Film and Television Production
Anyone who has ever worked around film and television production crews, actors and actresses, directors and producers knows the tangle of work that goes into packaging the final product for audiences. Work starts long before a sound stage or production site is chosen. Usually, it begins with a script that captures the attention of a producer or director. Once the producer and director give the okay to the script, it may go to the screenwriter who will adapt it to the specifications of the producer. It’s the producer’s job to make certain all financial and legal issues have been planned and accounted for. The director will be given an idea of what the film or television production budget constraints will be. Once these issues are resolved, the next big step is casting. The producer will monitor actors or actresses being auditioned to ensure that they are free for the film and television production. This sometimes requires a release from other contractual obligations that may have to be worked out with agents and others involved.
The Start of Film and Television Production
After weeks of auditions, the director will have the ideal cast. Subordinate actors and extras are sometimes acquired through professional casting companies. In which case, a contract is set up for the use of these actors and extras for a given period of time. Generally, most film and television production companies have rights or access to their own studios for actual filming. If this is not the case, this is another issue that has to be settled before the first day of filming. There are also cameramen, key grips, electrical technicians, sound and light professionals, best boys and sometimes, carpenters who will be ready to design sets that will be used ensuring that they are safe and in the best possible working order. By this time, this gaggle of workmen are busy creating the film and television production set, while actors and actresses rehearse until the director feels they are as “tight” as the script intends them to be. Meanwhile, the producer is keeping a keen eye on possible production cost overruns to try to stay with the production budget. Before filming can begin, wardrobe is required to provide a plan of costuming for producer and director’s approval. Makeup artists are brought into the mix to show how certain makeup will be used. The same is true of wigmakers whose job it is to see that all wigs fit properly and are undetectable. For musical film and television productions, a musical director is hired and musicians engaged. There may also be a lyricist and a musical arranger if needed.
The Filming Begins
Filming begins the day the producer and director feel all of the kinks have been ironed out; the set is perfect and the actors ready for the cameras. Film or television production isn’t filmed in script order. The director chooses scenes he wants filmed first. There is really no particular order to filming a production. Often, availability of a particular location will determine which scenes are filmed first.
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