The first day of filming is usually a thrilling experience for the actors and crew, but it wouldn’t be possible without the months of preparation that got everyone to the set. You’ve probably heard Edison say that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Consider production to be 1% realisation and 99% preparation.

Pre-production is the process of identifying, researching, sourcing, and bringing everything together to successfully execute the client’s and/or director’s vision. This article covers the majority, but not all, of the aspects of filmmaking that a producer must deal with before calling “Action!” In other words, just when you think you’ve got all the ducks lined up, a new one appears.

A Budget You Can Afford (And Stick To)

Money. There never seems to be enough of anything. Some projects come with a budget, while others need you to build one. Begin by making a list of everything you want: cast, venues, equipment, cranes, and so forth. It’ll most likely be a large number, and it’s a wonderful target. You most likely do not have it and will not obtain it. So it’s back to looking for more cost-effective alternatives, lowering expectations, and re-crunching numbers more than you can think. Budgeting software can assist you in keeping your finances in line.

Hire Crew As Early As Possible

Most directors have a crew that they bring to every project. Hire the others as early as possible in the process.  The greatest actors in the big film markets are booked months in advance. The earlier essential crew members are involved in preproduction, the better because each person contributes significant information to the process. Many producers engage a production coordinator or production manager to undertake this duty, but using a production services company like MPR or ProductionHUB to find the correct crew can be a more cost-effective option.

Locations Should Be Scouted, Chosen, and Secured

A desolate beach. A shopping centre reminiscent of the 1970s. A family eatery or a honky-tonk pub. Perhaps you’ll need a few sound stages. The sooner you locate the director’s ideal settings, the sooner you may secure them and negotiate favourable conditions. Often, storyboards must be adjusted to fit a certain venue or vice versa. A competent site scout or production services business that already has locations and/or sound stages in mind — or understands how to find them quickly — can be worth its weight in gold. Most locations necessitate permits, agreements, and other documentation, some of which can be time-consuming to complete. Begin scouting locations as soon as pre-production begins.

Prepare Yourself

Professional equipment such as cameras, sound equipment, film lighting packages, wires, sandbags, and dozens of production materials will be required for your production. Crew personnel, notably camera operators and cinematographers, may bring their equipment. But, for the most part, it is the producer’s responsibility to put together a package.

Begin comparing rental properties. Consider the equipment they provide. Is it current? Is there spare equipment on hand in case something goes wrong with film lighting, a camera, lens, or grip equipment? In the wee hours of the morning? A decent rental property will work with you and assist you in staying within your budget. Everyone at Moving Picture has hands-on film expertise and is eager to assist you with your project’s success!

The Legalities

The key three are permits, cast and crew agreements or contracts, and production and E&O insurance. Legal also includes acquiring intellectual property rights and clearances for items such as music and video clips that will be utilised in production or post-production. If the shoot is union, you must also comply with local rules governing salary, hours on a shooting day, breaks, and so on.


Without a brilliant cast, even the best script is nothing. Casting calls must be issued as soon as possible, and auditions must be planned. When casting major roles, the director is usually present, but it is often the producer that collaborates with a casting agent to round out the ensemble. The director can make final decisions during callbacks and after a video review of the casting. Schedule a couple of table readings, even if it’s a Skype session if time allows and there is conversation. The cast gets to know one other and may then collaborate closely with the director ahead of time.

These are only seven reduced stages of a multidimensional pre-production process. Production design, wardrobe, tech reconnaissance, and working with post-production facilities are all part of the job.

Next Up: Shot Listing and Storyboarding

Pre-production also includes storyboarding, which helps visualise the script through a series of sketches or pictures for each scene. By giving the director and the crew a more detailed look at how each scene could be shot, storyboards help spot any logistical or imaginative hurdles ahead of time. In many cases, the storyboard will be accompanied by a shot list, which details the specific camera moves and technical needs for each shot in the scene. The director’s vision can be carried out more precisely, and the production team can better allocate their resources.

Exploring the Realms of Costume and Set Design

Pre-production also includes production design (the look and feel of the picture) and costume design (how the characters are dressed and accessorized). A film’s visual style is the work of the production designer, who is responsible for designing sets, choosing locations, and working with the art department to realise the director’s vision. A costume designer, meantime, collaborate with the film’s other creative minds to make clothes that both suit the characters and add to the film’s visual style. The visual tone of a film can be greatly aided by securing both of these elements early on in production.

Preemptive Contact with Post-Production Studios

Finally, although post-production facilities primarily play a role in post-production, it is crucial to engage with them throughout pre-production. The producer may then plan accordingly and allocate sufficient funds to the post-production process, as well as ensure that the video is shot and formatted in a way that makes editing, sound design, and grading as easy as possible. Making sure the production and post-production teams are on the same page from the start regarding technical requirements can also save time and money.

The post-production crew also benefits from this because they can better plan their workflow and so produce a higher quality result. With this deeper dive into pre-production, we can see that there are many moving parts and many resources needed to complete this stage successfully. Pre-production work that is thorough and meticulous is crucial to the final output of any film. Therefore, producers who want to successfully bring their cinematic vision to life must have an in-depth familiarity with these processes.