In the early stages of any film or video project, there are a ton of things to worry about, so many moving parts, that it can be easy to miss a thing or two here and there.
And the thing is, it’s more tempting than ever to pick up some decent equipment and rush into the production phase these days, but don’t buy into the hype, not everything can be fixed in post-production.
For more on that, check out this post, Why ‘Fixing It In Post’ Isn’t Always a Good Idea, but the point is, pre-production is the time to start giving shape and a voice to your story, and to start taking measures to ensure a smoother production.
The phase deserves just as much time and thought as any other, and as a NY / NJ video production company that’s been through our share of pre-production phases, we decided to put together some tips for ensuring that your pre-production gets the attention it deserves and results in a better production, and a better project.
Don’t neglect to utilize your entire tool box.
First of all, while the basics such as screenwriting, the hiring or finding of cast & crew, equipment rental, location scouting, scheduling, etc., are all part of the pre-production process, there’s more to it than the basics.
And like mentioned above, more and more film and video makers nowadays jump into production as fast as possible and often deem things like storyboarding and creating an accurate shot list unnecessary and a waste of time.
But make no mistake, pre-production tasks like these are valuable tools that can help you form a clearer vision for your film or video while, at the same time, allowing for a more organized and efficient production process.
And sometimes, even if the project you’re preparing for doesn’t seem to require these kinds of processes, it’s still a good idea to experiment with them to see if they can provide any help at all, or to make sure the film or video production company you’re working with does so, if there’s time.
Storyboarding, for example, will force you or the people helping you create your video to carefully and strategically think through the shooting process. That way, they can plan for not only a more efficient production but also for more impactful shots.
Plan a Plan B…and C.
Another thing you don’t want to neglect to do during pre-production is at least consider the possibility that things might not go exactly as planned during production and that some adapting may be necessary at some point.
Trust us, we’ve been in film and video production in NY and NJ for a long time and it’s a rare thing when a shoot goes off without a hitch and everyone gets home exactly when they thought they would every single night.
Actors get sick or arrive late, shots or scenes take a lot longer to complete than expected, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, etc.
The point is, like mentioned at the top, there are a ton of moving parts in film and video production, which leaves a lot of room for error, so what do you do? You take the time to prepare for unexpected scenarios like these during pre-production.
Plan to bring rainproof gear and back-up equipment in case something gets damaged or fails and start coming up with contingency plans for unexpected delays, no matter where they may possibly arise from.
If you have creative meetings, keep them on track.
If you’re having issues early on in terms of creative development, it always helps to organize some team meetings, either with your own film or video production team or with your outside help to bounce ideas off each other.
These types of brainstorming sessions can be incredibly fruitful when everyone stays focused and the atmosphere allows ideas to flow freely, but the thing is, unless carefully planned and managed, these meetings can also quickly go off track and turn into unnecessary debates or unrelated discussions.
And again, these types of sessions have too much to offer to avoid because of the potential waste of time they can become. You just need to take measures to ensure everyone involved is working toward the same goal at all times. How do you do that?
Well, you need to invite the right people and make sure they know what the specific purpose of the meeting is so they’re all heading in the same direction and can come prepared.
For more on that, check out this post, How to Keep Your Brainstorm from Flooding Over the Walls, but the point is, creative meetings can be a huge help during the pre-production phase. You just need to make sure everyone’s focused on the same objective.
Quality pre-production = quality production = quality project.
The bottom line is, while more and more film and video production pros and amateurs are rushing through the pre-production phase these days, many of them end up discovering that they probably could’ve saved a lot more time had they given more time and thought to the pre-production stage.
That’s why pre-production is so important; it allows you to figure out how to use the time and resources you have at your disposal as efficiently as possible.
If you’re still not convinced, just think of some of the great film directors, like Martin Scorsese for example, who still use practically every single tool in the pre-production tool box to their advantage on every project they work on.
If they find that it ultimately results in a smoother production and clearer vision or message, who are you to think differently?
About KVibe Productions: A full-service film & video production company in NJ / NY, KVibe can handle every aspect of the production process. Whether it’s a corporate video production, a commercial, or a feature film, at KVibe, we create to inspire.