WHAT IS PRE PRODUCTION FOR VISUALS?
With visuals, location is very important. Its a big part of what’s seen on the screen. Location scouting is done by the location manager, someone who is responsible for finding locations and securing the rights to use the place. Normally there will be several locations to consider, so if one goes wrong, there’s a backup. The location scouting team will look at the script for ideas on location and talk to the writer and the director on their ideas of what’s the best place to film.
While on location, the overall area needs to be considered. Are there any external noises that could interfere with filming? If you are doing a historical piece, is there any angles of filming that would show things like modern buildings? All these things need to be looked at and are recorded on a location recee sheet.
This makes sure that when they go to film on this location, they know what to expect and when deciding location, which is best for the job.
With location, comes set design. Designing a scene with props to help give depth to a shot. Not every scene can be a plain room with an actor in it. That would be boring. But with set design, comes researching props. I wrote about this in a blog a while back about Production research on the props and locations of Freaks and Geeks. As it was a piece set in the 1980’s in Michigan but filmed in late 1990’s in California, all the props had to be carefully chosen to make sure they fit with a 1980’s Michigan feel. Set designers mostly always draw sketches or create models of the set to plan where things should go.
(Jordan Rane, 9th January 2017)
A script in a visual production is very important. If people are talking, you need a script. And this is the case most of the time. A script is one of the first thing that gets made, as it can be used as a basis for all departments. The costume department can look at it to see details about costumes needed, the location scouting team can look at it to get an idea for what needs to be the location and so on.
Here’s our script for our audio based task called the Proposal we did last week. The script was one of the first things we created. This helped us a lot when we were creating a sound effect list as we could just list the noises that were heard in the script and write them down. We could also look for ideal locations as even though it was audio based and the location would not be seen, we still needed a quiet space but with enough room to capture the sound of the characters walking away.
A script is also very helpful when it comes down to storyboarding.
In a visual based production, a storyboard is key. It helps give an illustrative view of what the scenes should look like.
(Indy Mogul, 19th April 2013)
You don’t have to be an amazing artist to storyboard. It’s just a way to be able to make sure the scenes match and on a storyboard you can show camera angles. It’s like a visual version of the script. It also can help the director to make sure their vision is coming across. When I did my Hallo project at the end of 2016, I found having a storyboard very useful when it came to production because I could easily tick off the shots to know what needed to be filmed. I could also refer back to the shots to make sure what was being filmed was what I wanted.
Here’s my storyboard for my Hallo project. I listed each shot and wrote below it quick notes. I found this very useful even when editing because I could easily see which order the shots went it which saved a lot of time trying to work it out. A director and director of photography will most likely oversee storyboarding as they are the ones who know what the visual image should be.
With visuals, there’s normally actors. Someone on the screen to watch. So the casting of actors is a very important part of pre production when it comes to visuals. Having the right actor on the screen is important when it comes to moving a vision from paper to screen. Actors are normally put through casting calls, so the director and other members of the crew can choose whose best for the job. As students, we have to normally use other people in our course but making connections nowadays with students who are studying performance arts subjects can be very useful when it comes down to casting.
There are also many other jobs during pre-production that help towards visuals. Here’s a list I found on a slideshow that gives several more examples as I chose to write about the most important ones to do with visuals during pre-production.
Our task this week is to create a visual task. We have to create something with a minimum of six shots and work on using different camera angles within it. We can also incorporate camera movement. This can be a tilt shot or a pan shot. We can also use a dolly. Like last week’s task though, we have to do some paperwork in our pre-production stage. This includes, health and safety forms to make sure that everything we are filming is as safe as it can be and that we are aware of any potential hazards that might occur and how we can minimize the risk of them happening. We also need to fill out a location recce sheet so we can see which locations are best to use for this task. Especially when using equipment like dollies, we need to consider things like floor because if it was something like a tiled floor, the gaps in the tile would affect the dolly from sliding smoothly across the floor.
As I wasn’t in College on the days my group were filming. I still watched everyone elses to see what they had created. Firstly I had to fill out all the paperwork before even filming.
I started with creating a storyboard for my piece. I just wanted a simple video of two people walking and then holding hands. I drew out a storyboard for this. I also had to fill out a location recce sheet for a place I could potentially film at. With this came a health and safety sheet so I knew the potential risks. Luckily there weren’t many apart from tripping over loose wires but this can easily be solved by taping them down.
Overall, although I didn’t get to create my own video for this, I watched my classmates and saw how even though they all had the same brief, they all create something very different. I hopefully want to film this project later on just so I have something to show. Doing this paper work though was good practice for my second project as I knew what was needed and will hopefully be most useful when I do my final major project for the year.
MissConnell, (14th December 2o12), Film development pre production production, Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/MissConnell/film-development-pre-production-production, (Accessed: 27th February 2017)
Paul Harney, (20th August 2013), Pre-Production- Scouting for locations, Available at: http://www.thatsthat.ie/video-production-blog/pre-production-scouting-for-locations/, (Accessed: 27th February 2017)
Indy Mogul, (19th August 2013), Storyboarding For People Who Can’t Draw (Like Me!): FRIDAY 101, Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux_Em1lVsjI, (Accessed: 27th February 2017)
Jordan Rane, (9th January 2017), Experiencing ‘La La Land’ for yourself, Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/12/travel/los-angeles-travel-la-la-land-film-locations/, (Accessed: 27th February 2017)
Steve Pond, ( 18th January 2017), ‘La La Land,’ ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Manchester by the Sea’ Casting Directors Share Tricks of Trade, Available at: http://www.thewrap.com/casting-directors-manchester-la-la-land-moonlight-oscar-category/, (Accessed: 27th February 2017)
Carolinaweekly, (5th October 2012), Local film, acting school receives key grant, Available at: http://unioncountyweekly.com/news/2012/10/local-film-acting-school-receives-key-grant/, (Accessed: 27th February 2017)