7 Film Production Process Steps

When you are making a film or a movie, there are film production process steps that you must follow to help you organize the process. You must complete each of these steps before your film is ready for viewing. Check out media courses that you can take online to increase your knowledge and expertise.

What is film production?

Film production is the recording and production of a motion picture. It involves multiple steps and processes that can sometimes take months or years to complete.

The 7 stages of film production

If you are struggling to figure out where to begin with your film production, you can take a look at the 7 film production steps below.

1. Development

This is the first phase of the film production process. It includes planning, conceptualizing, and writing a script, organizing, and creating ideas for the film. The budget must also be set, venues for the film’s locations must be decided. This is also the stage when the director or writer pitches the film to get funding. 

The filmmaking development stage lasts anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the type of film you are making. 

2. Pre-production

This is the film’s pre-shoot stage, and it starts after you get the go signal to start the film project. At this point, you should be finalizing the scripts, the locations, the casts, schedule, equipment, production crew, and budget.

production manager or line manager is usually hired to create the film project’s budget and schedule. The task includes making sure that the film production will run smoothly during filming. 

Each department’s crews will work closely with the production manager and break down what each department needs to execute the film production properly.

3. Production

This is the phase where the practical film production work begins. In this stage, you should be prepared and familiar with how to use the right equipment. This is when the actual film production begins. 

At this stage, the assistant director (AD) shines as the responsibilities of an AD include but do not limit to:

  • Coordinating all the different film production teams at once.
  • Ensure that film production sticks to the budget and schedule.
  • Check casts and crews and take care of health and safety.
  • Prepare daily call sheets.
  • Track daily progress against the film production schedule.
  • Work with the director to determine the order and how long each shoot will be.

In short, the AD takes care of everything in the set so that the director can concentrate on the job.

4. Principal photography

This is the phase of film production in which the cameras are rolling, and the actors are on set, as distinct from pre-production and post-production. Principal photography is the most intense and expensive step in the film production process. This is because of the cost of shots, effects, props, and salaries of your actors, crews, directors, etc., start rolling. 

The principal photography takes place in the actual setting or required location of the shot in the script. Actors, crews, and equipment are brought to the set or on the location to shoot the scenes that will make up the film.

5. Wrap

This is the stage when the shooting of a film ends and when the cameras stop rolling. The location or set is also dismantled or cleared of cast and crew. Equipment are returned in good order, and location should be restored to its previous order. 

6. Post-production

This stage occurs after shooting or recording the film. It involves collaboration between the editor, director, and sometimes with the visual effects team. Post-production usually takes longer than the actual shooting of the film. It includes editing, insertion of music and sound, and color correction. Special effects are also inserted depending on the type of film, which makes the post-production process even longer. These different elements are woven together to create a film using a computer and editing software. 

Teasers or trailers can be done during this time to start marketing the film while complete editing is still ongoing. This is a preview of the film to entice audiences to watch the film once it is out.  

7. Marketing and Distribution

The marketing and distribution of the edited film is the final step of the film production process. The film (ready for viewing) is distributed to the producers and film distributors who will determine the film’s marketing strategies. Learn more about the advantages of media and how it effects our lives on a daily basis.

Want to learn more about film production process steps?

Become a better filmmaker with Skill Success’s filmmaking online courses. Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by renowned filmmaker instructors. Here are two of our suggested online courses:

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