The main part of the production phase is called principal photography – which is the moment when camera rolls to record the actors and make the movie. The purpose of pre-production – all the procedure applied and decisions made during this phase – is to make everything during principal photography go as smooth as possible.
Principal photography is the most expensive part on a film production. Major Hollywood producers are paying $1500 a minute. This amount accounts chiefly for cast’s and crew’s salary. Student filmmakers may be shooting at the vicinity of $100 a day, used mainly for food. Ergo principal photography in any film must be fast and efficient. Achieving such a feat is an art in itself. The director and his crew must come together as a well-oiled machine.
Notoriously, what most stalls principal photography is lighting and camerawork. The inexperienced filmmaker may find this assertion ludicrous, but professionals know better. This is especially true for student filmmakers, the reason being twofold. First, students can’t afford all the nice toys as found in the studios, thus they face worst challenges. Secondly, studio movies have so much money that the consensus amongst producers is to “fix in post.” Cinematography at that high-end has become sloppy.