Start date
The start date of a film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 refers to the first day of principal photography
Principal photography
thumb|300px|Film production on location in [[Newark, New Jersey]].Principal photography is the phase of film production in which the movie is filmed, with actors on set and cameras rolling, as distinct from pre-production and post-production....


A film project which has been green-lit does not typically enter pre-production
Pre-production or In Production is the process of preparing all the elements involved in a film, play, or other performance.- In film :...

 until it has been assigned a start date, and for this reason a film with a start date is generally regarded as more likely to proceed to production than one which has merely been green-lit.

A movie which is granted green-light status but then consistently fails to achieve a start date, perhaps because of conflicting schedules of key cast members, may well find itself in a precarious position. It only takes one financial partner to withdraw their backing for the entire financing structure to fall apart, at which point the project is no longer regarded as green-lit and must go back into development, or quite possibly development hell
Development hell
In the jargon of the media-industry, "development hell" is a period during which a film or other project is trapped in development...


For this reason, a common response to being told a particular project has been green-lit is to ask, "Do they have a start date?"
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