As a filmmaker, you can’t be expected to anticipate every problem. They’ll crop up during film production due to any number of internal and external forces. Some will be quite minor while others not so much.
But when the success of your project absolutely depends on how well you plan and execute your pre-production strategies, the more of you do the better off you’ll be.
In fact, if you don’t run into anything major, chances are you’ve put your time, energy and resources into the right areas of quality pre-production. So what should you be focusing on at this early (but crucial) stage?
The simplest answer I can give is this: focus on the process as it relates to preparing your team.
Pre-Production for the People
I’ve written a fair bit about how pre-production works for visual assets, but the timeframe can also be used for other things. Ultimately, it’s about streamlining people’s workflow and getting everyone on the same page.
Therefore, consider approaching the process as it relates to:
1. Time Management
Aim to lay out all the elements you’ll need and do this well ahead of your shooting schedule. Plan your shot list, locations, additional personnel, what gear you’ll need, communication channels, etc. And make sure you keep hard copies on hand while filming.
2. Recruiting Talent
Sourcing your ideal actors/actresses through casting calls and then scheduled readings (plus callbacks if required) is a time-intensive endeavour. Prepare scenes ahead of time and stick to a strict audition agenda.
3. Working Relationships
It’s important that the people who are helping you bring your film together — both on and behind the scenes — can work together cohesively. Your primary goal should be to gauge how well you’ll cooperate with each other.
4. Your Film’s Budget
Unless you’ve already secured funding or plan to, you will be restricted by monetary constraints. And this is arguably where pre-production helps the most. Use this time to organise your budget and allocate funds accordingly.
If you can strike a balance when planning for the aforementioned, your project will be on track to come in on time and on budget. This will result in less stress for everyone involved and a much more pleasant and cohesive filming experience.
However, these are just a few of the things you will need to be mindful of and you should not forget about the value certain storytelling assets such as shooting scripts, storyboards, and possibly animatics can bring to the table.
The Value of Visual Assets
One important fact to note is that not everyone on your team will respond the same way to written material. For example, the director may work best from a solid shooting script while the Director of Photography may work better if provided with finalised storyboards.
As it’s generally more difficult for people to come up with multiple interpretations of an image — or series of images — the investment will often outweigh the cost.
Feel free to contact us if you’re in need of any visual assets and are considering outsourcing this part of the pre-production process. We’ll help bring your film and vision to life!