DM250 Narrative Group Project I

Course Description

Pre-Production is the backbone of creating a video project. It is the planning phase of the production process by which every detail of the project from start to finish is mapped out. Pre-Production is also the phase when the “elements” that comprise the story or treatment (cast, crew, props, locations, camera blocking, audio needs, equipment, etc.), are detailed, gathered, and made tangible.

Put simply, Pre-Production is when action plans and specific steps are determined and implemented for everything needed to bring a video project from concept to the screen. Tasks include scheduling deadlines and creating to-do lists for prep weeks, principle photography, editing of the footage and other post-production steps, as well as final distribution and marketing of the project. Other decisions that must be determined before shooting the project can include, but are not limited to: deciding on the “look” of the film, choosing characters’ costumes, solidifying casting choices, lighting needs, the color palette of the film, title design, and beyond.

This Filmmaking class will also dissect through a basic video production budget to get an understanding of “real world” financial considerations of filmmaking.

The Pre-Production Filmmaking certificate module is one of the first opportunities for the class to collaborate as a team together on both creative and logistic goals, and as such, tips for navigating on-set group dynamics is also covered in this module. A good amount of time is allocated for the class to determine, assign responsibility for, and to follow through on their action plans.

When executed correctly, pre-production allows the director, producer, cast, crew, and vendors to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. The ultimate goal is to have a cohesive team working together to bring the project’s story to the screen in the most efficient and enjoyable way possible.

Learning Outcomes

  • Planning a video production from script (concept) to screen (distribution)
  • Breaking down a screenplay
  • Creating and adapting a production budget
  • Set Etiquette
  • Location Scouting vs. Tech Scouting techniques
  • Organizing and allocating “to-do” responsibilities within a large group
  • Group “Buy In”/agreement and being “on the same page”
  • Location Agreements/Personal Release/Permits
  • The concept of “Chain of Title”