Random questions...

Ok, so I haven't been around in a while, but here I am. Anyway, I have decided that movie making is something I would actually love as a career. (screenwriting, directing, acting, all that good stuff) So, naturally, I want to learn everything I can about it. So here goes.
I've always wondered how they do that thing where they switch from one character's face to the other, depending on who's talking. I've always assumed they shot the scene multiple times and then the editor did his stuff. Am I right, wrong, both?
What exactly is the difference between a producer and an executive producer. As far as I know, producers invest in the movie, paying for props, actors, etc, and executive producers just slap their name on the movie to raise its publicity. Yes, I googled it. That's where I got this general info. from. Can someone explain this to me in a better way?
Who has more "creative control?" The director, or the (executive?) producer(s)?
I know that the director can sit in on all the editing and music, and effects, and such. But do they get "creative control" over all that? I think so, I'm just not sure.
Also, completely unrelated, but I need to know if it's just me...does anyone think that Lil' Wayne looks like a Predator? You know, the dreadlocks, the teeth...I don't mean to insult him (for all I know, he could be really nice, and that's really all that counts) but some of my friends are really into his music, and if I can't find humor in it, I might explode.
But anyway, I appreciate all answers, corrections, etc.
Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    Generally on feature films and dramatic television, they use one camera for the far majority of the scenes. Therefore, they set up the camera angle, light the scene accordingly, and shoot it from that angle. Then they move the camera, adjust the lights for the new angle, and shoot it again, repeating this process for every angle that the director wants. In general, they start with the widest shot, then move progressively in to the close-ups. All these shots are provided to the editor, along with notes regarding which performances the director liked the best, and the editor can then decide how to cut them all together.
    On some television shows, however, mostly comedies with live audience, there are multiple cameras running, so all the angles are shot at the same time.
    In general, an executive producer handles business aspects of the production, while the producers are more involved in the actual creation of the film. There are exceptions to this though, and the roles are not clearly defined. The producers are responsible for the success or failure of the film project as a whole, though once things move on set, the director is generally the one in charge. This is drastically different on television, where the producers really run the show, with various directors coming and going.
    In many cases, the director is also a producer, so its a bit tricky to answer who has more creative control. In general, the director oversees the creative aspects of the film, from art direction through filming and into post production. But, the producer can overrule him if he sees fit. It also depends a lot on the specific director and producer involved, and the studio who is backing the project. As far as other aspects, like diting and music, editors and composers are hired because they can do the job better than the director can, so generally, they handle their own jobs. But, it is the directors job to make sure that the end results they create harmonize with the project as a whole, and support the director's final vision of the project, so he will provide feedback and input to those crew members as they do their job, to make sure it all meshes together when its done.
    To a large extent, the director's job is to find the best people he can to handle each of the numerous jobs that filmmaking requires, then keep them all working together smoothly so each department can do their best work. Then the team can create an end result that is better than any of them could have done on their own.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    edited July 2012
    Ok, so I haven't been around in a while, but here I am. Anyway, I have decided that movie making is something I would actually love as a career. (screenwriting, directing, acting, all that good stuff)
    I think most of us know what filmmaking is. :P Do you actually want to do all of those things?
    Note that being 'a filmmaker' doesn't mean you have to do everything, though it can sometimes mean that when you're starting out or if you're on a super low budget.
    [quote]So, naturally, I want to learn everything I can about it. So here goes.[/quote]
    That's a good start. Learning is good.
    [quote]I've always wondered how they do that thing where they switch from one character's face to the other, depending on who's talking. I've always assumed they shot the scene multiple times and then the editor did his stuff. Am I right, wrong, both?[/quote]
    OK, seems like you have a LOT to learn.
    The absolute key to filmmaking as a storytelling form is the cut. This is when you cut from one shot to another. There are infinite reasons why and when you might cut. During a conversation, cutting back and forth is one good example.
    The technique you use is up to you. Sometimes a conversation will be shot with multiple cameras, getting different angles simultaneously, and sometimes it'll be one shot at a time. It really doesn't matter - do whatever works for the story and actors.
    [quote]What exactly is the difference between a producer and an executive producer. As far as I know, producers invest in the movie, paying for props, actors, etc, and executive producers just slap their name on the movie to raise its publicity. Yes, I googled it. That's where I got this general info. from. Can someone explain this to me in a better way?[/quote]
    A producer makes the project happen, and keeps things running. They don't necessarily invest themselves, but they are likely to seek investment and ensure that the project remains viable from a financial point of view.
    [quote]Who has more "creative control?" The director, or the (executive?) producer(s)? [/quote]
    Depends on the project, and how you look at it. Directors run the day-to-day creation of the film, and some directors have final cut. Often, though, producers will have final cut and final say over the product itself - this is particularly the case in TV.
    [quote]I know that the director can sit in on all the editing and music, and effects, and such. But do they get "creative control" over all that? I think so, I'm just not sure.[/quote]
    Again, depends on the project. Auteurs and blockbuster directors get full control. Working day-job directors who shoot random episodes of TV dramas simply manage the day-to-day production then move on.

    Really, though, given that you didn't know how to cut from one shot to another, I don't think the specifics of directing, producing and exec producing are relevant to you yet. The first thing you need to do is get a camera and editing software and start making stuff.

    Also, if you want people to continue to take you seriously and help you out, you should probably not include random, irrelevant Lil' Wayne comments in your posts. :)
  • MasterWolf
    MasterWolf Posts: 369
    If you can find a copy of The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing def watch that documentary. I got it as a special feature on the 2 disc special edition of Bullit, but i am sure its out there on its own as well. It gives a very in depth history of movie editing. You can learn a lot from it to improve your editing. I'll throw it in from time to time just as a refresher course to help me remember techniques i may forget. Its an excellent beginner resource, I can't recommend it enough.
  • AzulonsAssassin
    AzulonsAssassin Posts: 109 Enthusiast
    edited August 2012
    Thanks all. Yeah. Lil' Wayne comment probably not needed, but it was annoying me. Anyway, thanks again all. Of course, any other bits of info you can give me are much appreciated. Oh, and just to be more specific, i was talking about movies, not t.v. But it was interesting to learn about the differences.