Stages of Film Production


When making a film, there is a lot to consider. It’s easy to lose track of people, equipment, and finances. And as the project gets bigger, things become even more complicated, which is why film production scheduling is so important. The first step in crafting a fantastic film is to have a well-organized timetable.

Pre-production is a significant stage in the development of any film. It encompasses all of the brainstorming and planning that occurs before the commencement of the filming. From coming up with a concept to exploring your film’s style, storyboard sequences, and more, we’ve got you covered. A thorough pre-production plan will set your film up for success, whether you’re creating a short film, music video, documentary, or feature film.

The stages of scheduling for producers are outlined below. Starting with script development and concluding with securing your production schedule, there’s a lot to keep in mind. This is the process that many Film Production companies use to ensure a well-organized and productive film shoot.


Stage One: Idea Development

Idea development is the initial phase in the production process. You might have an original idea as a producer that you’d like to see made into a screenplay. Alternatively, you may have obtained a spec script or the rights to a remake (for example, a novel adaption). 

You must be confident that your script will work as a film before you choose it. The narrative must appeal to a broad audience and have the ability to generate revenue. Experienced producers will be able to tell right away what kind of budget is required. A budget will soon grow if elements such as genre, stunts, and CGI effects are included. It’s important to consider the budget early on because it will decide how you fund your film.

In any case, as a producer, you must know your subject inside and out to ensure a seamless film production schedule. And that involves reading your script numerous times, soaking up the details, and figuring out how to make it work. Try websites like The Black List and the WGA writers glossary to find screenwriters.


Stage Two: Initial Script Breakdown

You can start the early steps of pre-production now that you’ve chosen a screenplay. As a producer, you must first do an initial script breakdown. This entails making a list of all the elements in your screenplay that need to be gathered before production begins.

You can accomplish two goals by doing so. The first is a budget estimate, and the second is a rough production timetable. The initial script breakdown will be completed by the producer, although other departments will do their own subsequently. During pre-production, the art department, for example, will break down the script by collecting notes on objects and set design.

As a producer, you’ll want to understand as early as possible how much your complete production will cost to shoot. To do so, walk through each scene one by one and make a list of all the elements. Everything visible in a scene, from performers to props and costumes, is referred to as an element. After you’ve outlined all of your elements, you can figure out how many locations, key props, and sets you’ll need.


Stage Three: Budgeting

Without a budget, you can’t start pre-production or schedule successfully. Your initial script breakdown will show you what you’ll need to finish your film. You may estimate how much your film will cost to shoot using the budget breakdown.

Begin with your principal actors and key crew members. Estimates of what to pay people can be found on online sites and film union guidelines. Remember that filmmakers are self-employed freelancers, thus their pricing will vary. For the time being, this is just a budget estimate. During pre-production, both your budget and timeline will alter.

List your equipment, locations, and production design after the actors and crew. You can also divide costs into categories like pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution. It’s important not to just concentrate on the film shot; keep in mind that all of your film stages will require funding.

You can start financing your film once you have a general budget breakdown. Unfortunately, completing this stage can take a long time. Many films spend years in the finance stage. Financing will be easier to come by for producers with smaller budgets and greater experience.


Stage Four: Production Schedule

You can make your first production schedule when you’ve finalized your script and budget breakdown. The first step in scheduling is deciding how many pages of a screenplay you want to film each day. Studio films, for example, can get away with shooting one page of script per day. The average film will shoot five, and low-budget films may shoot up to ten.

The more days you spend on set, the higher your film budget will be. Attempting to film too many pages every day, on the other hand, will substantially lower the quality of your video. As a producer, you must decide on the type of film you want to make and the number of shooting days you can afford.

You can arrange locations and estimate how long scenes will take to shoot using your script breakdown. To save time, you can, for example, film all of the sequences from one location back to back. You might also want to spend a little more time on key sequences that are crucial to the plot.


Stage Five: Hiring Cast & Crew

Your lead actors and above-the-line personnel should be the first to hire. This is because, depending on their availability, you may need to reschedule. If getting a very well actor on board involves rescheduling, you’re more likely to do so. It’s essential to be versatile in the early phases. Your chief, director of photography, and production designer make up your above-the-line staff. Pre-production can officially commence after your central crew has been hired.

When hiring, be upfront about what you can provide and don’t make any promises you can’t keep. Remember that this is a collaborative effort, and your production crew will have suggestions for filming schedules. During the hiring process, your original timetable is likely to vary. Using software or, if you can afford it, hiring an accountant to manage your finances is a good idea.

Stage Six: Storyboarding

When you storyboard, you draw graphics to depict the shots in each scene. This offers you a better visual idea of the shooting plans for each scene. As a producer, this will offer you a better understanding of what to expect from your director on the day of shooting. You might also change your schedule based on your pre-visualization. 

For example, if your director requests an establishing shot of a location, you may discover that perfecting this image takes an entire morning. You also won’t have to guess how long each shot will take to film because your director, DOP, and production designer will all have estimations.


Final Stage: Final Schedule

Throughout pre-production, your initial timeline will vary. It’s possible that a venue will only be available for one afternoon, or that an actor will only be available for one weekend. As a producer, you must determine whether to deviate from your original plan and when to decline.

Finally, at least a week before production begins, a final schedule will be distributed to all department leaders. A first-week advanced call sheet will also be sent. Every cast and crew member receives a call sheet the night before each filming day. Also includes a shot list breakdown by scene, letting everyone know when and where they are needed each day.

Film production scheduling is a continual process, hence there is no such thing as a set schedule. Plans will inevitably alter throughout production, such as an actor being unwell or a location is lost. Although you’ll never be able to completely complete a film schedule, do everything you can to get everything in place before shooting begins.

If you follow the instructions above, you’ll have a much easier and more successful film shoot. You can reduce stress and save money by being organized with your calendar from the start. On your first film schedule, you’re bound to make a few errors. But there’s no need to be concerned; film production scheduling is a talent that can be learned with time and experience. You can do it!

Still, worried? Save your time and effort by hiring a Video Production Company. We at Shoot at Sight create high-quality content. We can assist you in creating a powerful film with the greatest equipment, marketing it effectively, and making the most of your budget. Get in touch with us today!

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