Pre-Production Planning

This is the pre-production phase.

The script should have the green light, so production can now be planned in detail.

The director will create a shot list together with the camera operators, who in turn will plan their shots and decide on equipment.

A storyboard of shots required is a real bonus at this stage. Simple sketches are fine if they get the idea across, but ideally a storyboard will visually describe everything from shot types to camera movements, lighting setups and focal lengths. It shows how the director visualises telling the story.

The producer will begin reaching out to potential actors or participants, finding locations and suppliers, mapping out schedules and logistics, creating call sheets, sorting out licences and permissions, and much more.

Circumstances and events might frustrate the best laid plans, but like any project, you work around the unexpected to achieve the ultimate goal - an amazing video that fulfils the brief.

It is cost-effective to complete shooting in one location before moving on to the next. This is why most videos are not shot linearly, and why a shooting schedule is essential.

When planning smaller productions, you can easily use spreadsheets, mind-maps, lists and calendars. These are just as effective as industry-specific software options.

The more you schedule, the less you leave to chance. This will help prevent common mistakes like committing to more than is possible in one day.

The director might be the captain, but the producer is the one who gets the ship prepared for the journey, and steers it safely into the days of shooting ahead.