For questions related to the process of producing a film and TV show.

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28
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3answers
3k views

Do A-listers audition for roles?

It is normal for new actors who haven't proven themselves to audition for roles in movies. But What about A-listers like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, etc. Do these guys still attend auditions or are scripts ...
28
votes
4answers
2k views

How can weightlessness be simulated on film?

How can the weightlessness of space be realistically simulated on film? Does it require CG or can a convincing simulation be achieved using wire fu and editing? (I'm happy to hear of good examples of ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

Why are 3D films so dark?

Why are 3D films so dark? I watched Brave yesterday and the film was so dark (light wise) in places that it was hard to make out what was happening. Why are 3D films darker than 2D films and does it ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do movies & TV use this police radio clip over and over?

Quick background The sound I am referring to can be heard in this video, in the police radio at 0.26. It sounds like, "one-four-one celibacy". I've noticed this sound for a long time. So, the ...
23
votes
4answers
38k views

Why does the Amazing Spider Man not have the natural power to shoot web?

I have been watching Spider Man movies from the start. The recent movie I watched was The Amazing Spider Man. But the difference I found in this movie and the last one was that, in this movie the ...
22
votes
6answers
5k views

What's the significance of the Disney movie intro ident?

At the start of recent Disney movies, there's a short 30 second animation of a river with an old sailing ship, a bridge with a steam train and then the familiar Disney castle and fireworks. Is ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Do other actors/actresses really spit on each other in movies?

I've been seeing more and more of these scenes lately (though I know they aren't new), as they add shock value to a particular scene/story line. Just curious if it's split-scened or just a part of the ...
18
votes
3answers
32k views

Why wasn't Interstellar shot in 3D?

A large part of story in Interstellar takes place in the space and hence there are many occasions when it feels like "wouldn't it have been better to watch this scene in 3D?". Especially after ...
18
votes
2answers
783 views

Is every appearance of a product in a movie sponsored?

Inevitably products that are on sale pop up all the time like cars, whisky and phones. If the props department happens to use an Audi, Jack Daniels or an iphone, do they get in touch with them and see ...
17
votes
1answer
15k views

Was the ending to “How I Met Your Mother” planned from the start?

In How I Met Your Mother, Ted tells his kids the lengthy story of his life during his twenties and thirties. His "official" intention is to tell them, as per the title, how he met their mother. In ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

What happens if an actor dies or gets injured on set during filming?

Does that scene get edited out before it's released or is the movie scrapped altogether? To confirm, I'm asking about real deaths and injuries on set while the movie is being filmed. This is assuming ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do TV comedy programs have laugh tracks?

In the early days of TV people used to go to theaters and enjoy vaudeville where there was a live audience. TV programs in the early days were mostly recorded in front of a live audience so the ...
15
votes
2answers
373 views

how do they make cats hiss?

I was watching Aliens and noticed that Jones the cat seemed to be genuinely unhappy and hissing during Ripley's dream sequence at Gateway Station. How do animal handlers get cats to hiss?
15
votes
2answers
730 views

Why did the writers choose this development for Moriarty?

Professor Moriarty is generally known as the greatest villain Sherlock Holmes has ever faced. I know that Sherlock was planned to end after the third season, concluding with the death of Sherlock, ...
14
votes
2answers
689 views

What Unit Does the BBC News Countdown Timer Count Down?

BBC News (UK) has a countdown timer in its opener, for example see this video. On the bottom right, there's a countdown timer which counts the time until the news begin. But I find the timer ...
14
votes
2answers
112k views

Do they really have sex in movies?

Many times in movies (especially Hollywood), actors and actresses are shown having intercourse (not talking about pornographic films). Do they really do this? Or fake it? That's really up to the ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Why the discrepancy between the sound levels of dialogue and music in older movies?

I'm new to this community so I apologise if this type of question isn't permitted here. I've been watching a lot of older films lately (older, in this instance reads "circa 80's and 70's" and mainly ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

How do they film money in TV or movie?

Money shown in movies or TV shows before 30-40 years was looked fake. Is there a law that prohibits was showing real money (bills and close ups of coins) in a TV commercial, show or film? How do they ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

How much of Melissa McCarthy's role in “Bridesmaids” was improvised?

In the 2011 film "Bridesmaids," Melissa McCarthy plays Megan, the no-nonsense, carpal tunnel afflicted sister of the groom and one of the titular bridesmaids. All of her character's scenes are ...
14
votes
2answers
463 views

Are fictional trademarks or brand names used in movies and TV legally held?

I saw this article and it got me thinking about fictional brands we see in movies and TV. Are they actually applicable trademarks? Meaning are they registered and legally upheld or could anyone ...
14
votes
2answers
885 views

What happens to actor salaries around seasons 6-7 of a show?

Many successful (broadcast, United States) TV shows last about 5-7 seasons. Somehow I'd gotten this story in my head in which this was a combination of two factors: TV shows become more attractive ...
13
votes
1answer
855 views

What exactly does a director do in an animated feature?

In a normal movie a director would setup shots the way they wanted and direct the actors in such a way that ideally it would clearly have a certain imprint of that directors vision on it. However in ...
12
votes
1answer
15k views

How are the Iron Man suit scenes filmed?

In all three movies, you see Downey Jr (as Tony Stark, and occasionally Cheadle as Rhodes/War Machine) in the namesake suit, either completely covered, or with the head open or having the suit put ...
12
votes
1answer
322 views

Why choose an Aztek?

In Breaking Bad, one of the iconic items is Walt's original car, the Pontiac Aztek. It is featured a lot in the series and can be argued as a slight companion to Walt, accompanying him on his journey ...
12
votes
1answer
7k views

How do they make horses fall down in war movies?

I have seen horses falling down many times in war movies while running. How do they make horses fall down in war movies? Are they highly trained to know fall down at some place or some barriers are ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the difference between “writer” and “screenwriter” professions?

I'd like to know the difference between the "writer" and "screenwriter" professions in the context of movies. Please notice that I'm not English mothertongue and I have little knowledge of ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What technology did each Pixar movie introduce?

I recall reading years ago that each Pixar film included some new technology or capability to their internal rendering software that they they'd developed as part of making that film. Monsters Inc. ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did the ending change in the Fight Club Adaptation?

Recently finishing up the book Fight Club after being a fan of the movie for so long. While the movie retains most of the dialogue and several tones of the book, one giant contrast is now present to ...
12
votes
2answers
409 views

What is the science behind making actors appear different?

Captain America, Lord of The Rings and The Social Network have each used a technique where an actor has either been shrunk down (Captain America & LoTR) or completely replaced by a face (Captain ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

How do they make a huge crowd in a movie?

We usually see a huge crowd in a movie: In scenes in war movies having a huge crowd, where you'll have an army force with costumes In musical shows set in a movie, games like football, cricket, or ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How can a studio make a biographic film like The Social Network?

Do the film makers take permission of all the real people (that were portrayed in the film) before making the film? If not, is it okay / legal for anyone to make such a film - considering that it ...
10
votes
1answer
189 views

Why is it that most movies seem to be created in cooperation with some unknown studio?

I noticed that most movies appear to be created by a cooperation of at least one very well known studio (like Pixar, Paramount, Dreamworks, etc.) on the one hand and a company you've never heard of on ...
9
votes
1answer
771 views

What “colour template” do Harry Potter movies employ?

I don't know if "colour template" is the word for that. What I mean is the colour of the movies, especially Globet of Fire and the ones after it, seemed to be very dark but also with so much depth to ...
9
votes
1answer
877 views

How does Quentin Tarantino write dialog for a language he doesn't speak?

How does Quentin Tarantino or any other screenwriter write dialog for a language he doesn't speak? I have never found any mention of Tarantino being able to speak in any language other than English. ...
9
votes
1answer
475 views

Why are pilot episodes often unaired?

I frequently watch tv series on DVD and very often I see the "Unaired Pilot" episode advertised (most recently Supernatural). I understand these are the test episodes which will be given to the ...
9
votes
2answers
669 views

What are the exact responsibilities of the show runner?

Some of the series I follow intensely have showrunners I know off the top of my head. Doctor Who has Stephen Moffat (who was preceded by RTD). Lost had Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. They are ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Was Bane's dialogue spoken during filming or dubbed in during post?

In the film The Dark Knight Rises, Bane wears a mask that covers the bottom half of his face. This obscures his mouth and jaw such that it's pretty hard to tell when the actor is actually speaking. ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How does an average (non-star) actor's pay work?

An average actor, (according to the SAG?) makes scale. What is scale? Is it hourly pay? paid per picture? Are there any residuals? Benefits? Retirement?
9
votes
1answer
932 views

How was the opening scene with the fly made?

This may sound like a bit of an odd question, but I was wondering how the opening scene in Once Upon A Time in The West was made and more specifically, how they made the fly do what it did. It must ...
9
votes
1answer
232 views

Why are there different audio levels for different languages?

I was watching the Star Trek Into Darkness trailers on Apple's trailer site. I watched the Announcement in english (US) and then the UK and AU versions and I noticed that background audio was at ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it easier to make an older actor look younger than a younger actor older?

Considering how well 42-year old Matt Damon carried off the role of 17-year old Scott Thorson in Behind the Candelabra, I'm curious to know if it is easier, in terms of make-up, to make an older ...
9
votes
1answer
282 views

What are light meters needed for in digital movies?

I know when shooting on film, a light meter is used to determine the amount of exposure time for the film to get the right colours. Wikipedia also mentions they're used to to determine the optimum ...
8
votes
3answers
14k views

Do they really drink or eat when shooting movies?

Many times in movies and TV shows characters are showed as eating or drinking activities (water, beverages, alcohol). If a shoot takes many retakes, then the actors will not want to eat after going ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why don't American television series have different titles for each season?

Take, for example, The Simpsons - the first season of that show is just called The Simpsons, as is the second season and the third season and so on and so forth. The individual seasons don't have ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are there typically no more than 24 episodes in a TV Season?

I noted that there is typically a maximum of 24 episodes per a season in a TV show. What is the reason for that?
8
votes
2answers
4k views

How are dual-role films shot?

How are dual/double role films shot in which the actor is shown on the screen at the same time in the same or different z-index planes and are in a fight scene in which one actor is punching the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the reason for choosing Mary Jane over the Gwen Stacy in the 2002 Spider-Man movie?

As per the original storyline of Spider-Man Gwen Stacy is the first serious love of Peter Parker (Betty Brant is the first relationship of him which never worked). Then why did Marvel/Columbia ...
8
votes
1answer
471 views

How do they film phone conversations?

How is the scene of two people talking on a phone shot in a film or TV series? For instance, if person A has to call person B, the scene can be taken in either of two ways. Ask person A to act ...
8
votes
1answer
157 views

Green Colour of Blood in “Mankatha”

In The South Indian Tamil Movie, 'Mankatha' why is the colour of blood shown to be Green in the main character's imagination? The movie is miles far from anything related to Science Fiction or ...
8
votes
1answer
719 views

Why do panelists on British panel shows have a pen and paper which they seem to use regularly?

I personally find British panel shows to be among the funniest shows you can find on TV. One common occurrence I've noticed is that the panellists are often seen writing scribbling notes while another ...