What Does the Pre-production Process Include: A Step-By-Step Guide Cover Image

The pre-production process is the mere basis of any successful video production or movie. It’s the time to bring together the creative facets of a project, specify its goals and objectives, and align the team’s energy and enthusiasm toward a shared purpose.

Or put shortly – intelligently planned pre-production will be essential to help ensure a smooth and successful shoot. In the step-by-step guide below, we’ll cover the fundamentals of pre-production and its various stages.

Step 1: Brainstorm & Develop Your Idea

Brainstorming and bringing the puzzle pieces of your idea together are how the pre-production cycle begins. At this point, you are supposed to understand what the project is trying to achieve, the specifics of its target audience, and the realistic timeframe for its fulfillment.

During this phase, you must develop an original and feasible concept for your available budget and timeframe. To do so, do not hesitate to be ingenious and take risks. Coming up with a unique approach to your idea will help set you apart from all the rest.

Step 2: Research

Once the project goals have been specified, the next step is to go through thorough, all-out research. This stage could involve analyzing the target audience, your subject’s historical background, and other artists’ documented efforts to play around with your topic.

Exploring every angle as deeply as possible will help ensure the project is informed and its impact – tangible. It will also give you the layered knowledge of the topic to make your art piece stand out.

Step 3: Develop a Creative Concept

Now that the research is complete, it is time to structure your thoughts and create a full-form creative concept. This means building a more elaborate storyline, deciding on specific visual elements, and concocting a distinctive voice for the project.

The creative concept will serve as the foundation for the entire project, so taking your time and ensuring that it is fully refined to the tiniest detail is paramount.

Step 4: Write the Script

Once the foundation for your idea is sorted out, writing the script comes next. Remember that your script is the literal heart and soul of the pre-production cycle. It requires a careful review of the story you’re trying to tell and – quite importantly – the people who’ll be willing to hear it.

Creating a compelling and relatable story for your target audience should always be your top priority, along with adding a signature artistic worth. Then, feel free to do thought experiments and try different approaches to the narrative. You can constantly refine it later in the editing process.

Step 5: Create a Storyboard

As the script is coming to life, you next should create a suitable storyboard. This type of visual representation helps identify potential difficulties or issues before the shoot, as well as communicate the project’s vision to the team.

Your storyboard should include images, descriptions, and details of each shot, as it is an excellent way to get everyone on the same page before the shoot. This is precisely when and how you ensure everyone is aware of the idea and its objectives.

Step 6: Production Planning

Once you have a visualized storyboard, you must prepare the film production itself. This involves deciding on the budget, the timeline, the roles and responsibilities of the team, plus any specific equipment that may be needed.

Carefully planning the production will help ensure the project is completed on time and within budget.

Step 7: Budgeting

The budgeting process is the cornerstone of all pre-production accounting activities. It concerns estimating all production and post-production costs and specifying a reasonable budget for the project.

All items that need to be purchased should be accounted for, and all potential costs should be carefully assessed and documented. It is also important to include any required contingency funds.

As you proceed, don’t forget to document any changes to the budget, as this ensures that the project remains within its allocated budget. In addition, this step will make all financial information easily accessible when needed, especially if you’re working with sponsors or patrons.

Finally, track the project’s actual costs once the budget has been established.

Step 8: Create a Production Schedule

The final step in pre-production is to develop an out-and-out production timetable. This schedule is intended to record all tasks to be conducted during production, plus the estimated time and resources required for this purpose.

The more detailed your production schedule, the better. Adding all the details will guarantee that the production runs smoothly and its outcomes are predictable enough for all parties involved.

All in all, while pre-production might be lengthy and complex, taking the extra step to do it properly will always be worth it.

The team of MBM Productions is here to advise and guide your entire pre-production efforts. So – do not hesitate to reach out and tell us more about your project.

Does Your Project Need Us?

Reach out to us and let us bring it to life!