Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video What is pre-production?, part of Creating a Short Film: 03 Pre-Production.
- In the last training course in this series, we looked at how to write a screenplay. Once that script is done, it's time to move into pre-production. Pre-production is the phase in filmmaking between the completion of the script, and the shooting of the film. That's what we're gonna look at in this training series. For many filmmakers, such as Alfred Hitchcock, pre-production is considered the most important part of the filmmaking process. Though, I should also point out that many Indie filmmakers would disagree, and prefer to be more loosey goosey and improvisational on set.
Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, you need to have a plan so you know things, like: how much money you need, and the crew members you need, and how long it will take to shoot your film. We can figure out all of that information using the script, which is our blueprint, not just for the story, but also for what resources we need to tell the story. In this series, we're gonna start by looking at the script breakdown process, and what that even means. We'll use the script to help us figure out a shot list, a schedule, and a budget.
We'll look at each of those things, and also some successes and some failures in these areas, that we had on The Assurance. We'll also talk about assembling your team. What crew members do you need? Where can you find them? How much should you pay them? Note that this only refers to people behind the camera. We're saving all of the pre-production info regarding actors, such as casting and rehearsals, for the next training series on acting. Now, we made a fantasy film, so we couldn't just show up at somebody's house and start filming.
We really needed to plan and design this world. As part of this, we'll look at that importance of visual style and cinema, and what a difference that has made in big-budget Hollywood movies. - I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. - And we'll look at how we were inspired to create the colors, art, and set design for The Assurance. We'll look at how we worked with our wardrobe designer to create the costumes for every member of our cast, even the extras! We also had really unique location needs 'cause of the whole fantasy-world thing. We'll talk about the challenges we had finding a location, and we'll look at the locations we didn't choose for our film, and why.
The point of pre-production is to prepare for production, so we'll also look at what you need to be ready for your shoot. - Creature. - And, finally, we'll look at how started post-production while we were still in pre-production. Now, this is jumping the gun a little bit, but we'll see how that really helped us, even during production. Preparing to shoot a film is a huge undertaking, and it's such an important phase of the filmmaking process. So, let's roll up our sleeves and get to work, taking our script to the screen, as we learn about pre-production.
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