Film or video making whatever the category, be it music, marketing or movie will simply not be created without the pre-production process.

Pre-production is the planning process that happens before any shooting begins and the schedule for this will include for example, meeting with your client, research, storyboard, location planning – for a small company these will be your basic requirements.

For larger scale productions and feature films, pre-production will likely commence after other criteria have been met including financing, screenplay, casting and major personnel.  Further pre-production will include:- location scouting, prop and wardrobe preparation, special effects, production schedule set construction, script read through and script locking.

So the pre-production process is where most of the work is required . For your client, it is key for them to see where you are in the film/ video making process, managing the budget, validating the storyboard and planning for contingency.

Looking at a process where the filming is to take place in the UK, for example,  in a two centre location, maybe in a major city such as London with a second location in the coast and countryside; this would provide different sets of challenges within the pre-production process such as –  applications for permits requesting permissions to work within these environments and it is likely both will have different codes of practice and commercial filming guidelines.

Lists of film friendly locations and voluntary local agreements to work alongside filming guidelines will be accessible on local authority websites along with lists of key contacts.  Criteria that may need to be considered in this process may be highways, parking, emergency services, road closures and accommodation. The local authority will state when permission is or is not required for filming. For example, a small crew of 5 or less using hand held equipment may not need permission to film depending on the location.

Production personnel are allocated at the pre-production stage and the personnel required for the production of any film or video, especially for bigger film projects will include the appointing of casting directors, director of photography, director of audiography, unit production manager, storyboard artist, sound mixer, boom operators amongst others. It will be necessary to hold a number of pre-production meetings to monitor budget, meet with clients and monitor progress. Contingency planning is a key factor and will cover all potential problems that may affect the production offering a solution for the potential problems. The contingency planning may include something as simple as consideration for equipment failure, costumes not fitting, personnel not being present when required, the effect these issues could have on the production and what the solutions will be. 

Pre-production is the springboard from initial concept creation, idea generation and storyboarding; to securing equipment, navigating the red tape and resulting in amazing projects – bringing stories to life.