04 Oct Video Production Process – Part 2
(Part 1 available here.)
As the project moves into production, the film producers hire artists to work with the director to create storyboards, which are drawings of how each shot of the movie will look and can include camera movement and notes on set decoration and actor blocking. Once they choose the locations, they create a massive schedule for which cast and crew will need to be where at what times, and to develop a more realistic timeframe for the project. Before any filming occurs, the set decorators transform the filming location into a camera-ready version of the scene the producers want. What appears on the screen on your television does not resemble real life – the camera only captures a very small portion of a location or a person at any given moment, so each shot has to be carefully planned and arranged so that the set remains consistent in the shot, even if the camera and actors change positions.
The crew also sets up their equipment (such as lights and stands for each shot, or dolly track to allow the camera to smoothly move in a predetermined direction) while the set decorators work so that the director and actors (usually the highest paid people in the project) can spend their time most efficiently. In order to perfect each shot, the director may want to film multiple takes, which can take a long time if there is a lot of camera movement or special effects and equipment and people need to be reset. While each project is different, the shots you see on your screen take much longer to produce than it seems – if there is even simple camera or actor movement, it can take dozens of people multiple hours to capture the optimal shot.
Lighting is highly dependent on the natural light of the location. Shooting outdoors is precarious because weather is unpredictable and the quality of the light depends on the time of day, how many clouds are in the sky, and numerous other factors that can disrupt filming. Higher budget films set up giant canopies of white fabric to soften or block out light so that the lighting director can create whatever light quality and source she wants. Many of the most beautiful shots you see in films are filmed during the “golden hour,” just around sunrise or sunset, when the light enters the frame at an angle and is usually more golden than white.
Check out Part 3 here: Video Production Process Part 3
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