Filmmaking Simplified

Defining The Process

We wanted to create a simplified and efficient process oriented approach for Film Production

15 years of IT experience from varying work environments like Start Up companies to SIX SIGMA based huge organizations and eventually to AGILE methodologies just radically changes a person's approach towards any work in general

While we kept growing our passion and knowledge for filmmaking all along, the first thing we wanted to do when venturing into filmmaking and form our production company is define and simplify this process

As we see it fit, in film production, what is of utmost importance is the process of making the film itself

  • In our debut film Red-Handed, we created, verified and cross checked this process oriented approach
  • While we adopted tools like Final Draft for our script writing, beat sheets and brain storming sessions, we continued to build custom applications to meet our needs of co-working with other teams involved in the film making
  • With these methods, at any point during our film production, we can generate necessary documentation to collaborate with other teams working in the film and also generate progress reports for our clients
  • And thus, we now have a solid proof of concept process that would help handle projects of any size and budget with ease

Pre-Production

Script Writing

The sacred work which requires utmost care in protecting the soul of the original thought. With years of experience in the film Industry, we adopt the Hollywood Standards in writing the script. And having read hundreds of professional scripts and with experience working in these professional formats in prior projects, just sets the standard right for the script writing stage of film production


Films, just like music, plays with our emotions. The story defines the emotional graph of the film. The screenplay, scenes, shots, camera movements, edit style, the Color palettes, costumes, performances, SFX, music and perfect audio mixing must all be in right proportions to make justice to the emotional graph defined by the story.

And the script is this crucial for us, so we do multiple drafts to get this right. In case of Red-Handed we went about 39 drafts to get this right.


Script Breakdown

The very essential process that needs mastery in getting the project not only completed in time but within budget limits

In Filmmaking, the time and money involved keep increasing day by day, the script breakdown is a very key process in the success of any film

  • Came up with innovative path breaking ways in breaking down the script
  • Invested time in months to design the template and place holder of all the various elements of the script and then did the breakdown to account for every minute detail
  • Now this process helps define the script breakdown stage and going ahead, a film of any size and budget we can do it at ease

The New Age Script Breakdown Process

As you can see in the sheet here, entire script goes thru a tremendous break down into its tiniest bits. The Master sheet would have the complete breakdown in topics and few of them are listed below

  • SC-NO
  • SC-DESC
  • LOCATION
  • INT/EXT
  • TIME
  • CAST - PER SCENE
  • SUPP CAST
  • COSTUME - PER CASTADDTL COSTUME
  • ART REQ'S - SCENE WISE
  • MAKE UP NEEDS
  • PROPS
  • SPL PROPS
  • SET PROPS
  • VEHICLES
  • CAMERA
  • SHOT LIST
  • DAY
  • SHOOT ORDER

And many more individual elements that can be uniquely identified in a scene is noted down separately. With such an exhaustive sheet, we can use its technical capabilities to split them in any possible combination for the planning of the shoot. For ex: We can split scene wise, or location wise or artist wise or even prop wise etc.. It’s a custom made effectivesolution. And we are one hundred percent sure that this method would help us plan and schedule films of any budget and size


Script Breakdown - The Day Planner


As the sheet can be broken down to create any pattern and combinations we would want, here is a sample where DAY 5 shoot schedule is being prepared from the master sheet.


Script Breakdown - The Artist Handouts


Artist co-ordination is a crucial piece of preparatory work for a smooth film shoot. Since our master sheet is ready with all necessary information, it can be split up individually for an artist and all they would need to prepare for scenes that are for them. This is a hassle free way to co-ordinate with artists and every artist would get a professional handouts the similar way.


Script Breakdown - The Shot lists


This split up serves the purpose for Director and DOP. The Handouts will be available with both Direction and Camera department so they can work in sync thru the day's plan


Recce

The Recce becomes a very interesting phase during the pre-production. With our systematic approach of filmmaking, Recce is when the story gets fine-tuned. Certain locations results in newer ideas for the screenplay and certain un-availability of locations results in updates to the script accordingly. Recce goes thru documentation process as listed here

  • Locations are noted down with pics against the scene no's
  • We go over the Script at specific locations and any specific camera/art/scene specific needs are documented accordingly
  • Recce is when the Director, DOP, Art Director works in sync and travels and explores together the location with the script. So that a plan is put in place and the Color and mood of the film is decided at this stage
  • Director with the DOP visits the finalised locations many a times to lock on the shot lists based on the scene to unfold in the location
  • This helps in accurate planning of the no of shoot days, buffer days to keep in mind when need be, lights requirements, special rigs if need be for the scene.
  • And we do calculate the setup time for lights, prep time for the art department at location, prep time for the artists, takes and time calculations for that, and with the buffer time put in place we can clearly make a close call on exact no of days of shoot required for the entire film and it's budget requirements

Rehearsals

Having done a bit of Theatre work, rehearsals are an important aspect of filmmaking. We hire specific places for rehearsals and set time aside for artist’s practice of dialogues and emotions and expressions and video document them for reference. As a step further, we do rehearsals on the location when possible so that artist gets really comfortable in the location and it takes a lot of first time butterflies away


They get to know fellow artists well during rehearsals, become comfortable with other artists and location especially. It would become a cake walk during the shoot with this level of comfort

We also do at times the camera rehearsals in location just so that, we would be able to lock on the blocking of the scenes based on the locations


Budgeting

With Recce and Script Breakdown, we can now have more in-depth budgeting needs

And budget requirements are again documented based on the scenes and we can even have the split up for overall budget for the film or for different stages of the filmmaking process

Budgeting is a very detailed process and when done in relation to the master sheet, it helps tremendously to plan way ahead on which dates is going to demand high budget for the shoot and helps during the post production stage as well


Prep for the shoot

With Production Manager ensuring the necessary permissions for the shoot of the film and artists and crew availability are locked and shoot dates are put in place, we do the necessary prep for the shoot.

The scripts that are specific to the casts are distributed well in advance.

While pretty much all cast/crew are under an NDA, we ensure safety measures to protect the script and footage of the film

The handouts for each department is verified many a times in the master sheet and are then handed over to the individual teams

And teams are encouraged to verify and share inputs specific to their dept. with the direction dept. so that we are all in sync

Communications goes out with the daily call sheet information to the cast and crew members with the reporting time, costume/rig requirements


The Shoot

With such an elaborate ground work done and shoot schedule put in place, the Shoot is just an absolute delight. With Direction team already aware of the location and so are the Camera team, Art team and Casts, it clearly becomes easier to shoot.

With the great help of the master breakdown sheet, we now have the day wise schedule breakdown and even the shoot order of the scenes for a specific day

Shoot order of the scenes? Yes! Why not? In our experience, we have seen many, even big budgeted movies, struggle in the shoot spot with their shots planning and rig/crew placements.

With exact plan for shoot order, and supported with the shot lists, it would clearly tell the direction, camera, art and PA crew to place their rig right, lighting done and keep it ready for the next scene while the current one is being shot.

It becomes so much easier this way, and not having to clear the field for every single shot, which delays the shoot, resulting in not completing all the necessary shots on a particular day eventually increasing budget.

This issue is effectively addressed with our proper pre-planning


Before the Camera Rolls

The Direction team now goes over a quick list of cross check to verify the shot needs as in

  • Costume continuity
  • Position continuity
  • Shot movement continuity
  • Light continuity
  • Set/prop continuity
  • Framing details are verified and then it's Action!

As the camera rolls

As the film crew has the shoot order of the scenes and the shot lists, they prep the set for next scene very quietly

And when the take is ok, and when the Director is ready for the next shot, the set is indeed ready for the shoot.

This way, there is not much of a mood jump with artists and it's easy for the entire crew to smoothly progress towards the day


End of the Shoot Day

The spot editor verifies every shot to make sure they sit with each other shot and the scene comes out fine

End of the day, we shoot all the shots planned for the day, and the hard drive is transported securely and are made multiple copies off

Edit team then starts to collect all the files, group them by scene folders and start with their conversion process and load it into their timeline ready for the Director to take a look anytime it may be required

The Direction team preps for the next day shoot, and ensures with all other departments and casts to make sure all is in place for the next day shoot


It's a wrap!

As we progress this way, we sail smooth towards the wrap of the shoot!

Well, with filmmaking no matter how much plan is put in place, there are always challenges at the field

Thing to notice is, more you are prepared, less the challenges we must face.

Story telling happens completely at the writing table! A writer-director is capable of visualizing the film once he finalizes the draft

He goes out to shoot so that he can show the film to the rest of the world!

So, when planned right, shoot must be a cake walk, and this is how we see it!


Post Production

Editing

Editing is an art which in right proportions can actually make or break a film. We hire best Editors in the Industry with ton of experience working in films for our Edit requirements. And since so much care goes during the scripting process, for us editing is strictly sticking to the script. The script written defines the edit.


    The full stop in the script tells where the cut is

  • With such precision put in place, we just stuck to the script and absolutely no deviation
  • And we sit thru the complete Edit process and go over multiple revisions and document them
  • Upon every revisions, the story narration became crispier and the characters got their load of share of screen presence to help evolve the story

Dubbing

As the reels are now getting ready from the Edit the next stage is the Dubbing

Our alliance with best Dubbing studios come with their good network of Dubbing artists. Which makes it a perfect combination of high tech and artists at one go

And, Dubbing is again an art in itself. While we prefer to do most of live recording during the shoot, at times due to heavy noise environments, we do tend to do the ADR for the film to enhance the voices

The actors just act it out just that there is no camera and lights involved in the process

The heart and soul of the scene is just re-created by the professional artists

And in some cases, dubbing artists are hired to get the job done as well


Digital Intermediate

Work on the Color Tones and so the Mood of the Film

We prefer to work in Baselight and collaborate with top Colorist here who have their dedicated DI labs

The Color Tones have a great say in the mood of the film


  • We do tremendous study in defining the mood of each shot and have a certain Color tones in mind right during the pre-production stage of the film
  • Documented those Color tone preferences during the pre-production to help set the art, costume and filters right for the shoot
  • And we follow those documents during the DI process to match the Color tones
  • And it greatly helps setting the mood right for the film
  • And this needs due care during the shoot so it’s light properly which helps greatly in setting the DI tones right

VFX

VFX helps narrate the story better

VFX teams with decades of experience are whom we collaborate with for our films VFX needs

Films these days, even when they are not a fantasy film, VFX becomes a very necessary aspect of story telling

  • During the pre-production stages, we identify the scene and shot transitions in the film and plan our shots accordingly
  • And with the help of spot editor, ensure it sits right with other shots and scenes
  • This approach really helps us in getting the necessary shots cut out and ready for VFX portions.
  • And it’s a tool, which we believe helps narrate the story better and efficiently at times
  • So a process is put in place so the VFX work flow of hand over of the shots and retrieving them back can all be done smoothly

SFX

SFX helps bring the world alive


We partner with top SFX companies to bring the world alive in our films

The SFX pieces of story-telling are identified way before during the pre-production itself as part of the sound design

And based on the genre of the film usually the script is written the SFX in mind

With SFX elements added in the script already, it just greatly helps in bringing the necessary piece aloud and alive in the film during the SFX stage


Music

Music is such a crucial tool of story-telling, we handle it with utmost care.

We prefer to handpick our music director who can create soulful music that the story demands

And we sit thru the entire process of music creation. Literally thru each layers being put in there for any particular scene

And we follow a strict process in place to get an out for every 5 or 10 min of the film to hear out the music piece and see if it is in accordance with the story flow

Some musicians gets carried away by listening only their music tracks while scoring for a film.

We remind them firmly that the story is what is being told here and that is done with a perfect combination of visuals, dialogue, SFX and music

With closer sit out sessions with the music directors and being present during the live recordings, it makes it wonderful during the stage of music creation as the film comes alive!


Sound Mixing

Exceptional sound quality is a must for great story telling

We work with Industry best Professional studios for our 5.1 or Dolby ATMOS mixing requirements


  • The Script demands the choices of sound and music for the better narration of the story
  • And such requirements were clearly communicated to Dialogue sessions, SFX and Music sessions
  • And with them all perfect, it becomes a pretty straight forward job for the final mix work
  • And we document our corrections so we are in sync with the mix engineers and get the work done right in exceptional quality

Sub Title

With right subs, the rest of the world enjoys our stories

Due emphasis is given on correct sub-title work that help narrate the story better


  • We are a big fan of world cinema and the only way we could really watch them all is thru sub-titles
  • And for this reason, we have huge respect for that art and it definitely is an art in itself
  • Sub-titles are not mere translations but instead it brings out the blood and sweat of a character to help narrate the story better
  • We sit very close with the sub-title people to get the best combination of words to depict the original emotion in the film

The Safety Measures

In these time of technology, there doesn't exist a way to really protect the digital content once it releases to the cinema halls, festivals or web

And in most cases in recent times, not just in Indian Film Industry but even in Hollywood, even scripts gets stolen and released for public

Our 15 years of past experience in the field of IT, really helps mitigate these problems during the stages of film production

  • We have all the cast and crew sign our NDA's as a first step
  • We register our Script with Local as well as Indian Screen Writers Association.
  • Only portions of script and handouts specific to artist are shared with them. And only upon need, they get to read in person the full script for their understanding.
  • The hard-drives are encrypted and RSA Key protected for access. As we work with Edit, Dub, DI, VFX, SFX, Music and Mixing studios and not just free lancers, we ensure a strict practice on who works in the film.
  • The video out normally has not just the studio names on it, but the engineer name as well. So that particular engineer will be held responsible for any mal practice.
  • And transportation of the hard drives is when most mistakes could happen. Identifying this, we secure our drives with BitLocker encryption and its password protected. No Password, you can't read anything from the drive.

Love for Festivals

All our films travel the world for the festivals.

Festivals are the place where we really get to see the world cinema, meet the people behind the films, and grow our love and knowledge on films and filmmaking


Designs

A well-made design is the very first step in creating interest in the film for the audience

We work with professional designers who has a panache for creative art

And our posters and design material just attract the masses but still manage to keep the focus on the mood of the film

And in a way, posters are a great story telling tool as well as they set the mood right for the film


Large Films

A Monk would try and test him for ages to proclaim his rank

And so are we, with years of dedication and preparation gone in preparing ourselves for the wonderful field of film making, we are professionally equipped and our heart is in right place to tell great stories

With so much experience, we were able to handle a team size of over 100 men/women just in our debut project

And now, even sky is not the limit… and we are now all set to create wonder in the field of film making


Don't you see?

If you have come this far in the page, don't you see our love and passion for filmmaking?