What to Expect During Production
When does the filming happen? When do you need to have all your scripts and actors ready? Where do you even begin? These could be some of the questions flooding your mind as you try to plan your video production in Chicago. It is said that knowledge is the key to success, so we at The Michael Group have put together a list of things you can expect to encounter in your video production process.
What Is Video Production?
The whole filmmaking process can be divided into five main phases: development, pre-production, production, post-production, and marketing & distribution. Production includes getting your idea, that you put onto paper during the development phase, and putting it together take by filmed take to see it unfold in color before your eyes. You can see it as taking your masterpiece from your mind and your carefully written screenplay that is your dream in black and white and turning into reality.
Plainly speaking, video production refers to the process in filmmaking where filming happens. It is also sometimes called, ‘principal photography’.
When Does Video Production Officially Begin?
Production or filming commences once all the boxes from development and pre-production have been ticked: screenplay, funding, script, cast, crew, equipment, location, story-board and shot list – and that’s just the important things. Some filmmakers call production, ‘the point of no return’; the defining moment when both too much work and too much money have been invested to turn back.
The Important People
Before filming begins, certain other members of the crew will need to be recruited: assistant directors, script supervisors, assistant cameras, sound mixers, and the gaffer, grip and electric crew etc. These are just some of the roles that will need to be filled; more can be added, changed or removed during the course of filming to make sure that all of the various responsibilities encountered during production can be dealt with.
For example, your First Assistant Director, or FAD, will work closely with the director and line producer to put together a shoot schedule. Your FAD will structure the schedule so that each department has enough time to prepare to encourage steady streams of working and no backlog, rushing or panicking of any kind and monitor that each department is working according to the schedule. Your FAD is also in charge of on-set safety.
Your script supervisor follows the filming to track the storyline and other fine details like eye lines as well as document changes that may be made during filming. They will write reports at the end of each production day for the editor to look at during post-production.
A Typical Day in Production
You (and all your crew) start at call time. Everyone arrives on set whenever their personal call time states to allow for setting up and preparation without too many people mulling around purposelessly. Set construction, lighting and costume production can take days, these crews – run by your Gaffer – usually set up much in advance, sometimes moving onto the next scene while a previous one is still being filmed.
While all the equipment is being prepared, your actors are dressed and have their hair and make-up done. They are encouraged to rehearse in this time and then rehearse again with the director and camera and sound crews. The scene is then filmed as many times as a director sees fit to ensure a selection and the opportunity for the best quality shots to be included in the film. This includes changing camera angles until the scene is classified as “covered”. When the director decides that the scene is covered, your FAD will declare a “wrap” and the crew will move on to the next scene or pack up for the day.
After the day’s filming is completed, the next day’s shooting schedule needs to be approved, the call sheets distributed so everyone will get to the location on time and report sheets are written by the script supervisor and sound and camera teams. Dailies or reviews of the day’s or previous day’s footage are done last by the director, producer and some other departments for critical review of the content, often asking questions like, “Is the framing right? Is the color and the mood right? Are all the shots for today done?” A full work day is usually 14 – 18 hours of work.
Tips and Technicalities
Here are some tips and details that you should keep in mind during your video production. It is important that you set out your shot list very clearly during your pre-production. Remember that you need the best quality equipment for the best quality picture. Knowing what to shoot and how to shoot is extremely important. Keep to your script during filming. Use lighting (natural and artificial) and color to convey and enhance your film’s mood and atmosphere to your audience.
At The Michael Group in Chicago, specialized production teams with experience and expertise offer help with almost every step in production: directing, cinematography, camera crews, lighting and sound, costume and props and more. Help of the highest quality to ensure your vision comes to life. All of the pieces put together make the puzzle of video production a strenuous but rewarding process.