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

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4
votes
2answers
804 views

How is the dialogue for wide shots recorded?

In scenes where the boom mic would have to be placed much too far from the actor in order to film the scene, how is the dialogue recorded? Is there some hidden microphone on the actor's clothing or ...
14
votes
2answers
667 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
775 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. ...
28
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What was Europa Report's budget?

Most reviews of Europa Report state that it was made on a low budget. But what was its budget exactly? Neither IMDb nor Wikipedia carry this information.
1
vote
1answer
151 views

What is the mirror half-moon object used in production?

I was watching Pacific Rim Special Features disc last night. In one brief production scene, I saw a half moon shaped object which was chrome or mirror like. In another movie special features, I saw ...
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
423 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
367 views

How do TV shows with live audience manage special effect scenes?

Many sitcoms are recorded in front of a live audience who provide the laughter track. Now this is simple enough in most scenes. But some scenes require added special effects. For example the dinner ...
6
votes
1answer
182 views

Do boom mics only capture dialogue?

Are boom microphones designed to only capture dialogue? If not, is all extraneous noise filtered out during post-production? How is this done? How was this done before computers?
3
votes
1answer
583 views

How much of a film's sound effects do foley artists typically work on?

How much of a movie's sound effects is a foley artist responsible for? Are all non-dialogue sounds rendered by them? How is this decided?
9
votes
2answers
612 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

How to find who is the showrunner?

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. But I only ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

Logo on screen during rain delay of baseball [closed]

Why does the team logo come on the screen during a rain delay? I figure it is to let the network affiliate stations know, without making a verbal comment, that they can switch their broadcast over to ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
829 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Production logistics for recycling on Mythbusters

The cast and crew of Mythbusters make an amazing number of gadgets, test platforms, small scale buildings, etc. for each and every episode. They take great pride in destroying their creations ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

May the lead role actors be used to fill spaces if needed?

Several scenes in a movie require a lot of people to appear on-screen. For example a scene of a party where it needs a lot of people to appear together. I heard crews of the production unit and even ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How did they shoot the animal scenes in Life of Pi?

Is the tiger, hyena, zebra etc animated? They look quite real. Are they trained animals?
2
votes
0answers
128 views

What was the first animal in television commercial? [closed]

What commercial was first aired showing the use of animals? What was this animal and when was the commercial aired?
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Why did Werner Herzog play Zec?

While watching Jack Reacher I realized that Werner Herzog was playing the role of Zec. But why would such a famous arthouse director (whom I remember of not being particularly fond of classic ...
4
votes
2answers
218 views

What comes first, the music or the take?

Good music in a movie is not only good music but also music that is in sync with what happens on the screen. I can imagine it's not a trivial job to achieve this. So it made me wonder what generally ...
7
votes
1answer
192 views

What are the 'quadrants' in TV testing?

When talking of the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee said: “We don’t normally talk about testing, but [Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.] tested so well in ...
4
votes
2answers
409 views

Why was “The Social Network” made so quickly after Facebook took off?

The movie was released in 2010 and had to have started being planned for at least 1-2 years before that. It seems this was incredibly fast after Facebook was released to the whole world and took off. ...
12
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
849 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Was the episode “The Co-Pilot” in Season 2 supposed to be the pilot?

In "The Shield" there is an episode in Season 2 that does not fit into the timeline of the other episodes: Episode 2x09 "The Co-Pilot". It plays during the time of the opening of the Barn, so even ...
6
votes
1answer
558 views

How much would a third season of SGU cost to produce?

I'm entertaining a dream in which I win €140,000,000 in the EuroMillions draw and use it to fund the return of unfairly-cancelled shows. Using any available figures, how much would a third season of ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

What is the point of making some dialogues inaudible and not showing some language translations?

Today I was watching Sherlock Holmes and The Game of Shadows. In that movie, several foreign languages like German, French etc. were used. The film itself had no translation in English despite some ...
4
votes
3answers
388 views

Why are certain scripts produced as animated features instead of live-action?

If Tangled (2010) used live-action, what would have been the problem? Would the effect be different if Tangled was acted by real actors/actresses? How do film-makers decide which story will be ...
4
votes
3answers
532 views

Is the story of the movie purely based on that of the video game?

I heard that Prince of Persia: The sands of time movie was based on the Prince of Persia: The sands of time video game. However in the wiki article it is said: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How do they mix real characters with animated characters?

Some animated movies shows real characters( men / women) in them like movie Avatar. How do they mix real characters with animated characters? Is this cost more than purely animated movie? How is the ...
8
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
102k 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
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How are stunts where vehicles are seriously damaged (such as explosions or crashes) filmed?

In many movies vehicles are apparently seriously damaged. How are these stunts filmed? Are these made animated? Does it costs more to shoot these types of shots? Do these shots have retakes? Examples ...
22
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
706 views

What happened to the production between seasons 5 and 6 of the 2003 TMNT series?

The sixth season of the 2003 TMNT cartoon marked a distinct change from the earlier series; a lighter tone, aimed at a lower aged audience (over use of catch phrases, stating the obvious etc), and ...
2
votes
2answers
880 views

What is the green background? (“green screen”)

What do you call the green backgrounds which are used to create CGI backgrounds, weather reports etc. Why is green color always used?
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?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Disclaimer of a movie: Can it really save the producers?

It is usual in films to use Disclaimer in it to reduce the possibility of legal action for libel from any person who believes that he or she has been libeled via their portrayal in the work (whether ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a symbolic reason for the rotating lab assistants on Bones, or was it a production decision?

After the main lab assistant, Zack Addy, was found to be in cahoots with an evil character a few seasons ago, the role of the lab assistant on Bones has been played by a rotating set of actors and ...
23
votes
4answers
36k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
279 views

What was the first film or television show that used computer generated credits?

I imagine, but do not know for sure, that in the early days of film and television, credits were filmed on a second reel and added to the production after the fact. Historically, what was the first ...