What is the key to a great film? We’ve made it very clear that for us it’s the story that delivers the most in terms of outcome for the storyteller and value given to the audience. Whether you’re a business marketing your new product or an innovator with an idea that will change the world, you need to tell a story.
On a more technical note, what does it take to create a great story? We’ve talked many times about the principles behind a good film. But when it comes to tying a story together- let’s be real- principles aren’t enough. We also need to talk about the tactical. In our experience, there is one foundational development that has drastically created a large impact on our films- and that’s preparation.
The old adage goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It’s more than just cliche. It’s a basic truth that applies to everything including filmmaking. If you want to have an amazing film, you need to prepare and you need to prepare well.
Pre-production is Key
When coming up with a film, we are very vocal to clients about the need to place emphasis on pre-production. In this stage, we do a few things that really set the film up for success. Here’s a quick rundown.
- Research. We do our homework. Before coming into the set, we try to understand every angle and every bit there is to possibly know so that we can come up with the right information and more importantly how that information lines up into one powerful plot.
- Storyboarding. One of the most important aspects of film pre-production is creating the storyboard. This will serve as a creative guide for the team as to how the film is to be shot and all the various details that need to be included.
- Logistics. A million things can go wrong in a production- delayed flights, bad weather, shy interviewees, sickness, bad lighting, and so on. You want to make sure you’re ready with as many contingencies as possible.
How Much Time is Spent on Preparation and Concept?
It can really vary across projects. But in our case, we have spent anywhere between fifty to seventy per cent of our total time on storyboarding. That might come out to a shock as some. But truth be told, the reason we save so much time on production and post-production is due to the value we place on pre-production.
Sure preparation adds to the time we spend on the project, but we end up saving time in totality because of all the headaches and challenges we get to avoid with proper preparation. All in all, we’ve developed much better films with more compelling stories when we started following this format. And we love it. Preparation is key. Don’t miss out on it.