A story begins as an idea -- in someone's mind.  That idea is then transferred from the mind using pen to paper, a typewriter, computer, or even verbal recording.  Stories can be told through art and pictures, symbols aligned in a certain manner.  With that said, we come to film, the great big puzzle of storytelling.  Many pieces are needed to tell a story on a screen.  You need pre-production, actors, cameras, lights, sound, visual effects, and other personnel who are specialists to take a story from paper and bring it to life onscreen.  Although it may be more time consuming and laborious -- the worlds, characters, emotions, visuals, themes, and messaging could be better understood by the viewer.  Many people are much better stimulated by moving pictures and sounds, than by just words on paper or graphics.  Film allows a person to step into another world, experience situations, both plausible and implausible -- put themselves in a character's position where they will share and feel their emotions. Characters have struggles, some that you can relate to, some you cannot.  They can help in understanding someone else's situation or show a reflection of your own life.  Film with all that it has to offer can build us up or break us down.  Make us feel happy, feel sad. Instill fear, or help us overcome fear. Love or hate. The emotional impact a film can deliver is unparalleled. To tell a story through film, a cinematic format, you are gifted with endless possibilities.

"The money, parties, fancy nonsense, and image cultivation should be the least of your concern as a filmmaker.  Deliver quality entertainment... ensure that your work and vision carry on long past when your time on Earth has expired.´´

Charles W. Gordon III

The Story

When you go to produce a live action representation of a story.  It could be as little as one page or a five hundred page book. You more than likely are not going to use the original source material.  You can't --  oh we shouldn't say that, because with Lion Eagle Productions, we believe anything is possible.
But in this instance, when you want to take a story and deliver it to the screen, the production will be so much more than just words on paper. Now you will be adding figures, props, visuals, sounds, movement that will aid in telling the story.  This means preparation, which is more commonly referred to as pre-production.  
So we have this story and want to see it told on the screen.  
First we're going to read through and analyze what material is valuable and what material is filler that can then be cut and tossed.  Now what some people deem valuable or filler, that is up for one's discretion.  But ultimately, cut out everything that you think does nothing to help move, build, or bring about satisfying closure. 

Now that all the important parts of the story are saved, it is now time to rewrite and package it, so that the personnel working on the live action project may use it to more easily facilitate the production. We call this a script or screenplay. This will now be your blueprint to use on set.  It mostly consisted of scenes, where the story takes place... the actors' lines... mentions of clothing, a person's looks, and action that is taking place is provided, but most of the time kept to minimal description.  But it's also ok to be thorough, don't be afraid, the problem is, it just takes longer to read and more likely than not, a lot of the material won't be used. So it is best to try and keep things short.  One last thing, you may provide camera angles, but let it be known, many directors do not like to be told how to shoot their project.  But, don't be afraid of adding them, you're just trying to help the team have an easier time working on the production. 



Now that the script is completed, we gather what is needed for this live action production. Your basic needs for this project to get off the ground are:

Writings: you already have.  But sometimes, well a lot of times, adjustments are needed. 
So understand that more writing might be necessary.

Direction: someone or a group that has a clear vision of how to designate duties and instruct how the story should look and unfold.

Acting: find individuals that will breathe life into the characters.  It is important that they read the script to fully understand how their designated character lives unfold within the story.  When they do this, they will have a clearer understanding of how to sell the part and when needed, deliver the proper emotions. If the actors can convey emotion and portray what they are doing in an authentic manner.  This will draw the audience in and keep them focused from beginning to end.

Camera Work and Lighting: they work together to create an atmosphere.  First with the camera:  position, movement, what type of lens you use -- will better help in telling a smoother story.  And with lighting you try to place, use, bend, or eliminate it in a location to best suit how you want to capture the  footage. When you combine dynamic camerawork with excellent lighting, you have high quality cinematography.

Audio: is absolutely essential that you clearly capture your audio.  If you don't, it could have a detrimental effect on the finished product.  For one, it's just bad.  Two, the audience might be too distracted, tune out, or just completely stop watching it.  So make sure you capture it properly.

 is very important in building the tone and mood for a film.  It can give more meaning to the actions of the characters.  Within a scene, it can provide or eliminate emotion or energy from a scene.  For the audience, music can elicit emotion, provide focus on the journey and help them better understand pieces of the story.

 are where you shoot and capture the picture.  This is where the story and all action will take place.  What the story calls for and what action is required, will determine where and how you shoot the scenes.  Of course, authentic interiors and exteriors are wonderful to use.  But sometimes they might not be available, there might be a problem with how to set up gear,  or there might be restrictions on how they are used.  So you might have to book studio time. 

Once you have the above, you're ready to roll.

Image by Josep Molina Secall