Chapter 9Development

The development process comes at the beginning of a project’s life. This is the time when good ideas are identified and then “developed”—that is, written, then rewritten, then re-rewritten, and then re-re-rewritten. During this time, actors and a director hopefully become attached to the project. Ultimately, development ends when either a studio or other financing entity is prepared to produce the project, or says “no” and dumps it.

We’ll discuss studio development and which studio departments play a role in the process, but it’s worth starting at the very beginning, when a filmmaker decides to sit down and write something. Choosing what to write is a critical decision that involves both significant time and opportunity costs, ...

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