Production Distribution and Marketing

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The Production Process

Pre-Production
Pre-production is a fairly loose term which refers to the tasks undertaken before production begins. Exactly what is included in this stage depends on the medium and situation. For a small video company, pre-production may refer to everything that happens before shooting begins, for example, meeting with the client, research, storyboarding, location planning, etc. For feature films, pre-production is more specific and only begins when other milestones have been met such as financing, screenplay, casting and major staffing. In this case pre-production includes: * Location scouting

* Prop and wardrobe identification and preparation
* Special effects identification and preparation
* Production schedule
* Set construction
* Script-locking (semi-finalisation of the script)
* Script read-through with cast, director and other interested parties

Production
In film and video, production refers to the part of the process in which footage is recorded. This is what most people imagine when they think of a film being made — actors on sets, cameras rolling, etc. The production phase is also known as principal photography. In large feature films the beginning of the production phase marks the "point of no return", i.e. the point at which it is no longer financially viable to cancel the project. At this point it is almost always cheaper to continue until the project is finished than to deal with the financial fall-out of canceling.

The goal of principal photography is obviously to record all required shots, however it is fairly common to shoot "pick-up" shots in post-production. Pick-up shots may be required when a mistake is noticed, a script change is made (this is unusual), or even if a performance is deemed to be unsatisfactory.

In music, production usually refers to the creative direction of a project. Unlike a film producer who is more of a manager, a music producer has a very hands-on role in the creative development.

Post-Production
Post-production is the third and final major phase of the production process. It is often referred to simply as post, e.g. "We can sort that out in post". There are many things which can happen in post-production. Common tasks include: * Editing video footage

* Editing the soundtrack, adding sound effects, music, etc. * Adding titles and graphics
* Colour and exposure correction
* Adding special effects
* Re-shooting certain scenes if required ("pick-up" shots) In some cases post-production is relatively straightforward, consisting of choosing and arranging footage in the correct sequence. In most cases however, post-production is a time-consuming job taking longer than the actual production phase.

The Distribution Process

The exhibition of film is a commonplace, shared cultural activity highly visible in every city and town in Britain, constantly feeding the popular memory.

By contrast, distribution, the third part of the film supply chain, is often referred to as 'the invisible art', a process known only to those within the industry, barely written about and almost imperceptible to everyone else. Yet arguably, distribution is the most important part of the film industry, where completed films are brought to life and connected with an audience.

So what is involved in this invisible process? Distribution is about releasing and sustaining films in the market place. In the practice of Hollywood and other forms of industrial cinema, the phases of production, distribution and exhibition operate most effectively when 'vertically integrated', where the three stages are seen as part of the same larger process, under the control of one company. In the UK, distribution is very much focused on marketing and sustaining a global product in local markets.

The distributor will enter into an agreement with the cinema to screen the film on certain 'play-dates'. It is the responsibility of the...
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