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

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5
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0answers
351 views

How close is Masters of Sex to the actual events?

Masters of Sex tells the Story of the research team consisting of William Masters and Virginia Johnson researching sexuality in the 1950s. The persons really existed as well as their study, so I ...
10
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1answer
4k 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?
17
votes
2answers
587 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?
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
191 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

How much time did the technical part (motion capture) of the film Avatar consume?

I heard it took 11 years for the technical development for Avatar. Is this true, or is the story development included in this calculation. Can anybody confirm how long it took for the motion capture ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

What do sitcom car rigs look like without effects?

Typically seen in shows with a live audience, there's a very noticeable type of shot where the characters are in a car with what's presumably a blue screen background, the car is obviously stationary ...
8
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
146 views

What is the difference between a grip and a key grip?

Could you define what a grip does in the production of a movie, and then what makes the key grip, key? When looking at the crew list of "Big Trouble in Little China" I noted it also shows, in ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Are actors all starving?

What do I mean by this question? Well, when watching making of videos, or even when a show like CSI, or Law and Order might have a movie production in an episode's plot, quite often they will show the ...
1
vote
2answers
198 views

What is this technique of playing music instrument called?

In August Rush, Evan/August plays the musical instrument very differently, using his full hand rather than his fingers. What is this technique of playing music instrument called? Is it just made for ...
6
votes
1answer
646 views

Why does America's Got Talent have so many executive producers?

I was watching America's Got Talent last night, and during the opening credits was struck by the number of executive producers listed. It seems to grow longer each year. They are (from the official ...
1
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2answers
79 views

Is there a name for the inter-mercials specific to TV networks

I'm not sure what you could call it. Nearly every channel has promotional adverts, to let you know who provides what you're watching. That's not quite what I'm thinking of. The best example I ever ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
12k views

How do they shoot Dual-Roles where camera is moving or both characters interact?

I was wondering how they shoot dual-roles in movies and after searching found an answer; I knew some of this before, but I have seen movies where: The Camera is moving. The actor is shaking hands ...
25
votes
2answers
50k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

Why don't production houses offer corrigendum?

Whenever there is an error, factual or typo or otherwise, we see newspapers / books / magazines posting a corrigendum for their readers. My question is why don't production houses / directors etc do ...
19
votes
1answer
16k 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
439 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
1answer
220 views

Do Marvel Studios share the same Mode of Production as Marvel Comics?

I know Marvel Comics have a fairly notorious process of development, with Bullpen Bulletins outlining the methodology of the brain trust over the years. It seems little has been published/revealed ...
8
votes
2answers
917 views

Why are there so many different writers to TV series?

Whenever I search for episodes of various TV series, I am wondering why there are different writers and/or directors. See the list of Almost Human Episodes for an example. It doesn't make sense to me ...
4
votes
2answers
480 views

Why use commentator in TV broadcasts of sports?

Obviously a radio broadcast of a sporting event requires an commentator or two to tell the listening audience what is going on. But why do TV broadcasts of sports almost always use commentators? What ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

What is the difference between USD 38M and USD 120M CGI?

Watching Vin Diesel's Riddick (2013) was a jarring experience in many ways not least because of the quality of the CGI used. It could be best described as having a mid-2000s videogame-y feel to it. ...
3
votes
1answer
777 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?
10
votes
2answers
6k 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
1answer
972 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Why are some movies still shot in black and white or sepia?

Why are some films still shot in black and white or sepia? I can understand if it's perhaps a "period piece" like The Artist or The Good German, or if, like in Sin City, it's done to perhaps stay true ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
832 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 ...
21
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
107 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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. ...
1
vote
3answers
252 views

A TV series which was totally written before filming began

I need to settle an argument! I want to know if there is a TV series which 1) was completely written before filming started, and 2) was "short" - 1-2 seasons or something. Note that I am interested ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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.
9
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
778 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
256 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?
1
vote
1answer
197 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
5k 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?
4
votes
2answers
269 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
451 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
453 views

Production company(s?) for “Face Off” and “Ink Masters”

I've been watching SyFy's series "Face Off" (IMDB) since its first season debut. Recently, I watched an episode of SpikeTV's "Ink Master." I'm not typically a huge fan of 'reality' TV so I was ...