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Making Movies

Making movies is exorbitantly expensive, just like writing software. Moviemakers have been making films in Hollywood longer than we've been creating software in Silicon Valley, and we can learn something from them. The actual filming of a movie is the really expensive part. All of those cameras, sets, technicians, and actors can cost many thousands of dollars every day. Good moviemakers keep tight controls on this production phase by investing in detailed advance planning. By putting time and money into creating detailed storyboards and shooting schedules, they save orders of magnitude more money and time during filming.

The process of getting a film made can be broken into three major phases: preproduction, production, and postproduction. In the preproduction phase, the producers have the script written and polished, design sets and costumes, hire the cast and crew, and raise funds. During the production phase, the lights glare, the cameras roll, the directors shout orders, and the actors emote. During the postproduction phase, the film is edited, the soundtrack is recorded, and the marketing campaign is assembled. These phases correspond quite closely to the software-construction process.


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