Film production business has become a mega business in a
multi billion dollar industry. Over the past few decades,
Ghanaian Movies has become a source of profit for actors and
Ghanaian film producers.
This phenomenon has had global
impact, since many Ghanaian films are released in just
weeks or in some cases, days.
Since the inception of the
AMAA premiere (African Movie Academy Award), some
movies has even opened worldwide on the same date.
Dan Fellman, a movie producer, says “The international
market is a growing and very vibrant place, so when we
make movies, we view it as a global opportunity.”
more than ever, what happens in Ghanaian Moviea affects the
entertainment industry worldwide.
Many movies must take in more than 5 to 10 million and above just to cover production and marketing costs.
And whether they succeed is entirely up to an unpredictable
public. “You can never know what the public at any given
moment is going to find exciting or sensationally
appealing,” says David Cook, a professor of film studies at
So how do movie makers increase their
odds of success ?
To answer, we first need to understand a
few basics about how films are made.
Preproduction – Laying The Groundwork
Preproduction is often the longest phase of the film making
process and one of the most important.
As with any large
project, preparation is the key. The hope is that every money
spent in preproduction will save many more times that
amount during filming.
Every film production begins with a story idea, which may
be either fictitious or based on real-life events.
puts the story into script form. The script, also called the
screenplay, may be revised numerous times before the final
version called a shooting scripts is produced.
script contains the dialogue of the film as well as a brief
description of the action that will take place. It also
provides guidance for technical details, such as camera
direction and transitions between scenes.
It is while still in its early stage, however, that a screenplay
is offered for sale to a film producer.
What kind of
screenplay might a producer be interested in ?
might be drawn to a story that reaches out to youths.
Better still it is a script that cuts across the age
But how do movie makers attract the teenagers and
young adults ?
Acknowledge all and sundry will help a film
producer to reach everyone’s heart thereby maximizing its
Leaving no group languishing out
Use Big Names To Attract Investors
If a producer feels that a screenplay has potential, he might
purchase it and try to sign on a reputable director and a
famous actor or actress.
Having a known director and a
top-name star will create box-office appeal when the film
is released. Yet, even at this initial stage.
Another aspect of preproduction is storyboarding. A
storyboard is a series of sketches depicting various
of the film, particularly those that involve action.
a blueprint for the cinematographer, the storyboard saves
much time during filming. As director and screenwriter
Frank Darabont says, “There’s nothing worse than standing
around on the set wasting your shooting day trying to figure
out where to put the camera.”
Many other issues must be settled during preproduction.
For example, what locations will be used for filming ? Will
travel be required ? How will interior sets be built and
designed ? Will costumes be needed ? Who will handle
lighting, makeup, and hair? What about sound, special
effects, and stunt work ?
These are just a sampling of the
of movie making that need to be considered before a single
frame of film is shot.
Watch the closing credits of a big-
budget film production, and you may find that hundreds of
people were involved behind the scenes! “It takes a city of
people to make a feature film,” says one technician who
has worked on numerous movie sets.
Production—Putting It on Film
Shooting a movie can be time-consuming, tedious, and
Indeed, a single minute wasted can cost
thousands of money. Sometimes actors, crew members, and
equipment have to be transported to a remote part of the
No matter where shooting takes place, however,
each day of filming takes a sizable bite out of the budget.
Lighting crew, hairdressers, and makeup artists are among
the first to arrive on the movie set. Each day of filming,
stars may spend several hours being made ready for the
camera. Then a long day of filming begins.
The director closely supervises the filming of each scene.
Even a relatively simple scene can take all day to film. Most
scenes in a movie are filmed with a single camera, and as a
result, the scene will be done over and over again for each
camera angle. Additionally, each shot may need to be done
repeatedly to get the best performance or to correct a
technical problem. Each of these attempts at filming is
called a take. For bigger scenes, 50 or more takes may be
required! Later—usually at the end of each shooting day—
the director views all the takes and decides which ones
should be saved. In all, the process of filming may take
weeks or even months.
Post Production – The Pieces Come
During post production, film footage is edited to form a
cohesive motion picture. First, the audio track is
synchronized with the film.
Then, the editor assembles the
raw footage into a preliminary version of the film
production, called a rough cut.
Sound effects and visual effects are also added at this
Special-effects cinematography—one of the most
complex elements of film making—is sometimes
accomplished with the help of computer graphics.
results can be spectacular and lifelike. The musical score is
also added during post production, and this aspect has
taken on greater
prominence in today’s films. “The movie industry is now
demanding more original soundtrack music than ever.
Final Product of Film Production
Finally, the completed film is released to theaters. Only at
this point does it become apparent whether it will be a
blockbuster or a bomb or something in between.
A series of failures can ruin
an actor’s prospects for work and destroy the reputation of
a director. “We had seen several of my contemporaries
fall away after a couple of misses,” says director John
Boorman, reflecting on his early years in film making. “The
brutal reality of the movie business is that if you don’t
make money for your masters, you are banished.”
Of course, when standing before a theater marquee, the
public at large is not thinking of the employment issues of
More likely, their primary concerns include:
‘Will I enjoy this movie ? Is it worth the price of admission ?
Will I find the film shocking or offensive ? Is it appropriate
for my children ?’ How can you answer such
questions when deciding which movies you will see ?
While details may vary from one film production to another,
what is presented here is one possible course of events.
In some cases a producer is offered a story outline rather
than a screenplay. If he is interested in the story, he can
buy the rights to it and have it developed into a screenplay.
“You can never know what the public at any given moment
is going to find exciting or sensationally appealing.”—David
Cook, professor of film studies.