Production Phases

How to differentiate between the many phases that make up a production.

Understanding Phases

In film production, you can differentiate between six phases. These differ in their objectives and composition and also in the form of the work involved but cannot always be clearly distinguished as the transitions between phases can be fluid. On almost all projects, a production schedule will be created to provide a general overview of how the phases are planned to move forward.

Every film production begins with story development, during which the first idea for a workable script is figured out. This is followed by financing, which will set up the necessary funds for the filming of the screenplay. Once the project is funded, the producer gives the go-ahead for the implementation, which starts with the preparation for shooting - preproduction - during which an initial shooting schedule will be drawn up and all preparatory work for the next phase - production (or principal photography) - will be carried out.

These tasks are performed by project-related employees, who then carry out the shooting phase. This begins with the first day of shooting and is defined by the filming process; this phase ends when all visual necessities have been captured. Parallel to the filming, postproduction starts with the production of a rough cut. It includes all the work that will be required to complete a film after the filming is done: editing and post-production. The post-production ends with an artistic and technical acceptance of the finished film. The last phase of film production is the distribution - where a film will be made accessible to audiences in order to generate revenue.