How to become a filmmaker – Pre-Production Stage

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Cinema, Education, Featured

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Well it’s not difficult to become a filmmaker but it’s not easy either. In this digital era anyone with a camera cab be a filmmaker. You have to just learn some basics of the camera Ajay Saklani Shootingand bang on. But wait, you have to ask some questions from yourself first. Do you know who is a filmmaker and what is his job? Do you know how the films are made and how long does it takes to make a film? Do you know what is the process of filmmaking and what else you require besides a camera? Well if you don’t know the answers for these questions then let us discuss all these in details here. Before we proceed you should read my previous post “WHAT IS FILMMAKING AND WHO IS A FILMMAKER?” and if you have already read the post then continue reading from here onward.

WHAT IS FILM-MAKING?

Now you know the answer to this question as you have already read in the previous post so we will continue with the further details now. Filmmaking is a process of capturing your visualizations through camera, processing it and delivering it to the audiences around the world. The filmmaking starts from an idea which clicks in a filmmaker’s mind. The exact process is in three stages out of which we will discuss the first stage in this article. The first stage is :

PRE-PRODUCTION

This is the first stage of filmmaking where a script development takes place. Even this stage can also be divided in different parts.

Story Development

The writer or filmmaker write a story based on the idea. For example

  • A cricket match between Britishers and Indian villagers against the increased taxes (Lagaan)
  • Marriage of a sikh man with a muslim girl who separated from her family during the partition of India (Gaddar – Ek Prem Katha)
  • A Sikh girl planning to run away with her boyfriend meet an unknown person in a train (Jab We Met)
  • US Army invades an alien planet Pandora and try to capture it (Avtar)
  • Two army man of enemy countries get stuck in between the line of control of both sides (No Man’s Land)

Such one line idea is converted into a story by the writer. This part includes the entire story of the film from beginning to end. That story is then taken to another stage to write the screenplay.

Screenplay Writing

The development of script is a very long process in itself. Once the story is complete the next step is to convert it into screenplay. The screenplay is a visualized version of the story. Screenplay means how the story will be played on screen which should be appealing and connecting to the audiences. This part of script development includes the dialogues, property details (which will be used on screen either directly by actors or will be placed in frame), shot design & camera angles and transitions. Screenplay is either written by writer, filmmaker or there is another person specialized in screenplay writing.

Storyboard Development

Once the screenplay is complete the next step is to design a storyboard for the film. In simple words storyboard can be defined as the visual representation of the screenplay. Or we can say storyboarding is the process of visually making a film on paper. If you have ever read the comics then understanding storyboard will be easy for you. When we read comics, we also see the picturs drawn on paper along with dialogues. By just looking at those pictures and reading the dialogues we can visualize the entire story. Storyboard is the same thing where we can visualize the entire film by reading the storyboard and the dialogues. This is an important part of the pre=production stage as this one helps filmmaker during the shoot.

Budgeting

A film can not be produced without planning a proper budget. The budget of your film can be anything from 100 rupees ($2) to Billions of rupees, but it needs to be planned properly. The budget of a film is planned from pre-production to post production, marketing and even distribution of the film. This includes the payment of artists, equipment rentals, food & lodging of the team, transportation and so on. If budget is not planned properly this can ruin the entire film project.

Location Scouting

Locations Saanjh FilmLocation scouting is very important task as this can either save your project’s budget or can force you to plan the budget once again. The locations depends upon the script requirement. If the script is required to be shot on snow covered mountain peeks then you’ll have to find such location. A good shooting location is the one where you can provide a better transportation, food and lodging for the team. Well it’s not always necessary to shoot the project on the locations required by the script. This can also be achieved by employing a good set designer to create a physically or virtually through green screen.

Scheduling

Scheduling is another important part of pre-production stage. A schedule is prepared as per the requirement of the script and location. The screenplay is divided as per locations and artists to prepare a better schedule. Generally all the scenes of a specific locations are shot once so that you don’t need to visit that location again. This saves the time and money both. Also the schedule can be prepared as per the artists. If the artist is a famous cinema star then the filmmaker needs to shoot the his/her part as per their availability.

So here we we complete the first stage of the filmmaking which is called pre-production. In the next article we will discuss about the second segment of film production in details.

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