It used to be that making a movie was a long, complicated and tedious process. With a big budget, you have to assemble an expensive cast and a multitude of crew.
It is still now. But that applies to mainstream films only. For the Indie movies, producing a movie is just another project that can be accom-plished even with meager resources.
So it is now film versus digital. The film is the reel of film and digital is the video version. But the video can be converted to film (called kinescoping).
For the traditional movie production, the project starts with either the budget or the story or sometimes the cast. Like in the Nora Aunor movies, the cast was ahead of everything. They just wrote a story for Nora and configured a budget for the project.
Some other movies start with the story. As in the films made from komiks stories, the story concept was the seed. After determining the affordabi-lity of the budget, the project commenced when the script was done.
For movies that start with the budget, this style is very applicable to the Indie films. As what a director said, “Give me half a million and I will make you a good movie.” However, there’s no guarantee that it would really be
a good movie.
For a mainstream movie project, there’s the Legman to deliver call slips, the Talent Coordinator to connect to the cast and crew, the Production Manager to handle the operations including the catering.
There’s also the Assistant Director who steers the work in the set; the Cameraman (also known as Cinematographer) with his DOP (Director of Photography), Lightsman and Soundman plus minor crew like the Clapper and Production Assistants.
Especially for fantasy movies, a big part of the budget goes to the Production Designer and his assistants like the Makeup Artist, Propsman and Utility people. Also important is the presence of security or Crowd Control Director.
A newcomer in the movie industry would be surprised by the big number of people involved in the movie production. “Iba pa pala ang Scriptwriter on the set saka Creative Consultant. Meron pang Continuity Director.”
A Producer is different from an Executive Producer but no one can really explain the difference. A Line Producer is actually the overall in-charge of the financial side. For the entire operation of the set, it is the Director, of course.
For the expenses on the equipment, the camera rental includes the lighting units and usually also the sound recording facilities. The cost runs from P25,000 to a high of P50,000 on a per day basis but packages are much cheaper.
For the film, the cost is measured by rolls that range from P300,000 pesos to as high as millions, depending on the number of takes. That amount doesn’t include the laboratory processing that may reach half a million or more.
A movie is a huge project such that only big studios have the capability to produce. But despite the heavy cost, there were already Independent productions in the olden times although most of them did not last long.
In this era of technology –this digital age has brought us high definition video—making a movie has become affordable and much easier in the technical aspect. The equipment has become cheaper, handy and has a vast selection, from type to model to brand.
Starting with the camera, some high definition models can be had for less than P50,000 while big ones costs 3 times that much up to a million pesos. Some may ask if the HD camera worth 50K can do a movie worth converting to film? The answer is yes.
For the accessories, lighting units are much cheaper now by 50% and lower in consumption also by 50%. Audio recorders are also improved a lot in consonance with the technology.
Editing, that used to be the hardest part of post-production, is not that difficult to handle anymore. Softwares abound and computers have become cheaper. And the process has become simple so even college students edit their video project by themselves.
For the production people, an Indie Producer sometimes is also the Director who also wrote the script and who thought of the story. In the actual production, that Producer would be handling the camera.
For the others, aside from the cast, the AD (Assistant Director) does the job of the Production Manager, Lightsman and Soundman. Sometimes he is also the Clapper and Crowd Control Director.
This goes to show that an Indie movie, despite its little budget, can be done with the right people who are willing to wear several hats. But the drawback, as I see it, is the negative effect on the creative results.
A Producer who directs and writes the script have no one to check him. There are many films that have a lot of loopholes because of this setup. That’s why Creative Consultants always say to Producers that he can direct or he can write the script but not both.
Overall, movie production is much easier. As proof, Indie movies are increasing and have eclipsed the number of mainstream films. With the proliferation of digital projectors in theaters, it’s only a matter of time before we switch to pure digital.
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