Learn how to prepare to make a short film with these pre-production tips. Find out how to prep your shot list, create a shooting schedule and budget, scout locations, and get props and costumes ready for action.
- [Voiceover] Hey folks, this is Chad Perkins, a filmmaker from Seattle. This training series is part of a collection of courses to teach you how to make a short film, start to finish. As part of this training, I made a short fantasy film called The Assurance, and documented the entire process, from writing and pre-production, to working on set, through post-production, to a screening in an independent movie theater in Seattle. In this training, you'll get to see how we budgeted, auditioned actors, set up lights and cameras, wrote and recorded the orchestral score, how we did all of our visual effects, everything.
You know, filmmaking is really about problem-solving, so we'll show you the first drafts and rough cuts, the challenges we had, the mistakes we made, so that you can avoid those pitfalls on your projects. This training consists of 13 separate training courses. Each course focuses on a component of filmmaking and will be released in the general order of the filmmaking workflow. The first course is on producing. How do you get a project off the ground and shepherd it to completion? The second course is on writing. We'll get an understanding of how to tell a story, examining some of the best Hollywood films, as well as how we created the world The Assurance.
Course number three is about pre-production, getting the script ready to film. We'll look at the meetings I had with our crew about the schedule, budget, designing the wardrobe from scratch, developing concept art, and more. The fourth course is on acting. We'll look at what acting is really about and we'll show you our auditions and rehearsals and why we made the choices we did. The fifth course is about directing, where we'll look at controlling the tone, running the set, and the many decisions that directors have to make. Course number six is all about working on set. What's that workflow like? What do all these people do? We'll look at all of that, as well as a tutorial from my wife, Heather, about how she created the special effects makeup for our film.
The seventh course is about cinematography. How can you use your camera and lighting to tell your story in the best way? Course number eight is about editing and we'll see how we were able to reedit our initial story to tell a completely different and much better one. In course nine, we'll start to look at visual effects, creating environments, adding elements to shots, and removing objects from shots. Course 10 is all about the stuff you think of when you think of visual effects: magic, particles, explosions, you know, all that pretty stuff. These are all things that you could do at home for little to no money.
Course 11 is about color. This was a huge part of The Assurance and is an often underused tool to transform bland footage or even poorly-shot footage into something gorgeous. Course 12 is all about audio. We'll look at recording audio on set, composing the score, and recording it, sound design, and mixing it all together. Finally, we'll wrap things up in course 13 by talking about how to market and distribute your film, including how to make marketing materials like logos and trailers, and how to get your film seen by an audience.
I think it's a one of a kind experience to not just learn about how to make films, but to see what it's actually like to solve problems and struggle and fail and compromise during that process. - Cut. - Now this has been years in the making, so thank you so much for watching this. Enjoy the training. - That's a wrap. (crowd cheers)
Learn how to prepare the assets, such as shooting scripts, storyboards, and shot lists. Discover how to schedule and budget a shoot, and keep costs down while leaving room for the creative decisions that need to be made along the way. Find out how to hire a crew, scout and secure locations for each scene, and prepare props, sets, and wardrobe for actors. Learn what you need to do to keep your people safe, and the things you can prepare ahead of time to make sure production and post-production run smoothly.
There are more filmmaking tips to be had! Make sure to watch the first installment to learn about the background of the project and to get an overview of the role of the producer. Look for the follow-up episodes to learn more about writing, directing, working with actors, editing and visual effects, and everything else that goes into filmmaking.
- Turning the script into a shooting script
- Working with script breakdown software such as Adobe Story
- Creating storyboards and a shot list
- Scheduling the shoot
- Budgeting the shoot and post-production
- Hiring a crew
- Preparing sets and costumes
- Scouting locations
- Creating props
- Preparing assets for post-production