Overview of Filmmaking
Filmmaking, by its very definition, is the art of making a motion picture. As history has shown, the process of bringing a vision to life on screen develops as a direct result of technological advancements in the filmmaking industry. With each passing year, innovative hardware, software, and hands-on equipment becomes available to both industry professionals and the general public. The basic traditional principles of filmmaking still apply, but the processes have vastly improved as a result of digital technology. Filmmaking is an exciting business, the lifeblood of which is the constant battle between creativity and commercial success, and no matter what role you choose, you're sure to have a great time playing it.
Start Small, Think Big
Whether you're already working on a specific idea for a film or have just discovered a general interest in filmmaking, there's a lot to learn. For starters, you need to know what's involved in writing or hiring someone to write a script. Then there's the business of pitching that script and your filmmaking skills in order to secure financing. Once that's accomplished, you need to immerse yourself in the preproduction process by perfecting your budgeting, scheduling, and directorial skills, setting up your production, and hiring cast and crew.
After all that has been accomplished, you'll enter the actual production phase, which includes shooting your film. To do this you need to learn everything about traditional and digital camera equipment, sound recording, lighting, and special and visual effects. When you finally yell “Cut” for the last time, your postproduction phase will begin — that means your film needs to be edited and sound effects and music added to finalize your project.
Low-budget films by some standards can be any film made for less than $500,000 or, depending on whom you talk to, $1,000,000. Many commercially successful movies have been made for less than $250,000, and independent films for less than $50,000.
Casting a Wide Net
Once your film is complete it will enter the marketing and distribution phase. At that point, you'll need to be familiar with all the strategies and concepts involved in making your film a commercial success. Whether your project was made on a small or large scale, it's important to learn the ins and outs of bringing a film to market.