When I think about the development process of filmmaking I always split it up into three distinct sections. These three sections make up my film production checklist which I follow religiously:
- Post Production
With these three simple steps to create a movie in place a project becomes a lot easier to complete. Let’s take a closer look at the process…
Every task you take on in life becomes a lot easier the more planning you put into it. I like to think of pre-production as my planning and preparation stage of my film production checklist.
Pre-production is the place to create some sort of killer idea!
This idea is going to be the base on which you build your film – the more simple it is the better! Try writing your idea down and if it comes to more than three sentences stop and rethink it or simplify it.
This ‘idea’ is one of the most important factors involved in the initial development process of filmmaking. Once you have it you can start writing a script and and make storyboards or shot lists.
Shot lists are very useful as they provide you with an idea of what equipment you are going to need beforehand. A simple storyboard can be created using a phone cam capturing stills – you don’t need to be an artist these days!
There’s nothing worse than turning up to a shoot and realizing your team is a little thin on the ground or you’ve forgotten a piece of filmmaking equipment. Make sure you have all the equipment and personnel in place BEFORE you start shooting ( a simple pen and paper process! ).
Always include a film location checklist within your planning – this can stretch over all three steps covered here today. In pre-production make sure you check out the simple things involved with location.
If you have chosen your location then don’t just expect it to be available on the day of the shoot…
- Is it on private property?
- Will you be allowed to shoot there?
- Do you need permission first before filming there?
When creating your film location checklist make sure the venue/location offers sufficient light. It also makes good sense to walk around the extended area to see what is located there – the last thing you want is interruptions or distracting sounds.
One of the most important steps in the development process of filmmaking – production. What this boils down to is basically shooting your film.
There’s no point jumping into the production side of things if you have no real idea how to use your equipment. Try out ANYTHING to get comfortable with your equipment.
A good friend of mine likes to try out new equipment on short films. She feels you learn a lot faster by making mistakes on these trail projects.
Try out your hand at shooting a five minute humorous video and get comfortable with the cameras and the sound department. Remember – one of the most important steps to create a movie is gaining knowledge of your equipment beforehand!
Always try to shoot more footage than you think you are going to need. There’s nothing worse than aiming for a 90 minute movie and only ending up with an hour. Once you get into the editing side of things you will find you are left with a lot less than expected.
You don’t want to depart from your shoot before you check through your film location checklist:
- Did you get the color and lighting right?
- What about the framing?
- Did you cut off any of the actor’s heads in the shots?
- Have you got all the shots you are going to need to complete the project?
- What the sound quality like?
Our final part of the film production checklist – post production. This is where we complete the film and polish the finished article!
Sit down and watch ALL of your footage before you start the editing process. If you have a lot of material you could log it and maybe create a paper edit before you start putting it together.
Don’t expect your first edit to be a masterpiece – this is a very unlikely outcome. Try your hand at creating a rough edit first and see where that takes you.
Over time you can start to refine your edit and get a sense of the bigger picture. Begin to add the extra sound, various video effects and titles when you feel they are needed.
There is a rule of thumb in post production that you should really keep in mind – sometimes more is less!
Simply put – sometimes a film will end up better if it is shortened. You may be partial to some scenes but do they really add ANYTHING to the overall feel of the film?
Don’t be afraid to return to the start of your edit and watch through what you have already finished…
- Is it linking up well?
- Does it flow correctly? Does it make sense?
- Does the pace work?
- How’s the audio sounding?
If you have any questions about the simple film production checklist we have provided for you today please leave them in the comment section below and we will get back to you asap. Thanks for stopping by!