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This is kind of a long answer, but hopefully some of you will find it interesting.
We had the longest time and the biggest budget (about 11 million) on Tremors 1. On Tremors 2 and Tremors 3, we’ve had much lower budgets and much less time, but we’ve also had the ability to do computer graphics which didn’t even exist when we did T-1! (Big expensive movies of course take much longer to make than ours do).
There are four main phases to making a movie:
First we have to write the script. It takes about three or four months to get it right. We always do many drafts, re-writing the script at least six or seven times, trying out different scenes, ideas, lines of dialogue, etc.
Next comes what’s called PRE-PRODUCTION – around three to five months. Pre-production is all the work we do to plan the actual filming of the movie. In pre-production we work with a growing staff of people designing costumes, designing and building monsters, designing and building sets, finding and buying props, cars and all the other things we’ll need. We cast the actors and hire the crew.
Next comes PRODUCTION, when the cameras start rolling. It’s the most expensive part of the process, because we have around a hundred people working 12 hour days. On Tremors 1 we shot for about 50 days. On Tremors 2 we had to shoot the same amount of action in only 28 days! On Tremors 3 we had only 24 days! We had to do it in less time to save money. It was hard, but we got it done.
Finally comes POST-PRODUCTION. On Tremors 3 we have about three and a half months. The director and film editor take all the film we shot and edit it together, picking the best takes of the action, trying different ways of cutting shots together. Then all the sounds effects are created. The music is written and recorded. Finally all the sounds and music are mixed together into one sound track and we’re ready to make prints videos, or DVD.
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