How Long Does it Take to Film a Movie? – Complete Process

Usually, we spend one or two hours watching a movie at home or at the cinema but have you ever thought about how long does it take to film a movie?

The film making is a time taking process. A movie reaches to cinema screens after the hard work of the production team. To understand it better, we can divide the filmmaking process into different phases each phase takes time to complete the requirements.

The time of filming a complete movie also depends on the type of the movie. Some movies get completed in months, while some take a year to finish. And some movies take longer than a year.

Movie making step by step:

In this Detailed blogpost, I will make sure that you will get complete knowledge on film making process and how it is made? What is the different milestone to getting started and completing the film? And how does a movie gets released at the box office?

Change idea into a story

For a movie-making first step is an idea that a movie producer has in his mind. He gathers ideas and then transfers them in to scripts. He hired people to give his rough scripts to get polished. In this phase story of the movie finalize, and then a powerful full script gets ready by the professional writers.

under the director's supervision

All the processes are done under the producers’ supervision. The movie’s producer is the main person whose involvement in all phases of making film is vital. After completing the scripts, it’s time to secure finance for the film. The whole process takes months to be done.

After completing the first step of movie-making, we can divide the process into three steps

Let’s check out these processes and how much time they will take to complete.

Pre-production

After completing the above process, it’s time to enter in the most productive filmmaking phase, pre-production. In the pre-production milestone, the director, cinematographer, producer, production managers, and other film crew decide the movie’s further plans.

movie pre production

They select the movie’s casting, including leading characters and other co-stars, and decide about other crew members who play their roles on the back screen. They also decide about the movie’s budget and the time frame of the movie’s completion. In this phase, the members also set the release date of the film and the schedule of shootings.

Now, are you thinking about how much people need to make a movie? For making a movie, approximately 500 people’s efforts involve completing a film. The pre-production phase takes around 4 to 5 months for an average movie.

Production

When the pre-production steps finish, finalize the movie’s budget, cast, schedules, and crew. The filmmaking process steps into the production phase. In other words, the shooting process or when the movie’s story begins to get actual picture recording. In the production phase, actors do their jobs, and the sets of the movie-going are busy with the sound of Light, Camera, and Action. 

production

The shooting process of a movie and time consumption depends on multiple factors such as budget, duration of the movie, shooting locations, and Genre of movie determine the total time of completion of the production milestone. An average film takes around one to three months to shoot.

Sometimes shootings get post pond or rescheduled due to some unusual factors. Sometimes movie’s cast is unavailable for personal reasons, and the director must cancel the shoot. Or sometimes character leaves the project due to different issues, and the shooting schedule stops until another artist is selected for the character. These changes affect the movie’s completion time frame.

Therefore, an average movie takes around 106 days to shoot. Movies with animation take more time to shoot because it needs a lot of work through computer graphics.

Post-production

After shooting of the film is done, the next process is called post-production. This is the most valuable phase of filmmaking and usually takes more time than other phases.

This phase includes editing your shoot scenes. If you feel anything missing in the scripts, you have to fix this problem by retaking the scenes again or sometimes through editing because of the low budget.

Many of us assume that the post-production process is all about movie editing, but the fact is that, including editing some more factors are involved in post-production. After finishing the film’s editing, get approval from the producer and director for no other edits. Now time to add other factors such as sound, music, VFX, color grading, and making trailers and promos.

So the time for the post-production period or the editing process of a movie also depends on the VFX effects needs in a film. An average Hollywood movie takes seven months to 1 year time to go through from the post-production period.

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How much time do different genres of films take to complete?

Like I previous mentioned in this blog, film or movie making basically depends on the type of genres you are shooting. Let’s see how long does it take to film different genres?

Indie:

The indie movie’s budget comes from a shoestring, so the production phase in these movies is short because it is the most expensive filmmaking process. An independent film takes 3 to 6 months for pre-production and one to two months for production, and post-production will take around six months to one year.

Romance:

This genre doesn’t take much time to complete. Many production houses, including Hallmark, make multiple romance movies by spending a few weeks on production and then a few months for editing.

Romance movies are simple to shoot because of fewer action scenes, minor special effects, and a small cast of actors. Make it easy to complete faster than other genres. A romance movie’s completion time is about six months long.

Drama:

These types of film completion depend on their stories and budget. An ordinary drama story is rolled up faster than a drama that needs more costumes and sets for shoot.

The shooting time will expand due to the making of required sets and costumes. A war-related drama needs more action stunts with many people to make the production phase longer.

Sci-Fi:

These types of movies need more VFX involvement and graphics as Marvel or Star Wars movies take a long time for post-production. But with the high-tech studios or resources, you can make it faster. For example, Avengers take five months for production and 15 months to reach theaters.

Animation:

Animation movies do not require live-action scenes; they get more time than regular movies. You can complete animation movies quicker by hiring a big team of animators. A complete Disney movie approximately takes five or more years to complete when 100+ animators work together for multiple months.

Conclusion

Movie making is not a simple task as many of us not aware before reading this article. A movie means a final presentation of joining hundreds of moving footage. That takes months or years to finish from ideas to reach cinema screens.

Moviemaking is a vast field. Once an idea gets approved, an average level, it will take around,

  • Pre-production = 145 days
  • Production = 105 days
  • Post-production = 300 days

According the above mentioned information and time period, you will get a clear estimation on how much time will this particular movie required? The mentioned time is just an idea not applicable to all movies. The perfect time frame for moviemaking depends on the type of movie. Hopefully, the information mentioned above about moviemaking time helps you learn about filmmaking processes.

FAQs

The movie (The other side of the wind) breaks all the records for the longest filmmaking time. The film only spent 48 years in the production phase from 1970 to 2018.

For an average movie scene with minimal retakes. Film a typical scene will take at least 3 to 4 hours. But sometimes, it will take weeks or months if the scene is complicated.

Here are some movies that were hard to make for directors,

  • Alien 3
  • The Bourne Identity
  • World war Z
  • Jaws
  • Titanic
  • Fantastic Four
  • Back to the Future
  • Apocalypse Now
  • The Lone Ranger

The movie Titanic’s duration is longer than other blockbusters movies. The runtime of titanic is three h 14 minutes is considered the longest movie ever.

The movie Moonlight is one of the shortest movie that wrap up in just 25 days.

Fresh Guacamole with 1 minute 40 seconds duration is the shortest movie ever and was also nominated for 85 Academy Awards.

How long does it take to film a movie fluctuates according to different circumstances as I say it again.

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