Q: You talk about pre-production all the time. What is it and why is it important?

August 29, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Mail Bag

Q: You talk about pre-production all the time.  What is it and why is it important?

Sarah V., Richmond Virginia

Pre-Production is the time before principal photography starts. It is the time when you get to plan and prepare for the chaos of the shoot. It is, arguably, the most important part of the process because if done correctly, you can spot issues with the script, the budget, the shot list, the locations, the equipment, transportation and pretty much everything you will encounter on set. Now, you must know that there will always be unforeseen challenges, but there are a number of “standard” challenges that every film faces. If you do a proper pre-production, those challenges can be dealt with before everyone is sitting on set and time is ticking away. Because, on set is where time is the most expensive. Also, if you are working in the low-budget world you don’t have money to throw at problems.  More likely than not, you will be asking to borrow equipment, locations, furniture, etc. and if you can allow for more planning time to get those things lined up the shoot will go much more smoothly. So, please, I implore you to do as much pre-production as you possibly can on your films without becoming obsessed with pre-production to the point of avoiding the shoot.

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