Avoid these key mistakes before you get creating.
We all know that the pre-production phase of a project can most definitely be the most demanding. This is the phase where critical planning is essential for the actual day of shoot as well as post-production to run as smoothly as possible.
A strong pre-production phase is your biggest asset. Now we are not saying if you plan effectively in the lead up to your shoot that nothing will go wrong during shoot or in post production, unfortunately that’s not the name of the game. But that’s what makes this industry so delicate yet robustly magical -finding that sweet spot between meticulous planning and troubleshooting.
A sometimes painful term we are all to familiar with is "fix it in post” – stop right there! Take that term and bury in the ground and never dig it up again.
Here are 5 key mistakes not to do when preparing for a shoot:
1. Leave things until the last minute
– Yes, sometimes we may not have copious amounts of pre-production time, but it is essential that you begin planning for a shoot the moment you have enough information on the scope of the project. Many things change, such as schedules, deadlines, cast or location availability, crew or even weather – the options are endless. Start planning as soon as possible so that you can iron out the creases as you go and not when things go wrong.
2. Forget to sign agreements or contracts
– We know these are time consuming but always ensure you have the correct paperwork in place before setting foot onto set. This may include cast contracts, crew contracts, location release agreements and so much more. Be upfront and transparent from the get-go to avoid unforeseen costs and legal issues once the content is published.
3. Only have a PLAN A
– It is important to always have a plan A, B, C and even D set in place for key aspects of your shoot. Anticipation is your strongest card! Always think ”what will we do of X doesn’t work out?” and have those back up plans on the sideline. This will teach you how to troubleshoot and have effective plans in place should something go wrong. Remember the show must go on and for that, we need to anticipate and execute according to the predesigned vision for the shoot and understand where adaptations can take place.
4. Think that pre-production, production and postproduction are not connected
– These three stages are 100% interlinked, there are many things that one could combat in the pre-production/production phase that could streamline the post-production phase or visa versa. Aspects such as music, sound, grading, and motion graphics in relation to where they will be placed and framed on the footage but to name a few.
5. Work and think alone
– This may sound like a strange one but preparing for a shoot is a collaborative act. Various departments are intertwined, and you never know what challenges your department may have that another can easily assist with. Keep an open line of communication and flag any concerns as soon as possible before they can develop into something worse.
Collaboration is key and always expect the best but plan for the worst.