Filmmaking Essentials: What is The Film Pre-Production Stage. Secure Financing and Key Crew, Create A Shot List, Expand Your Presentation Treatment, Develop Your Shooting Script, Begin Casting, and Get Card Rates.
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The second stage in the filmmaking process is the pre-production stage. This is when you prepare all of the moving parts to your project. Pre-production should not begin until you have financing secured, as well as the cinematographer, key production crew members and cast are secured.
The first thing to do during the pre-production stage is to break down the script even more. At this stage, you take your initial breakdown of the script and expand upon it. This will help develop storyboards for individual scenes, help provide location information and a prop list, see which cast members need to be scheduled for which scenes, develop a wardrobe and costume list, develop a digital and practical visual effects and make-up list, and any other details that are needed.
Next you create a shot list. A shot list will be an extension of the presentation treatment. It will be a detailed breakdown of each individual shot the director anticipates shooting. This can include camera moves, types of shots, dialogue, technical and special effects notes, and additional notes not seen in the storyboards.
Now comes the production design. This is something that a lot of smaller productions don’t pay enough attention too. Notes from the presentation treatment will be used to develop the theme of the film. Is it a period piece? What are the mood progressions throughout the film? These are questions that need to be answered for every scene and shot of your project. You need to know the kinds of locations each scene will have, including prop lists for each scene.
When considering the look and feel of the film, one should account for how each scene should be lit, the color palette and graininess, as well as any practical and or special effects that may be needed. The wardrobe and costuming of everyone on camera needs to be considered, and how they may change from scene to scene.
And even if a particular location or set piece will in some way become a character of the film itself should be considered as well, much like the RV mobile lab Walter White and Jesse Pinkman use to cook crystal meth in Breaking Bad, the Millennium Falcon flown by Han Solo in multiple Star Wars films, or the eleven Aston Martins used in several James Bond films over the course of fifty years.
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