From short films and branded documentaries to Vines and tabletop photography, production teams specialize in bringing big creative ideas to life. We are made up of filmmakers, producers, animators and creative directors from all walks of the industry—from comedy writers to comic book illustrators to live show producers – and work in constant collaboration to produce video content.
When it comes to making videos, we get all sorts of questions, so we’re here to lay it all out and take you through the Five Phases of Filmmaking.
“The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” –Linus Pauling
Before an idea can be developed into a script, there needs to be a creative vision—achieved by collaborating with accounts, creative, planning and other specialty teams to develop a focused insight about the audience and what you want to inspire in them through the content. It’s in this phase that we develop the creative brief and hone in on a treatment that will solve for it. We ask questions like: What’s the overarching story you want to tell? Who is that audience and what do you want them to do? Where is the content going to be consumed? Understanding distribution well in advance of production empowers the creative team to create the best concept for your client. Moreover, staying in line with the objectives outlined during this phase will be the guiding star throughout the process.
“If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my ax.” -Abraham Lincoln
This is the time to get organized. In other words, planning, prepping and thinking of potential obstacles before they have a chance to materialize. This is where we take everything from development and make the project a reality! From developing and locking the perfect script and laying out the full creative and narrative vision, to vetting directors of photography, to location scouting, casting the right talent and if the project calls for it, hiring a prop master and set designer– there is a lot to do! Filmmakers will tell you that pre-production is everything.
Shot lists and storyboards are essential to pre-production. These tools outline the camera angles and sketch out what each scene should look like before getting to set.
“Filmmaking is a miracle of collaboration.” –James McAvoy
So it’s production time, when all the planning pays off and all hands are on deck—cast, film crew, the creative team, and even account and client teams. Everyone involved in production has an important role on set. From the director to the hair and makeup artist, to the script supervisor to the almighty gaffer in charge of lights – this is the moment where the professionals own their craft and we bring the script to life.
This video is a fun and easy way to remember who’s who on set and what they do.
“First you shoot the movie, then you make the movie” –Keenen Ivory Wayans.
Post-production is where the film comes together. A good editor helps tell a story by finding the best moments from the footage and working closely with the director and creative team to create a compelling narrative. This is also when a film can be fine-tuned with color correction, sound editing, motion graphics, 3D animation, and other finishing techniques to add magic to a piece. Licensing or composing the right music is also key, as most edits are timed and cut around musical moments. Having a skilled post-production team is essential to producing a project that wows.
“No saint, no pope, no general, no sultan has ever had the power that a filmmaker has: the power to talk to hundreds of millions of people in the dark for two hours.” -Frank Capra
So the video is picture locked and it’s time to amplify! Remember those questions from the development phase? Having the objectives figured out early on is key to the process and will be especially helpful when it comes to distribution. Thanks to strategic planning, paid media can now do the heavy lifting and effectively distribute the video where it will best be received—bringing the project full circle.
Voila! That’s the filmmaking process in a nutshell.
This post was written by Chris Walker, Natalie Batlle and Ryan VandenBosch.
Image credit: Luke Roberts