As anyone who stays in the theater to watch the closing credits knows, it takes an awful lot of people to make a film. Even a small-scale production involves at least dozens of people and usually millions of dollars. This session will explore the roles played by various members of the filmmaking crew as well as the business of making and marketing films.
Assignment Due for this Session
When you compare filmmaking to other arts (literature, theater, painting, music, etc.), how does it differ in terms of its methods of production? What effects do these differences have on how we perceive film as an art? Please comment on this post below.
If you want to explore the film industry further...
- An article from The Guardian about some of the people behind the making of The Dark Night Rises (dir. Christopher Nolan, USA, 2012).
- There are some of excellent Making of... videos available as extras on dvds that take you behind the scenes. Many, however, are overseen by the studios and marketing departments and are essentially advertisements for the films. The Making of Alien 3 feature is an epic tale of a studio-director relationship that didn't go so well.
- There are some classic documentaries about the filmmaking process. Three of my favorites are:
Burden of Dreams (dir. Les Blanc, USA, 1982)
Les Blank's 1982 documentary about the making of Fitzcarraldo chronicles Werner Herzog's epic struggles with his cast, his crew, and the Amazon. Man-vs-Man, Man-vs-Nature, Man-vs-Himself ... it's all here in abundance!
Hearts of Darkness (dir. Fax Bahr, 1991)
If you thought Werner Herzog had it bad, check out Francis Ford Coppola's epic struggles during the filming of Apocalypse Now.
American Movie (dir. Chris Smith, 1999)
Chris Smith's fantastic 1999 documentary chronicles Mark Borchart's attempt to fulfill his dream of completing a low-budget horror film titled Coven. It's funny, sad, touching, and thougthful....and about much more than making movies.