How to prepare for a film
By Tia-Reisa Apaloo-Clarke
1. The Script
All potential ideas should be written down, so they can be
explored and be made into a potential film. The simplest or
most elaborate films all start on paper.
The process of script writing can be time consuming, but it
will help you to have it done when creating your shooting
schedule as you will be able to how many day and/or night
shots you will have to film.
2. Set Your scene
Setting your scene is important, at some point you should attempt
to walk through your scene step by step. It should ideally be in the
location you intend to film in, if this is not possible try to do it in a
similar place or re-create it the best that you can.
Walking through your script is beneficial in many ways, it may
highlight to you some problems within your script and help you to
realise that many scenes are unachievable.
Also if walking through your script in your actual location, you
may identify potential restrictions in your location.
Walking through your script can allow the director to see the
potential success the film could have and what failures could occur
within the idea or script.
3. Location Reece
A location reece should be completed in order to see if your
location is suitable for filming. When visiting your location it is
good to identity different factors that could potentially affect
filming on the day.
Also if looking at locations outside it is key to pay special attention
to lighting and the weather beforehand. It would be helpful to visit
the location on the exact time – day and/or night you intend to
film on, to see where and when the sun sets, the best lighting, this
may help you be more creative in the lighting of your scenes.
On a location reece it is also important to take notes on the
surrounding noise, what can you see or hear? Is it too nosy or too
3.Location Reece continued..
It is important to take plenty of notes, as when looking for a
definite location, notes made from previous ones will help
you to remember them and compare the negatives and
positives between each one.
In addition, to this it is important to take plenty off
photographs of the location. It is also important that you
take the photographs from different angles and positions.
This way someone that has not visited the location
themselves will be able to understand exactly what it looks
4. Shot List
It is good to have a set list before filming, this helps with
preparation and can be a guideline for what basic shots you
want to include in your film.
At this stage of your pre production, you should have a clear
vision of what you want your film to be about and what you
want it to look like so it is fundamental to have a shot list so
you do not forget what shots you plan to do.
5. Test Shots
Although time restrictions may make it unable to do this, it is
a good idea to take some test footage. Test shots are normally
done quickly and the time spent on test shots shouldn’t be as
long as final filming.
Test shots will give you:
practice of shooting your location
Help polish your script
Experience on using the equipment
Help identify outfits and props needed etc
7. Shooting Schedule
By the time it comes to filming everything such as your
script, location, actors and costume should be ready.
It is essential to organise your shooting dates, including
breaks and lunch times. Even if filming is only around two
hours long you will benefit from having a shooting schedule
as it allows cast members and production crew to know
what's going to be happening throughout the day.
Organisation and preparation are key for the success of any