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Six More Useful, Great And Remarkable Film Making Advice For Every Stage.

by 7 Art Distribution 7 months ago in film
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Today we tackle new questions from our fans on Quora. The theme of today's questions is film production and the basics of filmmaking.

Our Latest Feature: My Wacko Parents. Coming Soon To Streaming.

The Sensational And Remarkable Filmmaking Basics: Here Are Six Great Bits Of Advice for Every Level.

What is a feature film?

The term "film" originally refers to the material that can absorb light to create motion pictures. Motion pictures are commonly referred to as "movies," the short-slang for moving pictures. The addition of the word feature to film relates to a reference to the length of a film. Because there are both short films and long films, a feature film covers an entire idea or topic with some detail within a lengthier run time.

The first feature-length film was "The Story of the Kelly Gang," released in 1906.

The Screen Actors Guild defines a feature film as having a run time of 80+ minutes. On the other hand, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a feature film as having more than 40 minutes. This definition is also shared by the American Film Institute and the British Film Institute. Therefore, the bulk of feature films ranges from 70 to 210 minutes but include any film greater than 40 minutes by most standards.

What are the stages of film production?

When making a film, the first thing you should do is sign an order or promise to buy from a broadcaster or distributor. This is very helpful and important because you know where and who will be paying to play and watch the content. Without that, the project is pretty much dead, and you will be undertaking a major project upon wishful thinking.

Once you have that, you can begin with the usual process of production, broken down as follows:

Pre-Production. This is where you secure the story's rights by signing the contract with the story's owner. The story can be a book, a script, in a written format, etc., but you absolutely need to secure intellectual rights on the story. Pre-Production has many layers and processes.

You will need to:

  1. Draw a budget,
  2. Secure finances and funding,
  3. Recruit crew,
  4. Audition talent,
  5. Reach out to the stars you would like in your film,
  6. Choose where to film,
  7. Choose equipment,
  8. Acquire various insurance policies

I also do not recommend anyone to make a film without being legally incorporated.

Many people start filming without having secure finances, which is the path of suicide. I have seen many producers who decided to begin production without securing finances. If anything with your funding goes wrong, it's a disaster. It kills your film, reputation, and ultimately your ability to produce more films.

Production. The shooting itself is the shortest period in filmmaking. Since everything has been planned and prepared in pre-production, you have to execute the plan. Of course, people speak the most about this portion of filmmaking because it's the most exciting part; it's a lot of fun when the camera, lights, and action are rolling. Being on set during filming is like attending a live performance; to see the talent in front of you is a memorable and satisfying experience. You forget about the rehearsals, preparation, and costume design; you just enjoy the performance. This experience is the same with filming on set.

Postproduction. Once filming has been completed, we start the process of editing. This usually occurs in a little dark, windowless room where movies are born. This room is like the last chamber before the final masterpiece is released, emerging from darkness into light. In this stage, we add visual and sound effects to the film, creating the music and sounds of the movie and editing and adding final touches. However, the movie still needs attention. You have to prepare the film with marketing and distribution materials. You need to create posters, advertising campaigns, and close distribution deals if you have not maximized your territories. Maybe you even plan to translate your film, dub it, and air it internationally. A good filmmaker never abandons their movie; they try to keep it alive and take it as far as it can go.

What does it mean in film credits when it says "A/an (insert company) production"? Does that mean that company worked on the film or do they just own the rights?

Sometimes we wonder who the movie belongs to; who is the owner? The answer is in that credit, typically the production company. It's all a question of intellectual property and copyrights purchased by the production company. This is what we call a chain of title ownership. The production company is the property owner hence why they are announced initially in the credits or intro of the movie.

What happens after a film director yells "that's a wrap" at the end of the day on a feature film?

You can finally go home!

I remember acting in a film once where the producer had us on set for 10+ hrs. Finally, the director called out, saying: "it was a wrap." He was so happy, so I asked him why he was so happy. So he replied to that and said because he could finally go home now and get some fresh clothes; he had been on set for such a long time he was utterly out of a clean change of clothes. But, of course, this extreme is not so common. Normally, the technicians have to arrive earlier to assemble the equipment and leave later because they have to dismantle after, so the actual filming times on set are not so exaggeratedly long. So when a director yells out, that's a wrap, he also lets the techs know that they can begin wrapping up the equipment, ending the shoot for that day.

How do movie directors find such perfect locations? What's the process they use for finding the perfect location for their shots? Who, except the director, is involved in this process?

It's not the director that finds the location; it's a special profession known as a location producer. They are locals with vast networks of people willing to rent their property for shoots. They have a database of pre negotiated prices for each location. So when production is looking for a certain location with specific characteristics, they would work with location producers that can provide them with different options that fulfill those requirements. Then they will begin visiting each of those locations one by one to see if they fit the criteria of the scene. Then, once the producers choose one they like, they return with the director for a second visit. If they like it, they will then go back with the crew, gaffer, the person in charge of lighting, and the electrician. Next, they will ensure that the location can accommodate the electrical supply needed to run all the equipment. Finally, they return with the camera crew to make sure they can adequately film. So usually, the production team will visit a location between 3 to 4 times before making a final decision.

If you are looking for location producers in Canada or Eastern Europe, please do not hesitate to contact me. Everything we filmed and shot in my movies was filmed outside of a studio. So you can see the beautiful shots we were able to capture. For example:

Tina Adams on Set of Hotel Limbo

Lucie Vondráčková On Set On Hotel Limbo
Luc-Martial Dagenais as Monsieur Porteur On Set For Hotel Limbo

Why do film credits often include "a film by" and "directed by" when it's the same person? Is the name after "a film by" sometimes not the director's?

If the director also wrote the script, the credits list the director as "a film by." This means the film was directed and written by that same person. It reveals something meaningful: the person who brought the movie on screen also imagined the story in their head. So it's entirely the writer's imagination who also directed everything from a to z. It shows that person's devotion toward the subject and the film's authenticity.

You can consider that the film will be interesting and unique.


Thanks to all our fans, will we see everyone next time for our expert advice?

My Wacko Parents will be available to watch directly on demand. Please check out our trailer here.

My Wacko Parents

Please stay tuned for our upcoming release.


About the author

7 Art Distribution

Over 20 years, Seven Art Distribution has supported Independent Filmmakers by providing them a channel to bring their art to screens all around the World.

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