The Phases of Filmmaking and the Importance of Cinematography


Filmmaking has phases that are essential in the overall output. Cinematography has a significant impact on all the stages to ensure the film is appealing to the viewers. The life cycle begins before the cinematographer has their input on the production.

The initial steps towards filmmaking include scriptwriting, consolidating the idea, finding the resources, and pre-production. Then, the production and editing stages follow to get the final product. Still, the life cycle continues as it is essential to market and distribute the films for consumption.

A Look into Filmmaking and the Cinematographer’s Influence

Here is an overview of the main phases a film goes through;

The Development

Filmmaking starts as an idea where an individual develops the script. Since most writers do not have the resources to actualize the project, they would probably find a stakeholder to finance it or sell the idea to another party. The production will require a professional like the Mark Murphy Director of Photography, to actualize the screenplay by visualising it.  

A writer can work together with the cinematographer during the development stage. The film might undergo editing to get the right plot and techniques to tell the story effectively. It includes having a storyboard to help see the idea before the production phase. Also, it is critical to get the licences and patents for the idea. The development stage can take a few days to several years to finish.


After getting the resources to make a film, the next stage entails getting the right cast for the production. Depending on the script, the cinematographer will find suitable locations to shoot the idea. During the phase, the personnel will prepare the props to use, the actor’s wardrobe, and the equipment.

On the other hand, the cinematographer will decide on the cameras and lenses for various scenes. Also, it includes ensuring the perfect lighting for scenes. The main objective of the director of photography is to prepare for the outlook they want to capture. It depends on the story to tell and the audience’s experience when watching.


At this stage, the actual work of filming begins. There are numerous personnel at the scene to ensure the project goes to plan. The cinematographer with the camera and lighting crew will be vital for the shooting. Still, the directors, producers, and assistants will work with the actors during the production. In addition, there will be a team to coordinate and schedule the filming while having the personnel feed the entire production group.


Although most film editing happens after the production, the tasks can start during the shooting. When the editors get enough footage to edit, they will have the cinematographer review them to ascertain if they can use them in the film. The essential tasks include visual effects, music, and sound designing during editing.


A film will require marketing to ensure a return on the investments. Most times, it will happen before the film’s release. It involves having teasers and posters to promote the movie. The stakeholders will distribute the film via cinemas and theatres for consumption.