Film production. Film direction. Film making. What is the difference?
Terms like these might be confusing for the uninitiated, since they seem like the same thing on the surface. A film crew consists of hundreds of people (sometimes even thousands) and a lot of roles and responsibilities overlap each other.
Understanding not only these terms, but also what kind of career opportunities exist under each one of them, is important for aspiring film makers. Read on to find out the key differences between film making, producing and directing.
The overarching process or the broad term used for making an audio-visual production is called film making. The process of film making involves multiple steps, professionals, teams and dynamics. Here is a list of the key departments involved in film making and the personnel in charge of each one:
- Production (producer, executive producer, line producer)
- Direction (director, assistant director)
- Writing (Story, script and screenplay writer)
- Casting (casting director)
- Cinematography (director of photography, cameraperson)
- Editing (editor)
- Production design (set designer, production manager)
- Costume and makeup (costume designer, makeup artist, prosthetic specialist)
- Audio (sound designer, music composer, background score composer, lyricist, music producer, foley artist)
Who is a Filmmaker?
several other units and departments that work in a silo or in sync with each other to contribute to a film’s development and completion. The role of a film maker is to make sure that the project runs smoothly, from start to finish, by coordinating with all these departments involved. ‘Film maker’ is a term that is often interchangeably used with the term ‘director’ – but it basically refers to the individual who helms the project.
Film Direction / Film Director
As mentioned above, ‘direction’ is just one aspect of the film making process. However, it happens to be perhaps the most important one, since the director is like the captain of a ship. In this case, the director is the individual who is in charge of the entire film, all its creative and technical aspects, and the final authority in all matters. He/she is the person who is responsible for:
- visualizing the written material
- planning the film’s shoot
- choosing the crew members (technical and creative)
- collaborating with the cast, artists and personnel
- supervising the entire creative process
- ensuring that the film is planned, shot, edited and completed as
- participating in the promotion and marketing of the film
Examples: Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Sujoy Ghosh, Dibakar Banerjee, Priyadarshan, Rajkumar Hirani, Vishal Bhardwaj, Tigmanshu Dhulia, etc.
Film Production / Film Producer
The role of a film producer is to ensure that an ideal environment is created for a film to be made. You might have noticed that most movies or web series projects in India are co-produced by two or more production companies. In most cases, the production department or producer is expected to take care of things like:
- finding or green-lighting a movie script
- hiring a director to helm the project
- planning and approving the budget for the film
- gathering funds and finances to get the film made
- arranging for financial, logistical and technical resources for the film
- providing back-end support for the entire process
- supervising the overall project progress to ensure quality
Examples: Ritesh Sidhwani, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Dinesh Vijan, Sajid Nadiadwala, Aditya Chopra, etc.
Is a producer the same as a director?
No, because the role of a director is very different to that of a producer, as is evident from the responsibilities mentioned above. Yes, because in a lot of cases, the director of a project also happens to be the producer.
For instance, the film Dil Chahta Hai was directed by Farhan Akhtar, who is a partner in Excel Entertainment (the company that produced the movie). Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra, Dibakar Banerjee, Vishal Bhardwaj and Ram Gopal Varma are a few examples of individuals who double up as producers on the films that they are directing.
However, it is important to understand that producing a film and directing it are two separate job functions that require different sets of skills.
Want to learn more about film making and the careers that you can explore under this ever-so-popular domain?
Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism offers a three-year-long degree course in film making for those who wish to make a career as a film maker or director. With a spate of programs that are designed to fuel young minds and develop their creative and technical film making skills, Seamedu is the premier choice for students from all over India.