Insight by Caroline Farmer

Why is pre-production so important for your film?

In the broadcast world a huge amount of work happens in the pre-production stage (before any filming starts). Filming is expensive so the aim is to get the most out of filming days – and being prepared helps do that.

Information on the topic, potential contributors, locations, archive that could be used and much more is all gathered in advance – usually far more than can go into the programme. The creative team will then look at all of this and start to work out the most powerful way to tell that story with the elements they have. Usually the director will talk to potential contributors in advance, or even better meet them in person – and also go and recce potential filming locations.

The main benefits of thorough pre-production:

  • It allows the producer/ director thinking time to come up with the most compelling way of telling the story
  • It means filming days are efficient– and that saves money
  • It means people (including contributors and crew) are far clearer of what is expected from them on filming days
  • At the end of the day you get a better film for less money

Pre-production is just as important when filming branded content and corporate films – it means the client gets a better film and can often save them money.