Planning your film

At the planning or pre-production stage you work out of your filmmaking idea and the way you will tell your story, then get ready to film.

The narrative
You need to get an idea or story, however simple, and you have to be certain it's clear. Try writing down it in 50 words or one tweet: if you can not do so, you probably will need to rethink or simplify the thought. Film story tips and ideas

As soon as you've obtained your idea, you can consider how to turn it into a film. There are lots of unique methods of doing so. A mindmap, in which you write down all of the thoughts that might help, can be quite a good place to start.

You could write a remedy . This is a thorough description of the narrative and the way it will sound and look on film.

If your movie has actors and conversation, then you should write a script. There is a standard script format.

Planning the shots
It's possible to make storyboards to help plan how you're going to film a scene. Working out the shots beforehand will allow you to make sure you get whatever you want daily. Storyboarding will also help you film shots which make sense together.

If you can't draw, then use a digital still camera or just make a list of shots and then check them off as you shoot.

There are free downloadable storyboards and shot lists on the Film planning templates page.

You could draw plans of the location to assist you figure out where to set the cameras and actors.

Check out every location where you'll picture your picture. Do you require permission to film ? Can you get it? Are you going to need to pay?

Do a recce (location trip ):

Can there be space to get all the camera places you need?
Are there any potential dangers? What can you do to reduce them?
What is the light like?
Will there be some interruptions?
If you are planning to record live audio, are there any distracting background noises?
What's the sound quality of the space such as? Hard walls and floors can cause echo. Can you reduce this by bringing soft furnishings, carpeting and drapes?
For a drama film, you'll have to pick your celebrities . Audition them and see how they perform in front of the camera. For a documentary, you'll want to figure out who to film or interview.

Ensure you agree any penalties, and get everyone to sign contracts or release forms, prior to you film them. You don't wish to be arguing about those after you have finished your own film.

Organising the shoot
Then you need to plan in detail everything you are going to picture and if, and what you will want on each day. If your film is complicated, you'll require a shooting schedule. Then for every day of the shoot, you ought to earn a telephone sheet that lists the people and things you want.

Planning factual films
If it is a news or documentary thing -- where you don't know just what's likely to be there -- you still need to plan. Learn as much as you can about the area or story and produce a listing of the kinds of shots you are going to film.

If you are going to interview folks, make sure they're available and draft some questions to inquire.

In certain situations, you can not visit the location beforehand. You might be covering a news story in a different region of the country or abroad. However, it's still possible to plan. Find out as much as possible about what the place looks like; get in touch with someone local if you can. You may also storyboard the entire thing until you arrive. That will give you a basic list of shots to work together; you can then take additional shots and things which you see when you arrive.