Digital Film Making, Pre-production
The most over looked part of the film making process is post production followed closely by pre-production. We are in all in a hurry to get the lights set up and the cameras rolling. After all digital film making is suppose to be about the film making right? I would fall into the camp hat Hitchcock lived in. He would say that the actual filming of the movie was the boring part. All the work had been done for him in the pre production stage.
The screenplay had been written and rewritten until every little detail right down to the angle of every shot had been included. Then story boards would be done to show how the shots would be done.
Let’s look at what we expect from someone who has done a good job at pre production.
Do you have a quality script?
If you do not then do not think about making a feature length film. Going into full blown production without having the film on the page is a recipe for disaster. Do not do it. Do nothing until you have that script where you want it and ready to shoot.
Next once you have your script you need to go through it and treat it as if it is a blueprint. This blueprint tells you what raw materials that you will need.
It will tell you the locations that you need to secure.
It will tell you the props that you will need.
It will tell you the number of cast members that you will need and how long you will need each of them.
You build your low budget around these details. You can not have any idea the equipment that you will need to make you film. The number of crew members you will need to get the job done with out this information. If the script demands that you need someone who does make up effects, that is more than just a makeup person or the classic everyone does their own makeup thing that happens on many indie productions. You need a stunt coordinator? Will you need to add a stunt person or two. Sure some actors can do their own stunts, but do not count on finding a Jackie Chan.
A break down of your script will tell you how to budget your film. If you can not do this well then you will need to spend the money on someone called a line producer to aid you in this process.
Yes there have been many film makers who have ran off to the wilderness with a camera, some blank tapes, a few actors and a cooler loaded down with beer,pop tarts and cheese crackers and came back a week later with something that is watch able, but more often than not those productions end with half a film shot. The cast and or crew members drift away and or quit during the production and it never gets finished.
Pre production is all about making sure that you vehicle has enough fuel to get you across the finish line. If it takes a year to prep for a two week shoot please take that year. You will never regret it. Being over prepared is always better than showing up unprepared.
Good luck with your film. In the weeks to come we will re-visit pre production and later look at post production needs. Please take a moment to add us to your google plus and to stumble us on stumble upon.
A final note for today, if you need help or advice on how to write your screenplay I have created a great recourse for you. Take a moment to visit my blog by clicking here.