The Pre Production Process -


The Pre Production Process

By Alex Jones

In all walks of life, I'm terribly messy. I don't have a fixed location for anything, be it keys, mobile phone or even the ham sandwich I'd misplaced two days ago, (as it happens I'd left it in the garden hanging out the washing). In fact I recently discovered my friends have made a habit of hanging up my keys whenever they see them somewhere they know I'll never find - and I'm sure they're bored of the phrase "can you ring my phone?".

The thing is, I know the general location of what I'm looking for, I know my keys are in the house, or in the Norwich area somewhere. I just don't have the systematic skill or the super powers to know where exactly.

Working on films however requires me to be a lot more disciplined, so I've been forced to up my game in the organisation department. Such large collaborative projects require a high degree of communication and mutual understanding. The materials of the pre production phase are totally integral to an efficient and seamless production process and helps facilitates the aforementioned communication and understanding.

When I'm editing I often realise I have the same annoyance. In one project I'll have a problematic list of of unnamed sequences, audio tracks and lots of footage to cope with. Finding one small clip will become a ten minute long task that only adds to the tensions of video production. What is readily forgotten is that there are very typical techniques that can be used to accelerate the production process hugely. This can start even before you've started filming, really if you begin editing a film that had no strategic or clear terms of preparing, then you're going to get nowhere when it comes to putting the footage together. Last week I came across this video blog, titled Pre Production Checklist from Lambda Films, an online video service based in Norwich. The video details some simple ways of developing an idea of what you want your video to look like before you've even started shooting it. It primarily talks about scripting, storyboarding and keeping your intentions clear through a brief or treatment.

As soon as you've developed a clear way of organising your work, it makes the mammoth task of going through the footage and beginning to put everything together a lot easier. Then when it comes to editing you just need to take a little time and sort the clips into appropriate bins or folders. Regrettably this is something I'm still learning, only when I'm ripping my hair out through editing related stress do I think "why didn't I just rename that clip?". I can only suggest that you learn from my production hardships and take some time to prepare, beginning with pre-production which will indeed assist you later on. That way you won't have your flatmates tidying up after you.

Let me know what methods you use to streamline your pre production process in the comments below!

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