Film making steps and Oscar categories

I decided to watch the Oscars this year and even wanted to make some predictions. I looked over the categories and nominees but soon realized I didn’t even know what some of them meant or who they were. I wanted to know how these Academy Award nominees played a role during the production and when they were needed during the film making process.

I came up with this super simplified flowchart to help myself visualize how a Hollywood movie is made and who does what.


  • Pre-production of a movie
    • A producer is usually involved at every aspect of the film and they usually have expertise in some other field such as directing, screenwriting, or even acting. This is usually the person that gets to hold the best picture oscar before anyone else
    •  The studio, an investor, or a producer buys the rights to the source which could be an idea, book or a story.
    • A screenwriter converts this idea or story into a script also known as an original or adapted screenplay
    • The script is edited and finalized by the same screenwriter or other writers known as script-doctors
    • Director, producer, editor, production designer, art director, costume designer are all hired at some point and meet to make sure they’re on the same page.
    • The script it storyboarded by illustrators and visual artists to help directors, cinematographers visualize the scenes
    • Costume designers create garments and accessories to help tell the story
    • Casting directors audition and/or negotiate with actor’s agent, decide on cast
    • Location scouting, hiring crew, lots of logistics
  • Shooting of a movie
    • Director pretty much oversees every aspect of the film and works with the producer. This the person that takes a storyboard and turns into a series of shots
    • People in production design team create the overall visual feel and aesthetics covering costume, make up, set design
    • Cinematographer oversees everything camera and lights related and helps with artistic decisions
    • Make up artists work hand in hand with costume designers and director and try to make actors and actresses fit their role better
    • Actors and actresses in show their talents here, hoping for a nomination in a leading role or a supporting role
  • Post-production of a movie
    •  Music editor works with a song writer might create the original song, and a composer to create the original score.
    • Sound editors prepare what will go into final mixing. There are dialogue editors and sound effect editors.
    • Sound mixers combine dialogue, sound effects, and music tracks to create the final soundtrack
    • Film editors take director’s vision and tries to make a two hour cohesive movie out of miles of unorganized film while adding in visual effects

Here are the oscar categories covered in this flowchart. I know there are a few more such as best foreign film, or best animated feature film. I did not include those here.

  • Actor in a Leading Role
  • Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Actress in a Leading Role
  • Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Picture
  • Cinematography
  • Costume Design
  • Directing
  • Film Editing
  • Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Music Original Song
  • Music Original Score
  • Production Design
  • Sound Editing
  • Sound Mixing
  • Visual Effects
  • Writing Original Screenplay
  • Writing Adapted Screenplay

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