Live action films aim to capture the actions of people or animals. If you’ve got an idea for a live action production, you will need many elements to come together and form an excellent film. You’ll need a large team of experts and helpers who will each do their part. Here are some of the most important members of your action film team:
A Doctor on Call
A live action production can lead to live injuries, so being able to reach an available doctor can save considerable time. During these active films, it’s common for the stunts planned for the movie to cause an injury. Instead of going to a clinic or hospital, an actor could be examined on the set. In addition to examining performers after a stunt, the on-call doctor can watch the ongoing action to follow up on the progress of the actor they examined.
If a film is made on location, it may be necessary for special arrangements to be overseen by a doctor for the location’s conditions to be healthy. For example, doctors might monitor the condition of actors in underwater scenes or for movies made at unusual heights. Laryngitis can be especially problematic for performers in a musical production. Doctors on the set would provide remedies for these performers.
One of the most common uses of on-call doctors in a filmmaking team is related to pain management. Because of pain, clients who fall or are injured may find it challenging to perform their roles. Pain can also be a chronic problem after an injury. Providing appropriate prescriptions for pain medication would be easier with an on-call doctor.
An Excellent Cinematographer
A cinematographer is responsible for determining the overall aesthetic of the film. While the camera crew is responsible for holding and aiming the cameras, the cinematographer is the one who decides how to bring the director’s vision to life. Almost any physical location can be transformed into different themes through changes in lights, camera filters, or stop-action filming.
Different camera lenses can be used, and filming techniques can further change the way the same location appears. In a live action production, the scenes may occur so quickly that the camera crew can’t stop to bring about the desired theme. Once the shooting is done for each scene, the cinematographer will review each still and each film sequence. They will decide which to include and which will be discarded.
A cinematographer must mix their technical skills with artistry. Editing skills are necessary, as cinematographers must blend sound into the finished visual images they’ve captured. Communication with the other team members is also crucial because if everyone understands your cinematographer’s vision, they will more likely be able to produce it. Any experience you gain during each project can be converted into a learning opportunity for future projects.
A Skilled Attorney
Although most people at a live action production typically concentrate on their creative process, making films is a business venture. Therefore, many issues could develop, requiring a lawyer – who is typically called the production consul. During the development phase of production, the priority of the production consul is to ensure the film’s producer has rights to the script and to its title. This often involves forming a production company (typically an LLC) to safeguard the rights to the title.
During the pre-production phase, each cast and crew member needs a contract, and the arrangement for the film’s location will need legal permissions and protection. As the film progresses, legal issues that could require the attorneys’ intervention may arise. A new song may be added in the middle of production that needs licensing. A performer may quit, and the lawyer may need to enforce – or renegotiate – their contract.
After the film production has ‘wrapped,’ issues can arise with the film’s distribution or sale. The legal issues may continue long after the movie is released. New producers may need to understand the market value of actors and specialized crew members, but a production consul will likely understand it.
A Special Effects Master
Most movies made today have some element of special effects. A live-action production is especially likely to use special effects to enhance the film’s action. In science-fiction cinema, special effects would be needed for makeup, animatronic monsters, aliens, or unique ways to destroy the scenery. For these types of movies, your team needs someone to head the special effects features of your film.
Special effects artists could play many roles in an action film. Many action movies include films where people are wounded, so special effects makeup is needed. In a superhero movie, these workers may be asked to create a costume or to produce simulated destruction of the villains. In science fiction movies, they could be asked to create a set that simulates life on a planet or to design CGI aliens.
Some movies present a unique concept or point of view. For example, a movie set entirely with the human body would require the creation of simulated organs and fluids. The movie might feature a story about the development of bones. This would include designing realistic bone cells, bone fibers, marrow, and the outer structure of bones.
Plenty of Storage Space
When the cast and crew of a live-action production come to a location, they will bring quite a bit of equipment. Your company could have a single location for all its equipment, accessible to anyone in your company with a key. You may bring props for future scenes, makeup supplies, costumes, first aid kits, or special furniture. When your production team finds the right location for your film, they should also look for nearby storage solutions.
Another type of storage needed will be the storage of film footage. From the moment the director begins to shoot the first scene of your film, the cameras will begin shooting the film. You’ll need a place to store your movie throughout the filming process and before the film’s release. Another reason to secure the film until it’s released is to prevent internet leaks about its plot and ending.
When leaks about a film are made before its release, they can significantly decrease the film’s revenue. Fans who feel they already know the best secrets of your film might feel they are willing to wait until it’s released on a screening site. Some film companies will minimize the amount of physical storage needed by encrypting the hard drives of computers storing edited films. An alternative storage solution could be using a secure portal – only accessible to chosen team members.
Transportation of your cast, crew, and equipment will require reliable vehicles. Whether your team already owns cars to be used by your team or whether you rent a fleet of vehicles, you’ll need to keep those vehicles in good repair. One solution used by some production crews is a charter bus. According to LA Charter Bus, the average charter bus can seat up to 56 passengers – which could make transportation easier for you.
You’ll also need transport vehicles for your cameras and equipment for a live-action production. This may involve trucks or vans – depending on the size of your project. If you own the vehicles you use, having them checked before leaving for a trip is a good idea. When you’re headed to a film location, the last thing you’ll want is to be forced to stop for a tire change or a transmission repair.
An Experienced Animal Handler
When your movie has animals, you must add an experienced animal handler to your team. In addition to ensuring they are fed and safely housed, the animals must be kept from harm. The animals in your film may be acting in ways that are typical for them or be asked to perform stunts. Some animals are trained for unusual stunts and work in animal talent agencies.
Even when animal handlers work with trained animals, they can sometimes be unpredictable performers. An animal can’t be reasoned with or threatened with being fired. This is why it’s essential to work with an experienced animal handler. These professionals will have learned the best methods to persuade animals to perform the actions they need to do.
In a live action production, horses are among the most common types of animals used. Horses can often be found in war, Western, nature, or romance movies. If horses are used, the animal handler would be responsible for obtaining enough food and water for the horses. They’ll also need to find a safe shelter for the horses with enough comfortable bedding for horse stalls.
Today’s movie sets use technology not invented until a few decades ago. New ways of filming and staging have also been introduced into moviemaking. Camera and lighting crews can get fresh perspectives when filming from a taller height. To do so, many film crews find it helpful to use construction scaffolding.
These supportive structures can be easily made. They also allow crew members to travel quickly and safely to higher perches and bring needed equipment. In a live action production, scaffolding will get an excellent vantage point for filming the movie. Another use for scaffolding is quickly making a street full of ‘buildings’ that can become realistic sets. This technology can also simulate mountains, caves, and distant cityscapes.
Scaffolding is also used as a platform for stunts. Because of safety standards used by Equity performers, scaffolding could ensure that stunt safety requirements are observed. The landing surface can be padded adequately – yet look like a natural valley due to scaffolding disguised by scenery.
Access to Interesting Locations
Although sets can be constructed or fashioned with scaffolding, you may want to travel to a specific location. If you can afford to transport everyone to the location area, and that location is intrinsic to the story you’re filming, a location shoot may be worth it. Your production team must secure the proper permits to film in a specific area. You only need their written permission to film on someone’s private property.
Some commonly used locations will have printed instructions available to anyone interested in getting a permit. If the location is owned by a town or government agency, you’ll need to go to the main offices of that location to get the license you need. The producer – or someone on their staff will be responsible for obtaining the permits required before filming in that location. If your team’s rights to filming are questioned, your production team should be ready to show their permit.
Many types of locations could be used in a live action production. Some locations will require particular protocols because of the character of the place. For example, if you’re filming in a graveyard, there may be special procedures that must be followed when filming gravestones. For instance, according to Photo Focus, you may be asked to blur the names on the graves or not to film any graves less than 100 years old.
Filming a movie must be considered a business venture involving a considerable investment. Because of this and the property and people involved, a movie-making company will be required to obtain insurance. At the minimum level, your team will need to have liability insurance.
Liability insurance will protect your company in the event of damage to people, animals, and property that your movie could impact. Contrary to popular belief, liability insurance doesn’t cover the actors or property used in your film. You’ll need workers’ compensation insurance for the people in your movie. Covering the vehicles used in the film with commercial auto insurance is essential.
Other considerations exist when planning which insurance to buy for a live action production. If there is any chance of fire on the set, getting insurance covering any fire damage is crucial. The production team is responsible for obtaining the correct insurance policies. If there are any questions, the lawyer you’re working with should be able to find the correct answer.
Every member of your movie production team will be essential to making your movie dreams come true. Each of the above elements will be a crucial element in the result. Although making a live action production will be lots of work, the end product will make you proud.