07 March 2012 // Thoughts

Media Moves! Part 2 – Production

Lights! Camera! Action! Welcome to Part 2 of our Media Moves! series. In our first installment, we covered the pre-production phase of your project – final scripting, storyboarding and casting. Today, we’ll cover the actual filming of your media. As with pre-production, the media team at JRA will oversee the process in collaboration with your awarded production company to make sure that your media visions are fully realized on time and on budget.

As we mentioned in our last post, at the end of the pre-production phase you will have established said budget, hired your director and (live or voice-over) talent and scouted your filming location(s). The budget and director are key factors on which a production company is awarded the project. Added to the team are crewmembers including, but not limited to, your director of photography, electrics team, grips (lighting and rigging technicians), sound designers and costume designers. Obviously, the size and scale of the crew depends on the size and scale of your film.

The shooting day begins with the cast and crew arriving at their appointed call time. Typically, the props department, grip and electrics set up first, followed by wardrobe, hair and make-up, sound. The actors are usually the last to arrive (once everything else is set up) and head directly to the wardrobe and make-up trailer. Once everyone is in place, the set quiets, the director yells “Action!” and the take begins. When the take is finished, the director yells, “cut!” and sound and cameras stop recording. If the director feels that another take is needed, the process repeats. Once two good takes are in the can, the crew moves to the next “set up,” and once all the scene’s shots have been covered, the director calls it a “wrap.” At the end of the 10- to 14-hour day, the film is typically sent for processing, and a one-light is done. For the uninitiated, “one-light” is a process by which the production team takes the negative and color corrects one of the day’s frames (i.e., makes it lighter, darker, greener, etc.) to see how it will look. The day after you’ve filmed this particular set of scenes, you, the director, and JRA will review the footage, called “dailies,” to verify that all the material shot is useable.

As with pre-production, the animation production process varies somewhat from that above. This process includes modeling, the actual animation itself, voice-over recording and lighting (yes, animation needs to be lit just like live action; otherwise it will be too dark for your film!).

When all the scenes have been shot (or animated) to the satisfaction of the director and producer, the film is sent for the final rendering and then heads to the editing room for post-production.

How does this story end? Tune in next week as we conclude our Media Moves! series, where we’ll see your film edited, completed and ready for viewing by your visitors.