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Published by misshoneyrose12, 2022-07-08 09:12:03

The Pre-produciton process

The Pre-produciton process

The Pre-Production Process
My group produced a 90 second short film for DepicT!, DepicT! is a 90 second short film competition
with the tagline “Can you do it in 90 seconds?” DepicT! is Watershed’s international short film
competition as part of Encounters International Film Festival that challenges filmmakers to create
super-shorts of under 90 seconds. DepicT! has been running since 1998 and prides itself on the
quality of its films. Every year they receive over 700 films from around the world1. In order to
distribute our short film, we could have entered it into the DepicT! Competition, or uploaded it on
YouTube, YouTube is a video sharing service where users can watch, like, share, comment and
upload their own videos. The video service can be accessed on PCs, laptops, tablets and via mobile
Other types of moving image media products are Adverts, trailers, channel indents, TV shows, music
videos, films. Within these types there are many different genres and sub-genres which make it easy
to find something of interest and with hundreds of ways to stream it’s never been easier to enjoy
them. Distribution methods include BBC iPlayer which requires a license this costs £159 except for if
you are 74 and over you are entitled to a free license, Now TV, Cinemas, DVDs, screens (TV, Phones,
streaming platforms) and Netflix. An example of film distribution is Ghostbusters afterlife it was
released into cinemas 18 November 2021, Ghostbusters: Afterlife was screened unannounced on
August 23, 2021, during the 2021 CinemaCon event in Las Vegas. It was released in the United States
on November 19, 2021, after being delayed four times from an original July 2020 date due to the
COVID-19 pandemic.3 It made 175.2 million USD at the box office, Ghostbusters: Afterlife has set its
digital and physical format release dates. The film will be available on digital platforms on January 4
and on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 4.4
I recently saw Ghostbuster’s afterlife at The Vue cinema in Norwich and outside was this display it
was a real treat to see and get involved in this was used to advertise the new film and get people


excited for the next film in the ghostbusters franchise as a fan of the previous films I was really
happy to see this.

There are many sources of funding for films and TV-shows, including crowd funding through
websites like Kickstarter and go-fund-me, product placement, television licence, sponsorship, private
investment, production companies and the BFI. Product placement is seen in many films and TV
shows e.g., no time to die which has at least 30 product placements, everything from Aston Martin
and Land Rover to Chopard diamonds, which one of the characters, a Cuban spy played by Ana de
Armas, wears as she kicks, punches and shoots her way through an elegant Havana party. An
example of private investment is Annapurna-pictures which was found by Megan Ellison an
American film producer and entrepreneur, it has funded many films such as Bombshell, Foxcatcher
and Her, the company expects to release "approximately four to six films per year".5 The BFI also co-
funds many films and distributes the national lottery funds. The BFI National Archive has one of the
most important film and TV collections in the world. “We are a cultural charity, a National Lottery
distributor, and the UK's lead organisation for film and the moving image.”6 Founded in 1933, the BFI
is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter, it aims to support creativity and find the next
generation of storytellers. With many ways for film makers to fund there projects the inclusion from
people with all kinds of backgrounds makes the industry more diverse.
In any production money will be spent on cast, crew, equipment (either brought or rented), food for
all the personnel involved, props, hair and makeup artists, soundtrack, transport, sets, costumes and
permissions. With many of these there are further costs within them, for example, with costumes
you must pay for the material, tailors, researchers if it is a historical piece, the wardrobe department
and permissions. Whereas with things like hair and makeup there is just one set cost for the artists
and then they supply the makeup and such.
For my groups DepicT! Project we had to obtain certain things in order to complete the project. First
we made a list of all the props we needed for the film and thing we already had on college premises,
these included a hessian sack, a plain mask, a prop axe and some rope, none of which the college
had so we made a request to buy them and provided websites where they could be brought, and the
rope was sourced from my shed. We also required equipment, so we sent an email to the librarian
Keith with a list of all the equipment needed (DSLR camera, tripod, sound equipment, a stedi-cam, a


light filter and a lens). We each sourced out costumes from home. We were required to obtain
permissions for our locations this process started off by performing location recces for each location
we wished to film at this didn’t need to be our final locations, then we needed releases we don’t the
release for beacon park near the James Paget hospital. For our short film we needed to inform the
police that we were filming with prop weapons so that the public wouldn’t get frightened and if they
did the police wouldn’t have to come all the way up and waste their time and resources.

Low budget films don’t have a lot of personnel as there are limited funds to be allocated, the 5 – 7-
person crew. On most micro-budget features (let's say those with budgets between $5000 –
$50,000), this is a sweet spot.7 For example Blair Witch Project had a cast of just 10 people and a
crew of about 80 people. The crew for this particular production is made up of producers, music
people, cinematographers, editors, the art department, the sound department, a stunt team,
camera department, casting, editorial department, location management, music department and
additional crew which includes things such as accountants and legal. This differs from a Hollywood
production where the cast and crew are bigger due to a higher budget, “between 2000 and 2018,
the average film released in North American cinemas employed 276 people in crew roles. This covers
development, pre-production, shooting and post-production.”8 This is evident with the film “Forrest
Gump” with the cast being more than double the cast in “The Blair Witch Project” and extra
members of the crew including a visual effects team and a script and continuity department which
isn’t always included within smaller budget productions. The main difference between a Hollywood
film and a television programme is that TV programmes have different writers for each episode and
sometimes multiple people work on them. In our DepicT! we allocated the work equally between
the four of us but listing our strengths and weaknesses for example Ethan was a brilliant artist, so it
made sense for him to complete the storyboard. If none of us were particularly good at a certain
thing for example, for the acting we needed three people and I was only once who done any kind of
acting before being a performing arts student, so I took the main role of the little girl and the other
roles of the big brother, and the man were filled by Ethan and Alfie. When filming our film when split
the camera work between us to who wasn’t on screen at the time to put less strain on Ollie and so
more people could get some experience with the camera.

In addition to the production crew there are other people who contribute to a production for
example in certain TV-shows, films and the news researchers and reporters are needed to maintain
historical accuracy, this is becoming more popular as biographical films and period dramas become
increasingly more popular especially last year with films such as “Respect”, “House of Gucci” and
“King Richard”. A film researcher can help with any aspect of a film, such as developing designs for
costumes, choosing film locations based on historical accuracy and using historical information or
characters.9 These will often work alongside the continuity department to ensure everything is up to
scratch, these aren’t always used in biographies but also films centred around historical events an
example of this is the film “Titanic” although the film centres around a fictional love story director
James Cameron wanted to make sure details like costume and such were as accurate to history as
possible. Another member of a production in addition to the production crew is experts and
witnesses this is usually found with the news, when reporting on a story, reporters usually get the


story from witnesses and then go to experts to see what they have to say about the situation. An
example of this is perhaps if they were reporting on a murder, the witnesses would be neighbours
and family members of the victim and of the criminal this is to make the story seem more human
and real, the experts would be police and psychiatrists used to put an academic point of view across.

Meeting deadlines is very important in the film and television industry which is why preproduction,
and a production schedule is very important to have. So many things hang on the ability to meet
deadlines in this industry, you could be fired, your reputation could be tainted and if your reputation
is ruined people might think twice about hiring you again which could make it tough to work your
way up in the industry. An instance of this is Anthony Hopkins who in his early career caused many
productions to go overtime due to the fact that he was hungover he didn’t make many films in his
early career because of this however, he managed to pull things around by attending alcohols
anonymous and focused on his career a quote from him says “…put my demons behind me and
enjoy the acting.” He later got the role of the doctor in the elephant man one of his first major roles,
Hopkins still attends AA to this day.10 The Los Angeles times reported on a video on twitter where
Anthony Hopkins done a speech celebrating 45 years of sobriety this shows that he hasn’t given up
no matter how hard it may have seemed, this is how he has achieved longevity in his career. Many
sources state that Hopkins was very difficult to work with in his early career as he was mostly
hungover. In his video Hopkins says that “‘Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about
yesterday,’”. The article states that Hopkins’ life was turned around in 1975 when a woman from AA
asked Hopkins the question “Why don’t you trust in God?” after that, the urge to drink was “never
to return.”11 Him being able to over come this has clearly caught the eye of many people in this
industry and he has therefore been able to rebuild his reputation as one of the greatest actors of all
time. We were not able to meet our deadline for many reasons which were not our fault as we had
all of our pre-production paperwork finished on time and were therefore given an extension, the
reasons for our inability to meet the deadline were as follows; weather problems (as we were
filming outside in winter this was to be expected, we were greeted with a week of unbearable rain
and as to not damage the equipment we chose not to proceed with filming); our classroom was
switched for the criminology exam so the teacher chose to show us a film documentary about the
history of film which was a very interesting and useful thing. I feel like we used our time very well
especially when we were filming as it only took us two lessons to complete shooting and we got all
the shots needed for editing.

In professional moving image productions equipment is obtained in facility houses which are a
Commercial company offering a range of TV and/or film facilities for hire. Below are just a few rate
cards for a facility house called promotion.12



We were able to obtain all of the equipment we required in order to complete our DepicT! for free,
we hired it out from the library by emailing the librarian Keith with a list of everything we needed
and therefore didn’t face any difficulties in that department.
A location recce is a list of all the potential locations that we could film at with pictures to go with
them and a location release is the permissions for the location you are definitely going to film at. For
our DepicT! we needed to film in a forest, we were lucky to have lots to choose from to find them
we first went on google maps and looked for woodland near the college, we completed recces for
Bluebell woods and Beacon Park we chose to put our final location as beacon park as it was closer to
the college and was the best option for what we wanted to do. One of the biggest logistical issues
we faced was that our location was public access which meant that we had dogwalkers using the
part of the woods we were filming on we overcame thing by waiting for them to pass before carrying
on with the shoot. Another logistical issue we faced was transport this was overcome easily because
our teacher Ellie was able to use her car to transport us there, in order to do this, she had to fill out
paperwork to show that she had the appropriate insurance for her car, and she was a competent
driver. We were required to fill out a risk assessment for our production as part of out preproduction
paperwork, this included things like falling on wet leaves and the danger of wearing a mask.
In addition to equipment there are other thing needed to make a moving image text, these include
both props and costumes and there are many ways to obtain them you can both make or buy them,
and you can also pay someone to make them for you. A prop maker local to me is a company called
Artyfakes they have over 25 years of prop making experience their services include custom
commissions for Businesses, training in foam prop making, event costumes and modelling13 they


specialise in foam props and costumes. Below are examples of some of there pieces and a post on
their Facebook page of one of their commissions.

We had to take some things into consideration when filming with fake prop weapons and in
costumes the public might find scary, first we compiled a list of all of the things of concern and
emailed them to the police so that they could be made aware of the situation. We also had to make
sure all of the music used was royalty free so that there weren’t any copyright violations. “Copyright
protects your work and stops others from using it without your permission. You get copyright
protection automatically - you don’t have to apply or pay a fee. There isn’t a register of copyright
works in the UK.” 14
Copyright prevents people from:

1. Copying your work
2. Distributing copies of it, whether free of charge or for sale
3. Renting or lending copies of your work
4. Performing, showing or playing your work in public
5. Making an adaptation of your work
6. Putting it on the internet
Our DepicT! was affected by copyright because we weren’t able to use the song “The Teddy Bears
Picnic” due to the fact that the lyrics were copyrighted by Sony, so we ended up without music for
our final cut of the film.
Clearances are permissions to use certain copyrighted material in your production. If you wish to
include copyright material in your film or television programme, such as archive film footage, music


and consumer brands/products you must have the right to do so in the form of an outright transfer
or a licence of the copyright from the owner of these rights.15

Greenlight is the term given when something is officially and formally approved to green light
something is to formally approve its production finance and to commit to this financing, thereby
allowing the project to move forward from the development phase to pre-production and principal
photography. The power to green light a project is generally reserved to those in a project or
financial management role within an organization. The process of taking a project from pitch to
green light formed the basis of a successful reality TV show titled Project Greenlight.16

Public liability insurance is the insurance against something going wrong in a production, it is used
when there is an accident on set a famous case was on July 23, 1982, Vic Morrow and two illegally
hired child actors, Renee Shinn Chen and Myca Dinh Le, were killed in an accident involving a
helicopter during filming on the California set of Twilight Zone: The Movie.17 “Twilight Zone co-
director John Landis (Blues Brothers, Trading Places, National Lampoon’s Animal House) and four
other men working on the film, including the special-effects coordinator and the helicopter pilot,
were charged with involuntary manslaughter. According to a 1987 New York Times report, it was the
first time a film director faced criminal charges for events that occurred while making a movie. 10-
month trial, a jury acquitted all five defendants in 1987. The families of the three victims filed
lawsuits against Landis, Warner Brothers and Twilight Zone co-director and producer Steven
Spielberg that were settled for undisclosed amounts.” 18

A completion guarantee/insurance is to ensure that the production is finished on time and within
budget, it is usually given to new film makers or ones with a reputation of going rogue like Michael
Cimino who after his great success with his film “The Deer Hunter” was hired to direct another film
called Heaven's Gate (1980) which tarnished his reputation a critical failure that became one of the
biggest box-office bombs of all time being over budget and over time which lost production studio
United Artists an estimated $37 million.19 If the studio had taken one of these out with Cimino this
whole fiasco would have been avoided.

OFCOM short for office of communication is a regulatory body its function it to wite up the Bcap
code which applies to advertisements. The bbfc (British board of film classification) look at films and
suggest an age rating and write reports on them. “Through our experience, regular consultations and
research, we are careful to reflect the views of people right across the country. We understand what
matters to families and apply this knowledge in setting our standards.”20

The BBC is a statutory corporation, independent from direct government intervention, with its
activities being overseen from April 2017 by the BBC Board and regulated by Ofcom. The chairman is
Sir David Clementi.21 However it is regulated differently from other sites being under the royal
charter the BBC must obtain a licence from home secretary.


Moving image products distributed via the internet are not regulated this includes things like Now Tv
and other streaming platforms. Things that are already illegal in the UK - such as incitement to racial
hatred and blasphemy - are still illegal online. But there is so much content created, and most of it
comes from other countries, that it is very hard to police any applicable laws.22 Sites like Netflix that
want a mainstream audience will continue to regulate themselves Netflix is regulated in the
Netherlands in its European headquarters. At the start of every film and TV programme on Netflix
the rating with reasons why it has said rating comes up on screen, this is great because if there is
something that trigger someone, or they just don’t like they know straight away and don’t have to
be exposed to it. It helps people find the best programme for them.

However, this may soon change, as they might be regulated by U.K. Government alongside amazon
and Disney+.23

DepicT! regulates their own competition and watershed regulates any content on the DepicT!
website this includes comments made on individual videos. I have found out that regulation mainly
exists to protect the minds of children from seeing content not fit for them to see, and to maintain
this vision online people can set up child locks for certain webpages so that their child doesn’t
stumble upon something that isn’t age appropriate.

Trade unions are a membership-based organisation its membership must be made up of workers,
“one of a trade union's main aims is to protect and advance the interests of its members in the
workplace. Most trade unions are independent of any employer.”24 They are important because they
give workers protection from the companies they work for and help with any lawsuits that may
come to them. Union reps are the backbone of the trade union movement because they link
workers, employers and unions. Union reps have a wide range of roles in the workplace. These
include: supporting and advising members on workplace issues, representing workers with problems
and accompanying them to grievance or disciplinary hearings, recruiting members, negotiating with
employers and acting as a link between the workplace and the union.25

PACT and BECTU are an agreement covering all the significant terms and conditions for crew
engaged on major motion pictures with budgets equal to or in excess of £30 million pounds. “We
represent over 40,000 staff, contract and freelance workers in the media and entertainment
industries.”26 The Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) is the trade association
representing the commercial interests of UK independent media companies.27


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