Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The First Steps Towards Pre-Production

Filmmaking. As I've discussed, there are 6 Phases: The Idea, Development, Pre Production, Production, Post Production, and Distribution. We've talked about Development and raising money which is the second hardest part of filmmaking. But let's say you've got that, what's next? As Development stage ends, there are some key steps for getting ready for Pre-Production.

As a Producer/Director of your own indie film, the most important next step is bringing on an experienced Unit Production Manager. This person will be one of the most important team members-- they will pull all your bottom line crew together and if you're a newbie, they will help direct your steps.

Then as you progress towards Pre-Production, also called "Prep," you will need a preliminary budget and script breakdown (the UPM can do this). Then it's time to set up a Prep start date-- the day the production office opens. My formula is 1.5 times the shoot period. So if it's a four week shoot, then it would be a six week prep.

And finally, first steps will be choosing the other key department heads, starting with your Director of Photography. Now it's coming together and prep is about to officially begin.

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