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Film Production

The process by which a Film is produced. The phases of which include Development and Financing, Pre-production and Financing, Shooting (Principal Photography or Production), Post-production and Distribution (Screening). The above named production phases for either Film and TV are as follows: A film project can have very different initial stages. The film might spring from an idea that comes from an Editor, Prodcuer, Screenwriter or Director. It could be a Novel, Comic Strip, or Computer Game that is adapted, or an orignal idea. Editors, Producers and Directors are offered projects at various stages of development or it can be a film writer's project that comes into being with the help of other creative people. At the beginning of development or development of the material a so called "Expose`" is created, which is a 90 minute or 8 page Treatment of the story with Character expositions and Plot points (in the USA there is only an outline, treatment, no expose`, then script and then storyboards. A completed draft of a script is preferred to initiate a project depending on the story, TV sometimes uses a "Scriptment" a word coined by Director James Cameron allegedly used to mean a Treatment with smaples of Dialogue and that us used primarily in TV development not Film). In German, the Treatment follows the Expose`, and a Treatment in German can be a Treatment without Dialog or a Treatment with Dialog. Once a Treatment with Dialog is developed, you essentailly have a completed Screenplay Draft (including Action, Dialogue and eventually a "Shooting Script" with Directors Notes and Camera Angles). Once the script is fairly well developed, contracts, financing and key production crew are established. Once financing is secured, the practical elements of the production, i.e. pre-production can also begin, including location scouting, hiring crew, equipment rentals, casting, shooting schedules and contract finalization.

A shooting schedule is organized according to logisitics of production and not according to the storyline for obvious practical reasons.

Once the Footage is shot, the next step is Post-production and to completed Film: these steps comprise Editing the film, Special FX or CGI, Sound, Archiving etc. Meanwhile the marketing machinery begins running in parallel. Finally comes distribution, when is the film released to a predetermined number of theaters in strategic regions of the country, then internationally, and eventually on TV and DVD. The distribution strategy depends on what sorts of films are currently on the market. Similarly themed picture may steal audience share which must be avoided. Not to mention sequels and imitations of popular films that might conflict with a film's release date.