Film production involves a huge amount of people power, creativity, time and money. For a film to make it all the way to the eyes of viewers, it must go through several stages. From development to distribution, there are many a phases that shape films and make movie-going possible.
When it comes to filmmaking, people often focus on the filming itself – the shooting, or the production stage – where the cameras are rolling and capturing the action of the actors. However, there are five main phases involved in film production from start to finish: development, pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution.
Each phase involves its own set of challenges and rewards. Sometimes a film will never even find its way out of the first phase. You may have heard industry folks refer to a film being stuck in development hell for various reasons.
When time comes for shooting the film (the production phase), both crew members and the cast are amped to start working. People are ready to shoot scenes and get creative. All of the planning has led up to this point in the production process, and in a lot of ways, it’s the meat and potatoes of film production.
Still, the project is not yet complete. Post-production is where a lot of that movie-making magic happens. “That’s a wrap!” When a movie director makes the call, cameras stop rolling, and a film is ready to move into its final phase: postproduction. This the final step in taking a story from script to screen, and the stage when a film comes to life. In this process the final key elements are added.
The frames are edited, the music and visual effects are added. The last step film production process is distribution, which involves getting the completed film out in the world for an audience to see.
Let’s take a deep dive into each of the film production phases now.