Most people think of filmmaking as something like the task of setting up the actors, yelling "Action!" and "Cut!" and captivating the audience with the footage. Although this is part of the job, in reality this exciting phase takes up only 5% of the total time of a film project.

Artistry and technical thought are almost equally important in the filmmaking process. Financial issues are not the least of these. These activities, so different in nature, come together in film studios, film production centers. Next we will get a closer look at all aspects of film-making, at the whole complex of creative and production links, including film crews, script and editorial boards, music editors, lighting departments, camerawork workshops, acting departments, storage facilities for costumes and props, and much more.

Film production is one of the main branches of the film industry. It includes the artistic and creative process, the technique and technology of making a film, the organization of production, and promotion in the marketplace. The nature of the film determines the size and type of crew needed to make the film. Many Hollywood adventure films employ a cast and crew of up to a thousand people and introduce sophisticated computer graphics, while low-budget, independent films may employ only a few people, often with minimal royalties. Filmmaking is widespread around the world, using different technologies and equipment everywhere, and the process itself takes place under different financial conditions, ranging from state support of documentary filmmaking in China, to profit-oriented projects filmed in American studios.

Stages of filmmaking
The film production cycle consists of five main stages:

  • Design
  • Pre-production
  • Filming
  • Post-production
  • Distribution
A full Hollywood-style film production cycle typically takes 3 years. The first year is devoted to planning and design. The second year includes pre-production and filming, and the third year includes post-production and product distribution.

This is the stage when an idea is developed into a viable script. The film producer finds a story that can be taken from books, other films, true stories, original ideas, etc. Once the theme, or basic story, has been identified, a brief outline is prepared in the form of a step-by-step description of the scenes, with an emphasis on the dramaturgy. A preliminary version of the script is ready. This is a 25 to 30 page description of the plot, mood and character of the scenes, with brief dialogues and a description of the setting, often containing sketches in the form of drawings to visualize key points.

The script is written over a six-month period, perhaps rewritten several times to improve the drama, clarity, structure, characters, dialogue, and overall style of the story. However, producers often omit the previous steps and use ready-made scripts, which are specially processed and prepared. The distributor of the film should be familiar with the script at an early stage to assess the possible interest in the film and, therefore, its financial success. Hollywood distributors will take a measured approach to doing business, and consider such factors as: the genre of the film, the target audience, the historical success of similar films, the actors who might appear in the film and potential directors. All of these factors entail a certain appeal of the film to possible audiences and, therefore, increase the number of seats occupied in the auditorium at the premiere. Films rarely make a profit from theatrical screenings alone, so DVD sales and the distribution of commercial rights to the product must be taken into account.

A brief presentation of the film is then prepared and presented to potential financiers. If this step is successful and the film is given the "green light", then financial support is usually provided by major film studios, the film industry council or independent investors. A deal is agreed upon and a contract is signed.

In pre-production, the film is designed and a plan is developed. Film crews and production departments are formed. Illustrator and production artists create sketches for visual planning of scenes before filming. The budget of the film in designing the scenes will also be considered.

The producer needs to hire people to perform the following functions:

Director, has primary responsibility for shooting the film and managing the creative process.
The assistant director, directs the planning of the shoot and oversees the logistics of the production.
As many takes as the director sees fit.