, Erich von Stroheim, Billy Bob Thornton, Sylvester Stallone, M. Night Shyamalan, Harold Ramis, Robert De Niro, John Woo, Kevin Smith, Warren Beatty, Takeshi Kitano, Kenneth Branagh and Ed Wood. Alfred Hitchcock, Abel Ferrara, Shawn Levy, Edgar Wright and Spike Jonze made cameo appearances in their films. Those who compose the music score for their films. Notable examples include Charlie Chaplin, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John Carpenter, Mike Figgis, Alejandro Amenábar, Satyajit Ray, Robert Rodriguez and Tom Tykwer. Another way to categorize directors is by their membership in a “school” of filmmaking, such as the French New Wave, the British New Wave or the New Hollywood school of filmmakers.

Assistant Director

The role of an assistant director on a film includes tracking daily progress against the filming production schedule, arranging logistics, preparing daily call sheets, checking cast and crew, and maintaining order on the set. They also have to take care of the health and safety of the crew. Historically the role of an assistant to the director (not the same as an Assistant director) was a stepping stone to directing work; Alfred Hitchcock was an AD, as was James McTeigue. This transition into film directing is no longer common in feature films, but remains an avenue for television work, particularly in Australia and Britain. It is more common now for ADs to transition to production management and producer roles than to directing.

An “assistant director” can also take on many roles. Responsibilities of an assistant director in theatre may range from taking notes to actually staging parts of the play. Many aspiring theatre directors begin their careers assistant directing, although the responsibilities in theatre are usually completely different from the requirements of filmmaking and should not be confused.

Sub Roles

Often, the role of assistant director is broken down into the following sub-roles:

  • The First Assistant Director(First or 1st AD) has overall AD responsibilities and supervises the Second AD. The “first” is directly responsible to the director and “runs” the floor or set. The 1st AD and the unit production manager are two of the highest “below the line” technical roles in filmmaking (as opposed to creative or “above the line” roles) and so, in this strict sense, the role of 1AD is non-creative.
  • The Second Assistant Director(Second or 2AD) creates the daily call sheets from the production schedule, in cooperation with the production coordinator. The “second” also serves as the “backstage manager”, liaising with actors, putting cast through make-up and wardrobe, which relieves the “first” of these duties. Supervision of the second second assistant director, third assistant director, assistant director trainees, and the setting of background (extras) are parts of the “second’s” duties.
  • The Second Second Assistant Director(Second Second or 22AD) deals with the increased workload of a large or complicated production. For example, a production with a large number of cast may require the division of the aspects of backstage manager and the call sheet production work to two separate people.
  • The Third Assistant Director(Third or 3rd AD) works on set with the “First” and may liaise with the “Second” to move actors from base camp (the area containing the production, cast, and hair and makeup trailers), organize crowd scenes, and supervise one or more production assistants (PA). There is sometimes no clear distinction between a 2AD and a 3AD. Although some industry bodies (American DGA) have defined the roles in an objective way, others believe it to be a subjective distinction.
  • The Additional Assistant Director(AAD or Additional) or Fourth Assistant Director (4AD or “Fourth”) or “Key Production Assistant” (Key PA) may have a number of duties. Most commonly, the AAD has two broad job functions. One is the contraction of the duties of an AD where the AD acts as both 2nd AD and 3rd AD simultaneously. For example, a production with a large number of cast may pass the 2AD call sheet production work to that of the AAD, especially when the 2AD is already performing the additional work of a 3rd AD. The other main use of an AAD is as an adjunct to the 3AD and 1AD for logistically large scenes where more ADs are needed to control large numbers of extras. The “Additional” may also serve where the complexity of the scene or specialized elements within it (stunts, period work) require or are best served by a dedicated AD in most respects equal to a 1st AD – directing and controlling a number of other ADs to direct action to the satisfaction of the 1AD and the director.
  • A production assistant is one of the lowest crew in a film’s hierarchy in terms of salary and authority. They perform various duties required of them by ADs.
  • The sub-roles of assistant directors differ among nations. For example, the distinction between second second AD and third AD is more common in North America. British and Australian productions, rather than having a second second AD, will hire a “second” 2AD experienced in the same duties, and trained to the same level, to allow a division of the duties. 3ADs in Britain and Australia have different duties from a second second AD, and the terms are not synonymous. For example, A “third” may just be a crowd scene specialist, with seniority, and even higher pay than the second AD of that production.
  • Many times, in Hollywood film making, especially studio productions, the First AD is the first person hired on a film, often as soon as the project has been greenlit for production. An assistant director must be very good at estimating how long a scene will take. (Sometimes a scene running a few pages long on the screenplay can be shot relatively quickly, while a half-page emotional key moment may take all day.)

Who is Storyboard Artist ?

A storyboard artist, or story artist, creates storyboards for advertising agencies and film productions. A storyboard artist visualizes stories and sketches frames of the story on paper. Quick pencil drawings and marker renderings are two of the most common traditional techniques, although nowadays Flash, Photoshop, and other storyboard applications are gradually taking over. The digital camera is one of the latest techniques in creating storyboards. A storyboard artist is also known as an illustrator visualizer.

Continue Reading After Ad:

They are mostly freelance artists, typically hired by art directors and film directors. Deadlines are always tight, and overnight working is very common. Typically freelance storyboard artists will belong to one or more storyboard agencies much like an illustration agency. Some frequently used drawing applications are Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop. Many storyboard artists nowadays begin and finish their work on computers using software and digital pencils like Wacom (Graphics tablet). Storyboard artists may use photos to create visuals where stock photos or photos taken specifically for the project are put together digitally to produce a photographic representation called a photovisual. For motion pictures, some filmmakers, directors, and producers choose to use computer programs designed to create storyboards such as StoryBoard Quick, StoryBoard Artist or FrameForge 3D Studio. 3D Programs such as Poser and DAZ Studio can also be used to create elements of the storyboards. However, a storyboard artist can sketch an idea quicker than images can be collected into a computer program.

Storyboard artists have different goals in different industries:

  • In advertising, the storyboard artist can be called upon to create a representation of what the finished TV commercial, or spot, will look like in order to persuade and engage the client to buy the concept being pitched. This can either be at the time the agency is trying to win the client’s business or once the client has signed on with the agency. In either case, the important element is for the storyboards to visualize for the client what the agency’s creative director or “creatives” are thinking will sell the client’s product. A storyboard artist may also be asked to visually represent several versions of a campaign for print ads. This gives a client a chance to choose between variations and allows them to be included in the creative process.
  • In film, a storyboard artist is hired at the beginning of a project. When a storyboard artist is hired by a motion picture company, the artist must break down the scenes of the script into shots which can be filmed. This is done under the supervision of the film’s director in order to ensure the director’s vision from the start of the project. Therefore, it can be helpful for the storyboard artist to know the mechanics of filmmaking when assisting the director. As the production proceeds, the storyboards are presented to the cinematographer who is then responsible for bringing that vision to the screen. Film production companies may also hire a storyboard artist to create polished presentation-style storyboards (which might also include sound) which can be used by an executive producer to raise the money to create the film.
  • In animation, projects are often pitched on the basis of storyboards alone (that is, a screenplay may not be written until later), and storyboard artists continue to work throughout the production to develop particular sequences. After a sequence is edited the director and/or storyboard artist and team may need to rework the sequence as it becomes evident that changes need to be made for timing and story.

Complete Guide For Beginner Filmmakers

Introduction:

Filmmaking (or in an academic context, film production) is the process of making a film. Filmmaking involves a number of discrete stages including an initial story, idea , or commission, through scriptwriting , casting, shooting, sound recording and reproduction, editing , and screening the finished product before audience that may result a film release exibition. Filmmaking takes place in many places around the world in a range of economic, social, and political contexts and using a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques. Typically, it involes a large number of people, and can take from a few months to several years to complete.

Development

in this stage, the project producer selects a story, which may come from a book, play, another film, true story, video game, comic book, graphic novel , or an original idea, etc.

After identifying a theme or underlying message, the producer works with writers to prepare a synopsis. Next they produce a step outline, which breaks the story down into one-paragraph scenes that concentrate on dramatic structure. Then, they prepare a treatment, a 25 to 30 pages description of the story, its mood, and characters. This usually has little dialogue and stage direction, but often contain drawings that help visualize key points, another way is to produce a scriptment once synopsis is produced.

Next, a screenwriter writes a screenplay over a period of several months. The screenwriter may rewrite it several times to improve dramatization, clarity, structure, characters, dialogue, and overall style. However, producers often skip the previous steps and develop submitted screenplays which investors, studios, and other interested parties assess through a process called script coverage. A film distributor may be contacted at an early stage to assess the likely market and potential financial success of the film. Hollywood distributors adopt a hard-headed business approach and consider factors such as the film genre, the target audience, the historical success of similar films, the actors who might appear in the film, and potential directors. All these factors imply a certain appeal of the film to a possible audience. Not all films make a profit from the theatrical release alone, so film companies take DVD sales and worldwide distribution rights into account. The producer and screenwriter prepare a film pitch, or treatment, and present it to potential financiers. They will also pitch the film to actors and directors (especially so-called bankable stars) in order to “attach” them to the project (that is, obtain a binding promise to work on the film if financing is ever secured). Many projects fail to move beyond this stage and enter so-called development hell. If a pitch succeeds, a film receives a “green light”, meaning someone offers financial backing: typically a major film studio, film council, or independent investor. The parties involved negotiate a deal and sign contracts. Once all parties have met and the deal has been set, the film may proceed into the pre-production period. By this stage, the film should have a clearly defined marketing strategy and target audience. Development of animated films differs slightly in that it is the director who develops and pitches a story to an executive producer on the basis of rough storyboards, and it is rare for a full-length screenplay to already exist at that point in time. If the film is green-lighted for further development and pre-production, then a screenwriter is later brought in to prepare the screenplay.

Pre-Production

In pre-production, every step of actually creating the film is carefully designed and planned. The production company is created and a production office established. The film is pre-visualized by the director, and may be storyboarded with the help of illustrators and concept artists. A production budget is drawn up to plan expenditures for the film. For major productions, insurance is procured to protect against accidents.

The producer hires a crew. The nature of the film, and the budget, determine the size and type of crew used during filmmaking. Many Hollywood blockbusters employ a cast and crew of hundreds, while a low-budget, independent film may be made by a skeleton crew of eight or nine (or fewer). These are typical crew positions:

  • Storyboard artist: creates visual images to help the director and production designer communicate their ideas to the production team.
  • Director: is primarily responsible for the storytelling, creative decisions and acting of the film.
  • Assistant director(AD): manages the shooting schedule and logistics of the production, among other tasks. There are several types of AD, each with different responsibilities.
  • Unit production manager: manages the production budget and production schedule. They also report, on behalf of the production office, to the studio executives or financiers of the film.
  • Location Manager: finds and manages film locations. Nearly all pictures feature segments that are shot in the controllable environment of a studio sound stage, outdoor sequences call for filming on location.
  • Production designer: creates the visual conception of the film, working with the art director.
  • Art director: manages the art department, which makes production sets.
  • Costume designer: creates the clothing for the characters in the film working closely with the actors, as well as other departments.
  • Make up and hair designer: works closely with the costume designer in addition to create a certain look for a character.
  • Casting director: finds actors to fill the parts in the script. This normally requires that actors audition.
  • Choreographer: creates and coordinates the movement and dance – typically for musicals. Some films also credit a fight choreographer.
  • Director of photography (DP): is the cinematographer who supervises the photography of the entire film.
  • Director of audiography (DA): is the audiographer who supervises the audiography of the entire film. For productions in the Western world this role is also known as either sound designer or supervising sound editor.
  • Production sound mixer: is the head of the sound department during the production stage of filmmaking. They record and mix the audio on set – dialogue, presence and sound effects in mono and ambience in stereo. They work with the boom operator, Director, DoA, DoP, and First AD.
  • Sound designer: creates the aural conception of the film, working with the supervising sound editor. On some productions the sound designer plays the role of a director of audiography. Composer: creates new music for the film. (usually not until post-production)

Production

In production, the video production/film is created and shot. More crew will be recruited at this stage, such as the property master, script supervisor, assistant directors, stills photographer, picture editor, and sound editors. These are just the most common roles in filmmaking; the production office will be free to create any unique blend of roles to suit the various responsibilities possible during the production of a film.

A typical day’s shooting begins with the crew arriving on the set/location by their call time. Actors usually have their own separate call times. Since set construction, dressing and lighting can take many hours or even days, they are often set up in advance.

The grip, electric and production design crews are typically a step ahead of the camera and sound departments: for efficiency’s sake, while a scene is being filmed, they are already preparing the next one.

While the crew prepare their equipment, the actors are wardrobed in their costumes and attend the hair and make-up departments. The actors rehearse the script and blocking with the director, and the camera and sound crews rehearse with them and make final tweaks. Finally, the action is shot in as many takes as the director wishes. Most American productions follow a specific procedure:

The assistant director (AD) calls “picture is up!” to inform everyone that a take is about to be recorded, and then “quiet, everyone!” Once everyone is ready to shoot, the AD calls “roll sound” (if the take involves sound), and the production sound mixer will start their equipment, record a verbal slate of the take’s information, and announce “sound speed”, or just “speed” when they are ready. The AD follows with “roll camera”, answered by “speed!” by the camera operator once the camera is recording. The clapper, who is already in front of the camera with the clapperboard, calls “marker!” and slaps it shut. If the take involves extras or background action, the AD will cue them (“action background!”), and last is the director, telling the actors “action!”. The AD may echo “action” louder on large sets.

A take is over when the director calls “cut!”, and camera and sound stop recording. The script supervisor will note any continuity issues and the sound and camera teams log technical notes for the take on their respective report sheets. If the director decides additional takes are required, the whole process repeats. Once satisfied, the crew moves on to the next camera angle or “setup,” until the whole scene is “covered.” When shooting is finished for the scene, the assistant director declares a “wrap” or “moving on,” and the crew will “strike,” or dismantle, the set for that scene.

At the end of the day, the director approves the next day’s shooting schedule and a daily progress report is sent to the production office. This includes the report sheets from continuity, sound, and camera teams. Call sheets are distributed to the cast and crew to tell them when and where to turn up the next shooting day. Later on, the director, producer, other department heads, and, sometimes, the cast, may gather to watch that day or yesterday’s footage, called dailies, and review their work.

With workdays often lasting 14 or 18 hours in remote locations, film production tends to create a team spirit. When the entire film is in the can, or in the completion of the production phase, it is customary for the production office to arrange a wrap party, to thank all the cast and crew for their efforts.

For the production phase on live-action films, synchronizing work schedules of key cast and crew members is very important, since for many scenes, several cast members and most of the crew must be physically present at the same place at the same time (and bankable stars may need to rush from one project to another). Animated films have different workflow at the production phase, in that voice talent can record their takes in the recording studio at different times and may not see one another until the film’s premiere, while most physical live-action tasks are either unnecessary or are simulated by various types of animators.

Post Production:

Post-production is part of filmmaking, video production and photography process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, audio recordings, photography, and digital art. It is a term for all stages of production occurring after the actual end of shooting and/or recording the completed work. Traditional (analogue) post-production have been eroded away by video editing software that operates on a non-linear editing system (NLE).

Processes

Post-production is, in fact, many different processes grouped under one name. These typically include:

  • Video editing the picture of a television program using an edit decision list (EDL)
  • Writing, (re)recording, and editing the soundtrack.
  • Adding visual special effects – mainly computer-generated imagery (CGI) and digital copy from which release prints will be made (although this may be made obsolete by digital-cinema technologies).
  • Sound design, Sound effects, ADR, Foley and Music, culminating in a process known as sound re-recording or mixing with professional audio equipment.
  • Transfer of Color motion picture film to Video or DPX with a telecine and color grading (correction) in a color suite.

Typically, the post-production phase of creating a film takes longer than the actual shooting of the film, and can take several months to complete because it includes the complete editing, color correction and the addition of music and sound. The process of editing a movie is also seen as the second directing because through the post production it is possible to change the intention of the movie. Furthermore through the use of color correcting tools and the addition of music and sound, the atmosphere of the movie can be heavily influenced. For instance a blue-tinted movie is associated with a cold atmosphere and the choice of music and sound increases the effect of the shown scenes to the audience.

Post-production was named the one of the ‘Dying Industries’ by IBISWorld. The once exclusive service offered by high end post houses or boutique facilities have been eroded away by video editing software that operates on a non-linear editing system (NLE). As such, traditional (analogue) post-production services are being surpassed by digital, leading to sales of over $6 billion annually.

Television

In television, the phases of post production include: editing, video editing, sound editing, animation and visual effects insertions, viewing and the start of the airing process. It is imperative that post production executes and oversees the preparation until the final product is completely ready.

Photography

Professional post-producers usually apply a certain range of image editing operations to the raw image format provided by a photographer or an image-bank. There is a range of proprietary and free and open-source software, running on a range of operating systems available to do this work. All computer hardware suitable for the post-production of photography features high amounts of RAM. The CPU (and GPU of the software supports GPGPU) depends on the operations to be performed.

The first stage of post-production usually requires loading the RAW images into the post-production software. If it’s more than one image, and they belong to a set, ideally post-producers try to equalize the images before loading them. After that, if necessary, the next step would be to cut the objects in the images with the Pen Tool for a perfect and clean cut. The next stage would be cleaning the image using tools such as the healing tool, clone tool and patch tool.

The next stages depend on what the client ordered. If it’s a photo-montage, the post-producers would usually start assembling the different images into the final document, and start to integrate the images with the background.

In advertising it usually requires assembling several images together in a photo-composition.

Types of work usually done:

  • Advertising that requires one background (as one or more images to assemble) and one or more models. (Usually the most time consuming as a lot of times these are image bank images which don’t have much quality, and they all have different light and color as they were not controlled by only one photographer in one set location)
  • Product-photography that usually requires several images of the same object with different lights, and assembled together, to control light and unwanted reflections, and/or to assemble parts that would be difficult to get in one shot, such as a beer glass for a beer advertising. (Sometimes to composite one image of a beer glass it requires 4 or 5 images: one for the base, one for the beer, one for the label, one for the foam, and one or more for splashing beer if that is desired)
  • Fashion photography that usually requires a really heavy post-production for editorial and/or advertising.

Music

Techniques used in music post-production include comping (compiling the best portions of multiple takes into one superior take), timing and pitch correction (perhaps through beat quantization), and adding effects. This process is typically referred to as mixing and can also involve equalization and adjusting the levels of each individual track to provide an optimal sound experience. Contrary to the name, post-production may occur at any point during recording and production process and is non-linear and nonveridic .

Trailer

A trailer or preview is an advertisement or a commercial for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema. The term “trailer” comes from their having originally been shown at the end of a feature film screening That practice did not last long, because patrons tended to leave the theater after the films ended, but the name has stuck. Trailers are now shown before the film (or the A movie in a double feature) begins. Movie trailers have now become popular on DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, as well as on the Internet and mobile devices. Of some ten billion videos watched online annually, film trailers rank third, after news and user-created video.

Trailers consist of a series selected shots from the film being advertised. Since the purpose of the trailer is to attract an audience to the film, these excerpts are usually drawn from the most exciting, funny, or otherwise noteworthy parts of the film but in abbreviated form and usually without producing spoilers. For this purpose the scenes are not necessarily in the order in which they appear in the film. A trailer has to achieve that in less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the maximum length allowed by the MPAA. Each studio or distributor is allowed to exceed this time limit once a year, if they feel it is necessary for a particular film.

However, in January 2014, the movie theater trade group National Association of Theatre Owners issued an industry guideline asking that film distributors supply trailers that run no longer than 2 minutes, which is 30 second shorter than the prior norm. The guideline is suggested—and not compulsory. The guideline also allows for limited exceptions of a select few movies having longer trailers. Film distributors reacted coolly to the announcement. There had been no visible disputes on trailer running time prior to the guideline, which surprised many.

Some trailers use “special shoot” footage, which is material that has been created specifically for advertising purposes and does not appear in the actual film. The most notable film to use this technique was Terminator 2: Judgment Day, whose trailer featured an elaborate special effect scene of a T-800 Terminator being assembled in a factory that was never intended to be in the film itself. Dimension Films also shot extra scenes for their 2006 horror remake, Black Christmas – these scenes were used in promotional footage for the film, but are similarly absent from the theatrical release. A trailer for the 2002 blockbuster Spider-Man had an entire action sequence especially constructed that involved escaping bank robbers in a helicopter getting caught in a giant web between the World Trade Center’s two towers. However, after the September 11 attacks the studio pulled it from theaters.

One of the most famous “special shoot” trailers is that used for the 1960s thriller Psycho, which featured director Alfred Hitchcock giving viewers a guided tour of the Bates Motel, eventually arriving at the infamous shower. At this point, the soft-spoken Hitchcock suddenly throws the shower curtain back to reveal Vera Miles with a blood-curdling scream. As the trailer, in fact, was made after completion of the film when Janet Leigh was no longer available for filming, Hitchcock had Miles don a blonde wig for the fleeting sequence. Since the title, “Psycho”, instantly covers most of the screen, the switch went unnoticed by audiences for years until freeze-frame analysis clearly revealed that it was Vera Miles and not Janet Leigh in the shower during the trailer.

There are dozens of companies that specialize in the creation of film trailers in Los Angeles and New York. The trailer may be created at agencies (such as The Cimarron Group, MOJO, The Ant Farm, Ben Cain, Aspect Ratio, Flyer Entertainment, Trailer Park, Buddha Jones) while the film itself is being cut together at the studio. Since the edited film does not exist at this point, the trailer editors work from rushes or dailies. Thus, the trailer may contain footage that is not in the final movie, or the trailer editor and the film editor may use different takes of a particular shot. Another common technique is including music on the trailer which does not appear on the movie’s soundtrack. This is nearly always a requirement, as trailers and teasers are created long before the composer has even been hired for the film score—sometimes as much as a year ahead of the movie’s release date—while composers are usually the last creative people to work on the film. Some trailers that incorporate material not in the film are particularly coveted by collectors, especially trailers for classic films. For example, in a trailer for Casablanca the character Rick Blaine says, “OK, you asked for it!” before shooting Major Strasser; this line of dialogue is not spoken in the final film.

COMPLETE GUIDE TO BECOME A FILM DIRECTOR

Director Films

In this post you will be familiar with how to become a film Director. A film director is a main force behind a film, directing the film and on sets and actors they are present throughout all the scenario.

You will learn about the qualification to become a film director and job role breakdown.

Continue reading “COMPLETE GUIDE TO BECOME A FILM DIRECTOR”