-the process of preparing and planning before actual production begins; specif., the choosing of locations, casting of actors, revision of the script, etc. before the actual shooting of a film.-
In the world of video production, laying out your ideas ahead of time, making sure everything will fit together as perfect as you can, will make the entire production process run that much smoother and faster. It’s a skill and a requirement to make your projects work.
So what goes into pre-production? We start with an Idea. You have to start somewhere right? Start thinking about it from beginning to end. If you know how something is going to start, but not how it will end, you need to do one of two things: Brainstorm or Scrap the idea.
Next, we need a Script. Not all projects have dialogue between characters or a voice over, in which case, a script isn’t really necessary, but a general outline will help a lot. Anything from a simple pen and paper to the basic TextEdit or Notepad to the more professional Final Draft or Celtx (which, is a great free software to use) will work when doing this.
Once you have a Script you love, you can do a Script Breakdown. Breaking down a script is the process of highlighting each significant element needed for production of a scene such as cast, costumes, special effects, cars and stunts onto a breakdown sheet. The purpose is to create a means of communication and documentation between the production team and various departments so that they are informed of what has to be produced and by when. Another reason to break down a script is that you can’t effectively budget a film until you’ve identified your required items.
Then, you can Storyboard. The idea is to provide a visual blueprint for your script. Storyboards don’t have to be detailed or highly artistic. Simple black and white sketched designed to show object placement, shot angles, camera and object movement, perspective and so on is all you really need. However, the more detail you put into your storyboards, the easier the rest of the work will be. Define as many things as you can during this process so you wont be struggling to figure them out later.
Once you have done these Key steps, you can create a Shooting Schedule. Hopefully all of this pre production work that you have done will help keep you and your crew on schedule during production. It’s an easy thing to skip, but it really is the smartest thing you can do for yourself when working on a project.