The Filmmaking process- Part 2: Production Design

So we have all the written material with us, we have the story, the script, the storyboard and everything else that is to be made before even thinking about shooting. Now, we are in the production stage, here we cannot start shooting right away because there is an entire department called The Production Design department who has to finish their work. The production design department comprises of many sub-departments some of which are- Art, Costume, Pros, Logistics etc and is one one of the most essential part in the filmmaking process. Please refer to the PDF below.

The following video by Indy Mogul explains production design brilliantly.

Long story short, the production design plays a major role in the look and feel of a film.

After this stage comes the actual shooting stage and the actors, direction department, camera department and sound department have to work in tandem. Nothing can go wrong here because often the sets are built to last for a few takes to be shot, for instance during the filming of the final shot in 1917, in which Lance Corporal Schofield runs on the open battlefield, the crew had explosives for just four takes so they had to finalise the shot in those many takes. There was no room for a mistake.

Depending upon the scale of the project the camera crew and sound crew sets up their equipment. In huge productions such as Mad Max, often extensive rigs with expensive cameras are used. Smaller productions can even use DSLRs to shoot their films. Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color was shot on Panasonic GH2.

Arri is arguably the most respected camera company. Some of their top of the line cameras not even available to buy, they can only be rented from Arri directly.

The sound department has immense challenges while shooting. Recording on location sound is a major part of the production process and directors such as Steven Spielberg are not a fan of ADR, that means that the location sound crew has to be vigilant while shooting. The following podcast talks about recording the sounds of vehicles in mad Max Fury Road.

This was the second stage of the filmmkaing process and probably the most challenging one. It demands a large number of people to come together and work in tandem and there is no room for error. The production process can take months or sometimes years. Richard Linklater’s boyhood was shot over twelve years. Not just that, a lot depends upon each and every crew member and requires a lot of work. The production process can only be understood by years of working on set since each and every production poses a different set of challenges.

In the next part let’s look at the final and a crucial part of making the film- The Post Production Process.

Author avatar
Ronak Parmar
Art, Design and Technology excite me and keep me busy all the time, I am constantly in search for new things to learn. Having a curious mind, I have taught myself Music Production and web design and development. I can say one of my hobbies is to learn new things.

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