In this week lab, we went over pre-production and what is required before filming can commence. I learnt a lot as you can see below based on the lecture alone and also addition reading online that aided to my knowledge of production planning.

When it comes producing a digital video, photography, television and film a set of plans is needed in order to avoid any potential mistakes that may occur during production; this is known as pre-production. This step usually comes after development of the film. Development is the first stage in which the ideas for the film is generated or rights to it is made and confirmed and usually the screenplays has been written.

So what is pre-production?  Pre-production refers to the tasks that must be executed before shooting can commence. In summary it is the steps that is necessary in order to prepare a film for production (occurring before production). This includes tasks such as hiring actors, building sets, budgeting, planning, scheduling, renting equipment and so on depending on the type of production.

Benefits of Pre production

There are many benefits to pre-production such benefits includes:

  • Communication- Planning and scheduling a film helps improve communication among your team members. This is due to all members will have the same guideline to follow, therefore they’ll avoid communication breakdown.
  • Cost are kept under control –  A well developed project plan and schedule allows you to manage your production costs more efficiently.
  • Prepared for the unexpected – better prepared in case of an unexpected occurrence that may occur during filming. A thorough plan allows you to a visualise the potential mistakes that may occur during filming. In addition to this it will save time and energy, also your reputation within the film industry which aids professionalism and results higher quality production.
  • Motivation – Having a written plan and a good schedule, allows you continually tick off the items on your plan this aids keeping the motivation going in the team as they will be able to view what is left to accomplish before production can commence. With the accompanying schedule it allows you to monitor the progress whether you’re on-target. This information makes it a more realistic estimate for when roughly production can commence.

So How Does it Work?



When it comes to pre-production planning, there’s no exact way or formula to create an effective shooting schedule. This is because every project has different parameters and consideration therefore it is up to the individual to create a shooting schedule that is the most effective for it use.

What is needed to be considered before schedule

There are many different factors that needs to be considered before production can commence depending on the type of film so common ones are as followed:

  • Script

This is the most important part of the production, and should be the one that should be completed first. This is due to the script allowing the director dissect the entire play aiding to understanding it better, to the stage where they can start to think what kind of footage  and equipment etc is required

  • Location

A location for a play is required in order to determine other factors such as the filming time, type of lighting that is required, the cost in terms relocating the actors etc. Location scouting is used to this. This is a away that allows the director to view the location without having to relocate, as photos can be used for reference etc. A location manger may be required as these are the people that goes out and find the locations that may be appropriate with the written screenplay.

  • Actors

This is self explanatory. Actors are required in a film production whether is humans or animals they are still seen as actors even though one may not necessarily ‘act’. These come about through the process of casting.

  • Equipment

This part of pre-production, lays out all the equipment that is required to capture the production for example Dedo light is required to be used in a dark room in order to create a dark tense scene with the aid of gels. By having this part of the pre-production ensures that the right equipment is available when required, and also provides an over view of when the equipment is rented for (if rented) or the price etc.

  • Storyboard /Artist

A person  that creates the visual images that helps the director/production designer communicate their ideas to the production team. A storyboard provides a visualisation of the entire play, the camera type for the shot and sound within a particular scene. These people help capture and display the film in quick, yet detailed way.

  • Costume Designer

Designing the costume based on the theme of the screenplay and also lighting should be taken into consideration. For example a costume that is required to stand out from the darkness, when there’s minimal light.

  • Casting Director

Finds actors to fill the parts in the script through the process of auditions

  • Financial Department

This is also self explanatory, the funds required to produce the film are financed through here.

  • Catering (required in order to receive maximum performance.)


This should be part of the plan just in case your schedule doesn’t go according to plan, especially if it’s personal! Contingency planning is vital. A plan B ensures that one has a back up. Especially when it comes to design, a plan B is required as certain elements may not work together e.g. two colours or when receiving feedback.


A Gantt Chart an be used to make planning a production easier.

A Gantt chart is a useful way of showing activities (tasks or events) displayed against time. On the left of the chart lists of the task that needs to be completed, and along the top is a suitable time scale. This shows how much time each task has in order for it to be completed. Each activity is represented by a bar; the length and where the bars are positioned reflects the start date, duration and end date of the task. In Addition the view the overall start and end date of the whole project

This allows you to see at a glance:

  • What the various task are
  • The start and end
  • How long each task is scheduled to last for and to inspect if any overlap with other task, and by how much
    Example of a Gantt chart

    Sound Design 

What is it?

Sound design (in terms of pre-production) is a plan that points out where different start will commence  e.g. where dialogue comes into the scene and audio etc. This design lays out the structure of sound. Such design will need to be used in production planning and also in my coursework in order to outline different audio. Having a sound design adds value to production in terms of it speeds production as it can be referred to when editing.

Outside Work

From this, I started to think more into my second assignment in terms of possible locations it could be filmed. As i was visiting a friend in Towcester during the weekend, I thought I could use this to my advantage and go location on hunting outside London. The location was perfect as it’s what I imagined the location in my script to look like. The images below shows the town at night and day.