Movie-Making Starts Long before the Cameras Roll

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 2, 1997 | Go to article overview

Movie-Making Starts Long before the Cameras Roll


Byline: J. Hope Babowice

You wanted to know

Amanda Baittie, 5, of Vernon Hills wanted to know:

How do you make movies?

If you have a question you'd like Kids Ink to answer, write Kids Ink, c/o the Daily Herald, 274 Hawthorn Commons Lane, Vernon Hills, IL 60061. Along with your question, please include your name, age, phone number, hometown, grade and school.

For further reading

For more information about movies, Vernon Area Library in Lincolnshire suggests:

- "Bigfoot Makes a Movie" by Joan Lowery Nixon

- "Lights, Action, Land Ho" by Judy Delton

- "Look Alive: Behind the Scenes of An Animated Film" by Elaine Scott

- "Animated Films" by Rhonda Nottridge

- "Lights! Camera! Action! How a Movie is Made" by Gail Gibbons

"Action" may not be the best word to describe the process of making movies.

Ron Ver Kuilen of the Illinois Film Office, said most of the work involved in making a movie happens before the cameras are even turned on. "How do you make movies?" is the question asked by Amanda Baittie, 5, a kindergartner at Hawthorn School in Vernon Hills.

First, you start with an idea. It might be an original idea, or come from a book or a play, or even be a re-make of an old movie. The screenwriter writes the movie story, which is called a treatment. Each year, the Illinois Film Office holds a contest for local screenwriters. The top three entries are sent to Hollywood to be reviewed by movie producers and have a chance at becoming a picture at your local theater someday.

Who is the producer? Someone who agrees to find the money to fund the making of the movie. Money could come from a movie studio or from a group of people who wish to place their personal investments into financing the movie. The funds pay for everything from the screenwriter's fee to the movie stars' salaries to the food they eat on the set while shooting the movie. Often times, millions of dollars are needed to pay all the costs associated with getting the picture made and marketing it.

After the financing is secured, the director, the person who decides how the story will come to life on the screen, studies the script. …

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