Pre-production is the planning and development stage of filmmaking and one of the most time consuming and important. It includes coming up with or adapting an initial concept, writing a script or scene breakdown, creating storyboards and even advance budgeting. It is a vital stage of any production process and one not to be ignored, after all, a simple weakness in any kind of foundation can lead to a collapse at a later stage. To help filmmakers with these tasks, AI has also started to find its place, helping creatives to generate ideas, writing scripts, offer concept art and even collaborate on a project.
This blog post will explore pre-production in detail, focusing primarily on corporate and drama films and highlighting how a well planned pre-production regime can really help in those difficult final stages.
Concept development is the process of brainstorming an idea for your film. It involves identifying the central theme, tone, and artistic style of the film, as well as the target audience and overall purpose of the film.
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a great way to generate ideas for your film. You can brainstorm with friends, family, or other filmmakers. You could even watch the news or the television to find that moment of magic.
- Research: Researching other films in the same genre can help you to identify what makes your film unique. Researching facts and finding accurate information is also critical.
- Audience analysis: Understanding your target audience will help you to create a film that they will enjoy.
- Be creative: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. The best concepts are often the ones that are unexpected and original.
- Be specific: The more specific and detailed you are about your concept, the easier it will be to develop into a film.
- Be flexible: Your concept may change as you develop your film. Be open to new ideas and be willing to make changes, even if they are difficult ones.
Concept development is an important part of the filmmaking process. By taking the time to develop and fully understand a strong idea, you will find it much easier to create a successful film
The script is the blueprint for your film and contains the dialogue, action, and setting. The script should be well-written and engaging, drawing the reader in quickly and having a message to say. It should also be clear and easy to follow.
When writing a script, consider the following:
- Tone and style – Corporate films typically have a more professional tone, with a focus on delivering a clear message or promoting a product or service. Drama films, on the other hand have a more emotional and suspenseful tone, with a focus on creating a captivating story and developing characters.
- Characters – Your characters are the heart of your story, so it’s important to make them believable and relatable to your audience. They don’t always have to be a true reflection of people, but how they act and what they do has to have some sense of logic.
- Dialogue – Your dialogue should be clear and concise, and it should move the story forward. Always check grammar and spelling and ensure characters talk in a way that is true to who they are and where they are from
- Plot – Your plot should be engaging and it should keep the audience guessing. There needs to be progression and a clear change for better or worse in your main characters, especially the protagonist.
- The structure. Your script should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Often referred to as the three acts.
There are several software programs available that can help you with the scriptwriting process:
- Final Draft
- Google Docs
These programs offer tools and templates to help you format your script in the industry accepted standard, as well as collaboration features that allow you to share and review your script with others.
Storyboarding is the process of creating a visual representation of your script. It involves drawing illustrations that represent each scene in your film, with annotations that describe the action, dialogue, and camera movements. Storyboarding helps you to visualise your film and to identify any potential problems within the script. It also allows you to experiment with different camera angles and shot compositions and brings the production team and their artistic and visual minds into the process. It gives you an opportunity to really visualise your script and consider colours and pacing.
There are several storyboarding software programs available, including:
- Adobe Story
These programs offer templates and tools to help you create your storyboard.
Storyboarding has many benefits, including:
- Visualising your film.
- Identifying potential problems with the script.
- Allows you to experiment with different camera angles and shot compositions.
- Saves you time and money in the long run.
If you are serious about filmmaking, then storyboarding is a valuable tool that you should use.
AI in Pre-Production
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the film industry. One of the most exciting areas of development is the use of AI to assist in pre-production. AI can be used to help filmmakers with everything from developing ideas to writing scripts and sketching storyboards and really helps save important time.
AI Idea Generation
AI can be used to generate new ideas for films. This can be helpful for filmmakers who are struggling to come up with a new concept.
AI can be used to help filmmakers write scripts. This can be helpful for filmmakers who are not confident in their writing skills.
AI can be used to create storyboards for films. This can save filmmakers a lot of time and effort.
Working with Others
Pre-production is a collaborative process, and it’s always a good idea to get feedback from others. Running your ideas and scripts by others can help you to identify potential problems and make improvements to your film as well as keeping you inspired and on your toes. You can also collaborate with others on storyboarding, which can help you to visualise your film and make any necessary changes.
Pre-production is a critical stage in filmmaking. By using these guidelines as a starting point, you can ensure that your pre-production process is smooth and stress free, allowing you to make a successful film in good time. For more pre-production assistance and insights check out our Location and Scouting blog here.