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What Do Filmmakers Do During Film Production?

Author:

Student in Mass Communication with a keen interest in Production process.

Introduction

Welcome again,if you're coming from the previous series of pre-production. i hope you have an insight about how pre-production is like. That is going to be important for today's article. Well, today we're going to go on a journey into the middle part of a production process, the production.

A normal production consists of the actual production parts, basically putting all the things done in pre-production into good use in this part. This is the part where there will be a visual presentation to the storyboards, scripts and etc.

In real-life, this is when the production company go out to the locations of the shoot as determined by the production designer and script writer. This is when the equipment's such as a mic, camera, lights and effects machine start to work.

In case you missed the pre-production process, check it out here!

  • What Do Filmmakers Do in Pre-Production?
    Ever wondered how your movies/videos were produced? In this series, we'll look at the 3 production stages to every movie/video set up. Today we'll start with the pre-production process. Have a good read!

The Video

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Now we come to the fun part, the video taking sessions, this is where everything you've done, written and planned come into place. Video is where you present the story you wrote in the pre-production stages.


What goes into your video at this point? Your equipment and other production materials, like camera, microphones, lighting, props,design and etc. All of these must be ready by the time the video process starts.


Also, you'll need to instruct your acting crew on what to do at this point, what to say and how to act. This is when your storyboard and script comes in handy.

The Sound

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Before you say you can get sound without the use of a microphone, let me tell you how important is a microphone to a video. Well, you don't want that additional "air" sound to your video, you want your acting crew to talk loud and clear, normally a microphone will do the trick, add in a voice filter if you have an extra budget.


Besides the voice of your acting crew, the background sound is crucial to how you portray the story. Why? just take a old movie like Back To The Future, the reason why we were "wow-ed" by the time machine, was the sound it makes. All that "swoosh" and "plash" comes from somewhere and that's the sound maker, who usually provides background sounds to a production.

The Lighting

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Now, to one of the elements that cannot be easily forgotten, the lighting. The lighting is important because, you want to be able to see the subject clearly (even a dark scene from a horror movie is considered part of lighting), with lighting, it enhances how the story will go,like, when it is a dark lighting, it could be a romantic setting or when its bright, it is showing the summer atmosphere of the movie.

The Directing

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So lets take a refresher from memory lane, probably just an article ago to the pre-production. As mentioned in the article, the director is responsible for the whole movie, with the support from his/her scriptwriters and production designer.


Now, the director's job is to coordinate the production shoot, when that part needs more lighting, add more lighting, when the part needs more explosion (Michael Bay reference) there will be more explosion and etc.

The Semiotic Film Theory

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Now, i have come to the boring part, but read it for your own knowledge, as they say, knowledge is power. So the semiotics is the study of sign process which includes the study of signs and sign processes, indication, designation, likeness, analogy, allegory, metonymy, metaphor, symbolism, signification and communication.

Wow, that's a lot of heavy words, but Semiotics is a way to understand how meanings can be conveyed through the various methods that human beings employ to convey messages.

Messages are conveyed through:

Body Languages- Gesture- Letters- Words- Pictures- Visual Illustrations

Bonus: Subliminal Messages are also part of the semiotics theory.

In a film, Semiotics is a useful analytical tool for studying the ways by which visual images form a system for the communication of meaning. Any given moment can be rich in visual meaning, however, we can not be too scientific about it. Sometimes a train is just a train and a car is just a car.

The Structures

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Elements within a structure do not process meaning as individual units but gain their meaning through their relations to other elements. Structural film theory emphasize on how films convey meaning through the use of codes and conventions not similar to the way languages are commonly used to construct meaning in communication.

The Codes

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Codes are systems of meanings into which signs are organised, there are a few types of codes, which are:

Cinematic codes - For instance, a long angle, Short angle, pan angle, above the shoulder and etc.

Cultural codes - For instance, for class (CL), status (STA) and handshakes (HAN).

Generic codes - Example, For western or buddy, its basically minor codes as part of the script.

Aesthetic codes - Example, a handshake, that is the code for gestures.

Conclusion

Production is the part where what you have in your (as a director) mind comes into reality, what your scriptwriter wrote during the pre-production comes into reality and what you wanted your production designer to do, comes into reality.

Production is where you can go all out with your creativity, but we must not forget about the people in Post-Production later on. On the next article, we will look at the post-production people and what they do.

If you're interested in this topic, why not continue to the post-production process!