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Nothing but the reel truth

Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story idea or commission through scriptwriting, shooting, editing and finally distribution to an audience. For students interested in filmmaking, there are a plethora of courses out there...

education Updated: Jun 02, 2009 11:04 IST

Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story idea or commission through scriptwriting, shooting, editing and finally distribution to an audience. Typically it involves a large number of people and can take anywhere between a few months to several years to complete.

Film schools and film directing schools provide aspiring film students with a solid understanding of the many facets of the film industry. While graduating from one of the many top film schools or film directing schools does not ensure a film school graduate success in the film industry, it certainly increases the odds in his or her favour.

The film industry is becoming much more competitive and graduates of film schools or film directing schools have more doors opened to them because of their film school or film directing school diploma or degree. Because graduating from one of the many film schools and film directing schools requires lots of time and money, make sure that film school is, in fact, the option that will best help you reach your film career goals.

The chronology of a film is conventionally divided into five stages

Development: The script is written and drafted into a workable blueprint for a film.

Pre-production: Prepar-ations are made for the shoot, in which cast and crew are hired, locations are selected, and sets are built.

Production: The raw elements for the finished film are recorded.

Post-Production: The film is edited; production sound (dialogue) is concurrently (but separately) edited, music tracks (and songs) are composed, performed and recorded; sound effects are designed and recorded; and any other computer-graphic ‘visual’ effects are digitally added, all sound elements are mixed into “stems” then the stems are mixed then married to picture and the film is fully completed. Sale Sales and distribution: The film is screened for potential distributors, is picked up by a distributor and reaches its cinema and/or home media audience.

Work after studying film course
Going to film school is another great way to learn the basics of the trade (and find out whether you have the armoured skin and stick-with-it-ness to make it in this, at times, demoralising occupation).

However, don’t expect to get a job straight out of college like your buddy who did law. Most film school graduates end up being very overqualified (on paper) for their entry level jobs as PAs, coffee makers, assistants to assistants etc. One of the biggest problems facing many film school grads is that they often have little or no experience in using current industry standard equipment. This is due to the fact that all but the most prestigious film schools are poor faculties which cannot afford to keep up with the rapidly changing technology of the industry.

Nevertheless, film school can be a valuable and worthwhile experience for giving you grounding in the industry, as well as the ability to think about what you are putting on screen.

Professions in filmmaking

Literary Agent
Is the people responsible for helping creative talent obtain employment. This talent usually includes: actors, writers, directors and producers. They pitch their clients to show runners and studio executives in hopes of securing them a job.

Executive Producer
This person is hired by a studio to help manage every aspect of a television show. The executive producer is the highest level of producer on a given show. This person is usually a writer, but can also be a non-writing producer. In television, this individual is often the series creator.

Teleplay Writer
A writer who is given an outline of an episode and is required to turn that outline into a script. They also create characters, dialogue, dramatic situations, and written aspects of a TV series.

Director
The director is the head of the production unit and is responsible for directing the actors and for translating the teleplay into cinematic images in accordance with his/her vision.

Producer
A producer is hired by both the Executive Producer and the Studio. This person is the liaison between these two entities. They are responsible for all financial aspects of the television show.

Associate Producer/ Production
The Associate Producer helps the producer with all "line" aspects of the production. They deal with scheduling the production, hiring crew and ordering all equipment for the show.

Associate Producer/ Post
This person is also known as the "Post" producer. They are responsible for all aspects of post production, including picture editing, music scoring, title session, final color correction, all audio editing and final audio mixing.