Brainstorming, concepting, planning and getting ready for your story to hit the screen. That’s what the Pre-Production phase of production/filmmaking is all about. Everything that gets done in the beginning can make or break the success of what is about to be created. Right here is where some of the most important decisions and influence is going to take place. All of this happens before you ever even pick up a camera.
Pre-Production for Films and Short Films will include doing a script breakdown to understand what individual scenes will require while in production and post-production. This phase of production also includes making detailed storyboards so that when your crew is in the field, everyone will know exactly what to capture in-camera with the post-production needs in mind.
Pre-Production for Documentaries and Reality Programs is a busy time of locking in good stories, booking on-camera talent, and doing critical research so that the entire team is prepared to go into production ready to make a deeply impacting project.
During the Pre-Pro phase in either genre, crews need to be locked in, locations secured, and budgets created.
Producers have overall control on every aspect of a project. They organize the cast, oversee the crew, choose the shooting location, and make sure that everyone working on the project is on the same page. A huge responsibility for the Producer is to foster an environment in which the creative talents of the cast and crew can flourish–Producers are therefore ultimately accountable for the success of the finished project. Producers are in charge of the budget and making sure that the money is used where it counts: on the screen! Producers must be good businessmen, strategists, motivators, negotiators, and creative visionaries, with the ability to spot and deal with potential problems before they materialize. In many ways, they are the brains behind the production. Many times they are the creative center and keeper of the vision for what is being made.
As a Writer you will be crafting scripts for Television, Feature Films, Commercials, and Episodic Dramas. You will learn character development, story arc, and proper scripting formats. You will learn to write for different characters and in different voices. Everything that you write will be shown on television, at arena events, and in films. Writers provide a blueprint onto which the Producer, Director, Director of Photography, Composer and Editor, cast and crew can graft their creative efforts. Writers must be able to craft a screenplay in which the reader can “see” the film unfold cinematically in their imagination. The screenplay must therefore not only have compelling characters, an exciting plot, and a great premise for a marketable project, but it must also conform to the basic and necessary principles of dramatic construction, as well as to industry expectations regarding format and style. Writers must “pen” highly creative writing, adhere to strict deadlines, and work constructively with other members of the production.
Associate Producers contribute greatly to the production process because they are responsible for specific elements delegated to them by the Producer. It is the A.P.‘s job to make needed things happen to realize the Producer’s vision. This diverse role may encompass brainstorming/development, supervising casting, wardrobe and make-up, supervising post-production, or coordinating the work of the various visual effects artists. In fact, they may carry out any production work (anything) that the Producer is too busy to supervise personally, and which is not covered by one of the other production roles (e.g. Executive Producer, Co-producer, etc.). Whatever their exact role, Associate Producers must be able to troubleshoot any production difficulties or problems that come within their area of responsibility. It is definitely the A.P.‘s responsibility to know everything about the production that they are handling.
As a Production Track Intern, you will learn the Phases of Production: