hundreds of people are involved in the production of a motion picture.
From the actors to the person who turns the lighs off at the end of a
day's shooting, each has a specific job to do. Their skills help the picture
move from ideas to the screen.
The producer is very important in the process of movie production. This
person finds the story to be filmed and gathers the money to make it happen.
Sometimes the producer will arrange the hiring of actors. The producer
may even oversee the contruction of sets or the design of costumes. Another
job is to supervize the work of the director and other important members
of the production team.
The director is the one who actually "makes" the motion picture.
This person controls the film crew, making sure that everyone on the set
is doing his or her job. The director must also set up each shot and get
the best performances from the actors. In addition, the director--along
with anumber of assistants--approves the script, sets, costumes, and work
schedules. Besides being a manager, a good director has to have a strong
artistic flair. Often it is the director's touch that can make or break
a film at the box office.
Most people assume that the director is the person behind the camera.
While that's true in some cases, the cinematographer operates the camera
during most of the filming. Often the director will look to the cinematographer
for advice on what camera or lens to use for a specific scene. The cinematographer
must know how the lighting and other conditions will affect the filming.
In many ways, the cinematographer is a technician as well as an artist.
Each actor in a film production has a role to play--small or large. Although
some roles are obviously more important than others, every actor must
do his or her part to help make a movie a success. A film actor is different
from a stage actor in several ways. The stage actor may rehearse for weeks
to perform in a three-hour play. The film actor may rehearse for hours
to film a few seconds of dialogue. A film actor may also have to perform
his or her role "out of sequence." This means that because of
scheduling, a performer may have to act out scenes in a different order
than they appear in the script. This calls for special talent.
There are several types of designers on a movie set. The set designer,
sometimes called the art director, oversees the design and construction
of the scenery. The set designer must research the time period in which
the film is set to make sure that the scenes are accurate. Despite a set
director's best efforts, however, these mistakes do happen. Usually, though,
theyy are not so obvious.
The costume designer has many of the same responsibilities. Each costume
must reflect the character being protrayed and the time period being filmed.
Many costumes take weeks to create. Makeup and wigs can be as important
to the costume director as any peice of clothing. Some science fiction
and horror movies rely heavily on special makeup effects.
One of themost important jobs in movie production is that of film editor.
The editor, or "cutter," takes the reels of raw film and puts
them together to form the final story. A film may have thousands of shots,
but only a few hundred ever make it into the final production. The editor
must use good judgment, an artistic eye, and a strong sense of timing
to make everything fit into the time allowed. The editor must also be
able to put scenes together that tell the story without confusing the
audience. A choppy, badly-paced movie is often the result of poor editing.
Music and sound efects in the movies are almost as important as any words
or action on the screen. The wrong sound or music can ruin an otherwise
terrific scene. The composer is hired to create music that fits the mood
of the movie. The composer is usually well-trained in all areas of music.
He or she may be required to supervise an entire symphony orchestra to
get just the right sound for a film. Today, many films--especially those
for teenagers--bypass the composer altogether. Instead, popular music
is used as a background for scenes.
Sound Effects can also make or break a scene. Each sound is carefully
recorded and enhanced to create just the right atmosphere for the scene
in whic it is used.