The preproduction phase of any production is arguably the most important. During this stage you'll need to get all your ducks in a row, and to do so in the most organized fashion possible. This means perfecting your script, securing financing either by private means or through a studio or production company, budgeting and scheduling your film, and hiring crew and cast. And that's just the beginning.
Dream a Little Dream
With little or no budget, you can bring your vision to life in any number of ways. For newcomers, creating sample reels of your film work is one of the first priorities. Without samples, no one will get a feel for your personal style or your seriousness in wanting to become a filmmaker. Having a script perfected and in hand is yet another step toward achieving your dreams.
Show Me the Money!
Funding is paramount for any filmmaker. In order to secure financing from either private investors or a studio or production company, you need to assemble a business plan in the form of a production package. This includes a cover letter, a synopsis of your script, a resume, pertinent background information, and a breakdown of your proposed budget. Chapters 7 and 8 discuss how you can go about securing financing, maintaining a budget, and scheduling your production.
Professionalism is the key to any successful financial venture and is especially important in the filmmaking industry, where a company is considering investing millions of dollars in you and your project. Everything you propose in your budget will be meticulously scrutinized. Be sure your estimates are accurate, your proposal shows familiarity with the project, and your sales pitch is perfect.
Assembling Your Crew
Any film that has a production budget, whether it's big or small, will need a crew. However, the funds you have available and the type of film you're making will dictate the size of your crew and cast. Regardless, it's crucial that you understand the responsibilities and specialties of all the professionals who work hard to create motion pictures. Chapters 10 and 11 give you the background you need when it comes time to hire both essential and additional crew members. Whether they're assistants or gaffers or associate producers, you should know what they do and how they do it on a typical production.