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Pre-Production

There’s a reason it’s called Pre-Production and not down time between Development and Production. On the producing side, this is when the budget, schedule and physical elements come into place. For the artists, decisions about the visual style or how actors interpret the characters generate an overall creative vision, i.e. that thing which makes the project meaningful to everyone involved.



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Some people like to say the pre in pre-production stands for “preparation.” Okay, no one actually says that, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Pre-production is the time to plan ahead and get organized. While this may not be as fun as developing a story or filming on set, think of the work as fine-tuning your creative vision towards making it a reality. After all, if you were happy to have your story stay on the page, you would have written a book.

TOPICS COVERED IN PLANNING:

  • ADMIN | Script Breakdown, Pre-Production Schedule, Production Schedule, Paperwork
  • CASTING | Where To Find Actors, Negotiating with Agents & Managers, Preparing To Audition Actors, The Audition
  • CREWING | Considering Cost, Considering Skill, Starting Post-Supervisors and the Editor
  • LOCATIONS | Tidy Up Your Sluglines, Scouting, Permits and Other Budgetary Considerations
  • THE LOOK | Budgetary Considerations for Camera and Lens Choices, Budget Considerations for Production Design/WD/HMU
  • ASSISTANT DIRECTORSafety
  • REHEARSALS | Scheduling Rehearsals, Set Walk-Throughs

Even when you’re pulling 18-hour days on set, there’s not a whole lot of time during production. Those debates (or shouting matches) about the artistic merits of a certain camera angle or the emotional impact of a line reading need to be settled by the time you arrive on set. Pre-Production is the time to figure out your creative vision for the project, from the overall look and style to more minute details like prop placement. It might not fit your romantic notion of walking around with headphones and yelling “action” for a take, but most of the important creative decisions should happen before all of that. Because failing to prepare during Pre-Production means preparing to fail in production.

TOPICS COVERED IN VISION:

Pre-Production is the one stage of the process where money doesn’t really matter. Psych! It’s still really important, only now it comes with even more paperwork and headaches.

TOPICS COVERED IN BIZ:

  • FINANCING | Do You Have the Money?, Accounting, Bridge Loans
  • LEGAL | Production Legal, Clearances, Bonds, Animals / Kids
  • MARKETING | Product Placement, Get Your Social Media Right…Right Now

The crew you’ve been assembling to help with your dream is about to get bigger. After all, Pre-Production means you’re really close to actually filming something! Or, if you can’t afford to bring anyone else on board, your existing team will have a whole lot more to do when the project begins Pre-Production.

TOPICS COVERED IN TEAM:

Resources

Book

Film + Video Budgets 5th Edition

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Book

Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic-Free Guide

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Article

Learn the Art of Pre-Production (And Why It Matters)

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webpage

Videomaker: Pre-Production

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20 Pre-Production Steps to Successful Video Content

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YouTube Creator Academy: Pre-Production

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