Author Topic: Preproduction  (Read 3672 times)

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subversiveproductions

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Preproduction
« on: December 14, 2003, 01:12:26 AM »
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What's your guys' process on preproduction?  You've got a completed script in hand, where do you go from there?  What kind of shot breakdowns do you do?  I'm talking feature length on location, with real actors, meaning no "just get out there and shoot it".
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Ghostboy

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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2003, 02:09:44 AM »
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I'm in the last three weeks of it right now. It's fun in a hellish sort of way. Let me see...

After officially beginning in August, we set about casting, spent a little over a month on auditions and callbacks (derived from 2000 headshots we recieved from a casting notice we posted at the beginning of the summer, began weekly rehearsals in November (soon to become twice a week as we've hit crunch time), and continued the weekly production meetings we'd been having since September in which we've lately been fine tuning production design in preparation for set construction; also thrown in there was securing equipment, soundstage, various crew positions (haven't done that yet, actually, but we're having interviews tomorrow), camera tests (next week), planning the shooting schedule, buying tape stock (miniDV), creating shot lists/storyboards (due next week), wardrobe fittings, securing insurance (finally got through that on Tuesday)...and last but far from least, raising money, raising money and raising money. Which we suck at, unfortunately.

That's been my process so far. Sometimes it gets so hectic I feel like I should just get out there and shoot it.

Kal

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2003, 02:27:51 AM »
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What's the project you're working on GhostBoy? I think I actually asked you that in a PM but you never told me  :roll:

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Preproduction
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2003, 12:39:57 PM »
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Quote from: andyk
I think I actually asked you that in a PM but you never told me  :roll:


heheheh, how humiliating

Kal

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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2003, 01:24:23 PM »
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Quote from: Cecil
Quote from: andyk
I think I actually asked you that in a PM but you never told me  :roll:


heheheh, how humiliating


nah, was just a reminder... and it worked!

TheVoiceOfNick

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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2003, 05:11:06 PM »
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I sometimes work with a producer on projects, so he does a lot of the pre-production.  As far as directing, I storyboard everything out ahead of time... I usually write notes about what I want actors to do in particular scenes.  I do the blocking in my mind and draw little overhead drawings next to the storyboards.  If there are effect shots, I talk to the effects supervisor and talk about how we want to setup the shot... and what he needs for the effect to work.

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2003, 07:42:57 PM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
.and last but far from least, raising money, raising money and raising money. Which we suck at, unfortunately.


in my opinion this is a very poor decision -- always have your money before you go into pre-pro -- just a suggestion. a guess it might be different depending your budget -- 5 grand is a little different, the 5 mil -- reagardless the last thing one should think about during pre-pro is how to get the money, you may never get it, which in effect will be wasting much of others time and energy -- i just think you owe it to everyone to have the money secured, beofre you even tink about setting a shoot date.
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Ghostboy

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Preproduction
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2003, 02:15:10 AM »
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I always have money before pre-production. Enough to get the movie made. But when you're working on a miniscule budget, you can never have enough padding. Thus, fundraising is useful all the way through post-production.

SHAFTR

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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2003, 02:19:32 AM »
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This is going off short films I have made (that meant nothing) but this is what I would do.

First off, location scouting:  I would find the locations, all of them.  I would spend a lot of time in the locations.

At the locations I would storyboard all the scenes.  The more detail the better, I can always riff off my storyboards during production.

When it comes to actors, I'd prefer to spend little time with them.  I really enjoy it when acting isn't as refined and it has an improv quality to it (the nouvelle vague in me).  I'd probably give the actors the story before hand but not the script for the scenes until the day of the shoot.  Someday if I have professional actors, I might approach it differently.
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subversiveproductions

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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2003, 12:04:51 PM »
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Thanks for the advice guys.  I noticed pretty much everyone mentioned storyboarding.  What type of techniques do you guys use for storyboarding?  I've tried to start doing this several times, but I can't draw for shit, and sketching out every shot seems like it would take an impossible amount of time and leave me with a lot of sketches that I won't be able to understand when it comes time to shoot.  Any suggestions?
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TheVoiceOfNick

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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2003, 02:34:10 PM »
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Quote from: subversiveproductions
Thanks for the advice guys.  I noticed pretty much everyone mentioned storyboarding.  What type of techniques do you guys use for storyboarding?  I've tried to start doing this several times, but I can't draw for shit, and sketching out every shot seems like it would take an impossible amount of time and leave me with a lot of sketches that I won't be able to understand when it comes time to shoot.  Any suggestions?


I suggest you just do stick figures.  I think it was Spielberg who said he makes stick figures in his storyboards... him or another big director of today... i read that somewhere... anyways, even if you can't draw, you can still make basic shapes... make these basic shapes look like something or someone... it doesn't have to be realistic... just enough so that you get an idea of what shots you want.  And always consider the editor in your storyboards... how will he/she cut this scene with what you shoot?  Make sure everything flows.  Ultimately, the storyboards are for you (if you're the director)... maybe you'll have to explain to people what you're going for, but if you're a director then you're likely someone who is good with descriptions and words.  The storyboards will remind you of where you're going.... the only person it has to make sense to is you.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2003, 02:44:31 PM »
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It was Michael Chapman who said Scorsese does terrible stick figure drawings that work out perfectly for him as a cameraman, because they convey the idea of the shot, but don't impose in any picture-type way.


Anyway, it seems to me that the more films I make, the more I wanna improvise, and the more I just wanna figure out shots on the day. I guess because when I'm doing my no-budget movies, there's only time for so much. Like others have said, a lot of time goes into location scouting (which has got to be THE biggest headache of pre). I figure if you can find the right place at the right time (in terms of natural or practical light, in case you can't afford many rental lights), and cast the best available people, the shots will come. But you can have the best storyboard ever, with a perfect cutting strategy, and find out it all goes to shit on the day.

Of course, that being said, it's always nice to have a plan to fall back on...
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mutinyco

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Preproduction
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2003, 07:56:54 AM »
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The first step of preproduction is setting the first day of the production. If you can get past that it's all downhill...
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kotte

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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2003, 10:49:06 AM »
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I'm in pre-production hell right now. I'm looking for a hotel to shoot in. The reason it's hell is because I've set the first day of shooting. Like mutinyco said, setting the first day of shooting is perhaps the most important thing in pre-production. That will get your ass moving and do what has to be done.

My biggest problem really is 'locking' the script. I tend not to rewrite once pre-production starts. I'm really hard on my self and it takes time for me to get a script I'm really happy with.

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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2003, 03:44:07 PM »
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Quote from: subversiveproductions
Thanks for the advice guys.  I noticed pretty much everyone mentioned storyboarding.  What type of techniques do you guys use for storyboarding?  I've tried to start doing this several times, but I can't draw for shit, and sketching out every shot seems like it would take an impossible amount of time and leave me with a lot of sketches that I won't be able to understand when it comes time to shoot.  Any suggestions?


I draw storyboards so I don't waste too much time on the set trying to decide what shots to use.  Usually I have the locations in my mind so I know the layout well, and I'll often find inspiration for new shots when I'm about to shoot, but for the most part I stick to my storyboards.  I'm not a great artist, but I draw the basic composition out, making notes underneath each frame as to what the shot is, whether it is a wide or telephoto shot, camera movement, slow motion, handheld, etc. so I know what I'm looking at.

 

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