What I Do

Feature Filmmaking

Feature Filmmaking

A Feature Film or feature-length film, also called Motion Picture or movie is a film which must have a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole film to fill a program. A Full length Feature Film should have a running time of at least 60 minutes to be considered for Academy Awards for feature film. We at MattBox Entertainment, not only make such full length feature films but also provide all technical support to our clients including post-production ( Edit, Colour Grading, Sound, DI, VFX, Computer Graphics, Dubbing, Re-recording, Mixing) with best in quality services. As a Film Director, I also direct full-length feature film.

The Feature film in which we provide technical support can be divided into these steps:

  1. Writing and Development
  2. Pre-production (or Prep)
  3. Production
  4. Post Production (or Post)
  5. Marketing and Publicity
  6. Release, Sales and Distribution
  7. Royalty and Maintenance

Let’s look at each step one by one.

  1. Writing and Development

The stages involved in this phase are (not always in this order!):

  • Writing an “acceptable” screenplay
  • Breaking down the script by locations, casting, scenes, etc
  • Budgeting and Scheduling
  • Raising Finance
  • Signing Cast and Crew

The Screenplay

Depending on who you are and what you are capable of, you might think you do not need a screenplay. You might feel you will be able to “get by” with a treatment, a synopsis or even a logline.

Eventually, you’ll realize a screenplay (or script, doesn’t matter what you call it) will have to be written, with both action and dialogue. Writing one draft (a version of the script) isn’t enough. You’ll write multiple drafts, until you come across an “acceptable” screenplay.

An “acceptable” screenplay is one that is exciting to read, tightly written, has great characters, is professional, is formatted correctly, and is ready to be produced. If it’s weak in any one of these areas, you are shooting yourself in the foot right off the bat.

Most movies fail for one simple reason: The people involved couldn’t recognize a good script even if one jumped up and slapped them across the face.

If you are not a master of the screenplay, partner with someone who is.

Breakdowns

A breakdown is the process of dividing up the script into parts that make sense. You do this usually for production purposes.

The three most commonly used breakdowns are:

  1. Scene
  2. Location and
  3.  Talent

Creating breakdowns are a meticulous and demanding exercise. Only people with good organizational skills can execute breakdowns correctly.

If you’re not skilled in these areas, find someone who is. An error in breaking down a script will cost you dearly. It is always wise to have someone else check your work to find mistakes.

Successful First Assistant Directors and Line Producers (or Production Managers) are masters at this exercise. They are in charge of all the breakdowns in a movie.

Budgeting and Scheduling

Scheduling is preparing a prep, production and post-schedule based on the breakdowns created earlier.

True mastery is only attained after having worked on several productions, and the responsibility of a schedule falls upon the first assistant director.

Budgeting is the process of putting a monetary value to the entire process, and somebody who doesn’t have experience in the entire filmmaking process will prove inadequate to this task. A film budget is usually prepared by the Line Producer or Production Manager, and then verified and refined until it’s as precise as can be.