Have you ever stuck around after a movie and attempted to read all the credits? If you have, I’m sure you’ve also wondered what all those people actually do. In this next series I’ve put together, I’m going to break down some of the key people and processes in filmmaking.
Is It Really That Complicated?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone who’s not in the movie business say with an incredulous tone “I can’t believe that it takes that many people!”
Well, at least for the big blockbuster movies, it certainly does take that many people. As unfathomable as it may seem, an incredible amount of of man-hours, talent, and hard work goes into those movies, and every person on the crew has a specialized job. Just like a complex machine, if a screw is loose, the whole thing could be easily compromised.
…and it’s always been this way! The reality of Hollywood films is that many people went uncredited up until the 60s and 70s. It’s true that in some ways films have gotten more complicated, what with the evolution of CGI effects and animation, but it’s only recently that 99% of the people who work on a film actually get a screen credit.
What About Indie Movies?
Indie movies generally have smaller budgets than the big Hollywood ones, so of course they’re going to have smaller crews. Therefore yes, to some degree, you *don’t* absolutely need every single position filled by a specialist. But let me tell you from my experience from working on both types of projects, there are some positions which should always remain as specialised as possible, and those are the ones which I’m going to focus on in this series.
I’ll do my best to explain the differences in roles and processes between a blockbuster and an indie where applicable as I go, but it’s important to note that every project is different and ultimately there is no hard and fast rule for making art. But generally speaking, there are a few positions which have particular expectations in terms of responsibility, and a few places where standardization has proven to be useful.
What are some of the things you’ve always wondered about moviemaking? Which credits have you always wanted to know about? Ask away in the Youtube comments below and I’ll make you a special segment!