Process of making a movie – Part 1 : Pre-production

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One Eight 7 was a big learning process for us, and although we made great improvements since our first film, we have a long way to go. We put a lot of time and effort into every aspect of this movie to achieve the result we were looking for…more so than we’ve ever done before.

 

Filmmaking is a lengthy, complicated process with many aspects involved that the everyday viewer might not even realize. Some people are surprised to find out how long it took us to complete this nine minute short, not realizing just how much we put into it. Nine minutes…you should be able to make that in about a week or two right?…WRONG. Sure, you can make a short film in a week…if you want it to be crap.

 

Let’s go into detail on all the little meticulous details that go into making something shot on a shoestring budget look like it deserves to be on the silver screen. Hopefully this will give you a better understanding as to why this is such a lengthy process, especially with such a small group of people. We are focusing on a small budget film here, but the same rules apply to any professional production.

Step 1 – The Idea: From Thought to Script

 

Every idea for a film starts out as a diamond in the rough. When Brandon came to me with the One Eight 7 script, it was only the first step down this long road. First of all, if you are the only one that has read your script, you probably shouldn’t produce it yet. Having multiple sets of eyes go over your script is invaluable. Spelling and grammatical errors are only the tip of the iceberg here. Other opinions are extremely important, since the plan is to show this movie to a large group of people. What you think is a good idea might not be so clear to someone else! Revisions are a big part of script writing, so don’t be discouraged if your script goes through 10 revisions…that’s normal! What that means is your idea is being improved upon over and over, which will make the outcome that much better! Remember that it is best to spend a ton of time in pre-production, where risk is low and you’re not wasting anyone’s time or money. Make sure your script is nailed down, and all the details have been worked out BEFORE you start filming!

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When writing your script, there are many things to consider.

-What is the feeling/emotion of the story as a whole

-What is the feeling of that specific scene?

-How does this scene help drive your story?

-What are your character’s personalities? How would they interact with each other?

-Does each character serve a purpose in the story/scene?

-What are the “beats” of the scene?

There are just some of the things to think about when writing, and we will go into more detail in a future post. For now, we are going to focus specifically on One Eight Seven.

Part 2 will be coming tomorrow and will be about location scouting, storyboarding and creating a shooting schedule. Stay Tuned!

Do you want to learn more? Feel like we left anything out? Or maybe you think something should be changed? Feel free to leave your feedback, ask questions and share! #LiftRI

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