Production process is considered to be divided into several stages, the component positions of which may vary depending on the production process peculiarities, film budget and the crew itself. Some experts think that production process consists of three main stages, which are: pre-production, production and post-production; others suppose that there is a separate stage called development followed by pre-production.
If to consider development a separate stage of production process, it deals mainly with the screenplay writing which is done over the period of several months. The producer makes an outline of events, visualizes key points, finds the message of the story he has chosen, etc. this stage usually bends with the pre-production stage. This stage covers everything that is to happen before the camera is on, starting with the screenplay preparation. People involved in this stage are the director, the producer, the scriptwriter, the researcher, the make-up artist, the costume designer. The producer hires his crew, a group of people for film production which id divided into different departments, each specializing in a specific aspect of the production. Producer helps to coordinate everything, is responsible for the financial, legal, administrative and artistic aspects of any production. There are also assistants of producer, who are associate producer, assistant producer, coordinating producer, supervising producer, executive producer, segment producer, etc. The producer is to hire a director, who is in charge of working out pre-production. Consequently, the producer sets things in motion, while the director is in charge of taking the screenplay from the beginning to the very end of the production process. Director is assisted by a technical director, who is responsible for ensuring the technical aspects of production; he coordinates the set design, lighting and set construction and any other technical details. There are other production assistants; director is assisted by a lighting director and a set director. Lighting director develops the lighting plan, coordinates lighting instruments. There is also a gaffer who works with light, he is usually the head electrician who reports to the Director of Photography and other electricians. A set director also called set designer, production designer or scenic director is responsible for visual appearance of a production. He works in close collaboration with a lighting designer and master carpenter. Master carpenter has to turn a set design into the actual set pieces, to coordinate the real construction.
It is necessary to point out the most important members of a crew aside from the director is the cinematographer also called the director of photography. He creates the visual texture of the film and makes us have this or that impression of the film watched. The director of photography is the main person in the lighting crew, who takes on decisions, chooses the correct aperture, lighting to achieve the desired effect on the viewer. Such positions as casting director, researcher, make-up artist, production designer and costume designer take active part in pre-production as well as production process. Casting director chooses actors and actresses for the film; a lot depends on the choice of this person. As for the researcher, he studies the screenplay long before the beginning of shooting, he finds out if the facts are truthful, ideas original, all the events described are consistent, what is more, a researcher has to inform the producer and director what scene has to be included to bring all components in good working order. As the make-up artist, his task is to create a person’s image on the screen, to manipulate actor’s screen appearance, make them look the way it is needed according to the script. The same is with costume designer who has to make all costumes worn by actors on the screen, to influence the style of the film, to show the characters through how they look like in costumes.
It is natural that every production of a film relies on a number of people who participate not only in pre-production but also in production stage and even more actively. The pre-production stage smoothly flows into the production process itself, which is sometimes called principal photography. In production process there act such positions as director of photography, cinematographer or camera operator, cinema operator, who uses camera under the guidance of the director of photography, first and second assistants camera. One more position of production process is floor manager with his assistant, who are to give directions to a crew. Production manager and unit manager supervise physical aspects of the production including scheduling, budget, etc. Production manager often works under the guidance of line producer and supervises the production coordinator, who organizes the logistics starting from hiring a crew and finishing with renting equipment. Here also work boom operators, a gaffer, a dolly grip, a person moving a dolly where required, and a key grip, the one who creates shadow effects with lights, they do a lot of work under a sharp eye of the producer or the art director. There will seldom be a production without a props manager, who needs to prepare everything that will be carried by actors, they see to it that props are taken from somewhere or even made.
The next stage after production is post-production led by the film editor mainly, though he is assisted by sound editors, Foley artists, publicists and a composer or composers. The chief editor has to build a rough cut from scenes based on individual shots. He should see to it that the story follows smoothly; the cut is to be approved by the director and the producer. Then the film passes on to the sound department, where voice recordings are synchronized and final sound mix is created. A sound editor also decides which sound effects to use and which to neglect. A sound editor takes the sounds prepared by the Foley artist, who creates and records sound effects. Foley artist also fabricates the sounds which cannot be correctly recorded during the filmmaking. The publicity manager is to advertise the film, this is done rather long before the new production is made and ready for broadcasting.
Production process is a complicated process which involves a great number of people including those who never appear on the screen, but are as important for the film as the cast.