Filmmaking involves many processes, generally spoken of in three phases: pre-production, production and post-production.


Script-writing usually begins with a narrative which is broken down into sequences (or scenes) which themselves are broken down into shots. The scriptwriter may begin with an original idea, or might adapt a novel, play or short story. A ‘shooting script’ might include dialogue, directions, descriptions of shots and information about sound. A director will often use a storyboard to convert the script into pictures.

Design is the visualisation of story and character by means of sets, locations, props, wardrobe and make-up. A ‘set’ is an artificially constructed place, whereas “locations’ are pre-existing places where the action is set.


Shooting is the most obvious part of the production phase. When filming the script, each shot is filmed and then the shots are edited together later to form a narrative. A film is not shot in order, but all shots involving the same personal in the same location are shot at the one time. In each scene the action is usually shot from many angles to create a variety of points of view. This may mean a number of camera set-ups and a number of takes will be required. There may be 5-20 takes of the same scene before the director is satisfied. This means that more footage is shot than will finally be used.


Editing of both image and sound – the cutting and rearranging of bits of the film – is the process which constructs the finished order of the narrative. The editor will choose from among the various takes and perspectives to construct the final sequence. Through the process of editing, the film is able to control the amount of information given to the audience. In this way suspense, for example, can be created. Special effects, music, sound effects and sometimes dialogue are added in the post-production phase.