The Industry Workflow

Before you start editing, it’s helpful to consider how post-production fits into the overall moviemaking workflow. Even though no two movie projects follow exactly the same steps, there is a common workflow that almost every project adheres to. From conception to completion, the basic steps to complete a film or video project are described below.

  1. Stage 1: Scripting

    Scripting is where the movie is conceived and written.

  2. Stage 2: Preproduction

    This is where budgeting, casting, location scouting, equipment and format selection, and storyboarding take place.

  3. Stage 3: Production

    Production is where you create your footage, capturing performances using video or film cameras, as well as audio recorders. Lighting, cinematography, acting, and directing all come together to create the elements used to tell your story or deliver your message. For practical reasons, scenes are usually shot out of order, which means they have to be properly arranged during editing.

  4. Stage 4: Post-Production

    Post-production is where you organize and assemble your production footage, putting scenes in proper order, selecting the best takes, and eliminating unnecessary elements. Production sound is synchronized (with the picture), edited, sometimes rerecorded, and mixed. Music is composed and added. Footage is color-corrected and special effects are created. The final movie is output to tape, film, or some other high-quality media format.

  5. Stage 5: Distribution

    Distribution is when you release a movie for viewing. This may involve theater screenings, video and DVD releases, festival submissions, or web delivery.