The Incredible Phenomenon: The Making of Any Movie
How it happens is really incredible
Let's take Slumdog Millionaire, a winner of too many oscars, in my opinion. The amount of time, expense and effort makes nearly every film worthy of an oscar for EFFORT!
Think of the odds against a film from being made, being a success and getting an oscar. The steps for all films begins with a writer. Some person that has no real life pounding away at the computer with what they hope is a great story. The creativity propels them to spend hours, days, weeks, months, maybe years honing in the script of not more than 120 pages max. From the start to end, drafts are done, feedback from groups etc. Once completed, assuming they have an agent, it goes to them, they read it, they hopefully promote it via their own contacts and agents of producers, directors, and stars.
Lots of time passes. Its not like they have nothing else to consider. This is where the first miracle happens. Everything needs to line up for something to happen. If a big name star likes it, they start promoting it via thier agent, looking for the other pieces; if it starts with a producer, the same occurs etc. The thing is that all three have to want to do it, finding the correct ensemble is not easy for many reasons: scheduling, desire, money, personalities. It is no wonder some films take years to make. For instance, the movie "I Am Sam" with Sean Penn and Dakota Fanning, excellent movie in all ways, took over two years to make and reach the screen. At the box office, it did so-so and vanished and despite Penn's best acting ever, received not one award nor mention. Past blockbusters have had their script languishing for five years on a shelf before key persons became interested, Tom Hanks in Philadelpia Story, was one of them.
Then there are movies like Slumdog, made on a shoestring, never expected to get an oscar let alone several of them! The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttonwith Brad Pitt is a way more thought provoking and interesting than Slumdog. It is Pitt's best acting. Yet, over a year in the making, the expense, it did alright but failed at the oscars.
Assuming you have all the elements on board to make the movie, now the financing and what production house(s) come into play. Financing can come from anywhere. All this takes time. Then the location, extras, operating expenses and so on. Many movies are made that never reach the public screen for viewing. Movies are shot and paid for and the studio then shelves it forever or for months or years because of something. Prior to VCR tapes and DVDs, this meant a major loss to a studio. Nowadays, they simply release it on DVD.
A movie can be derailed at anytime for any reason: death of its star, producer-director disputes, financial backing is lost, disputes with actors-directors, mother nature and so on. We have not even talked about editing the so called completed movie, which can take months.
Making a movie, even an indie type, is nothing short of completing a miracle.