Filmmaking, like other commercial activities, demands patience, money, time and efforts. Over the years, filmmaking has evolved to the extent that production activities have become more intertwined and complex, leading to a situation where planning has now become the most important activity.
Film Planning takes place during the pre-production phase itself and it is when every aspect from shooting till final edit is pre-decided. In short, this is the blueprint phase where the most important members like producers and directors must iron out the details related to costs, scheduling and implementation.
Casting, crew selection, equipment rental and transportation, etc. will have to be synergized together to create filmic scenes whose image has been etched in the storyboarding phase of pre-production itself; a vital and important phase which gives a rough picture of the kind of resources and efforts required. Film duration, thus, provides a very substantial clue as to how filmmaking must proceed and planning becomes extremely essential in this respect. Film planning is very important in anticipating and preventing hurdles from appearing, whether during location scouting, shooting, sound recording or editing.
Once, storyboarding is completed, shooting schedules are developed and implemented. Every item of use like film set props, shooting lights, cameras and team members like camera crew, actors and other teams will be designated their respective roles.
Backup options are also important for the smooth flow of filmmaking process and hence deals will have to be made with prop vendors, suppliers and rental equipment firms to replace any item of use whenever needed. Production assistants, especially teams of Assistant Directors, play a very important role in ensuring uninterrupted shooting. Depending on the number of ADs, some (like 3rd ADs) of them are involved in crowd control, others keep a list of items required in shooting while some others manage the cast and crew and play an important role in relaying information from directorial team to other members and vice versa. And how can we forget the most important role of the script supervisor who has a vital part in film continuity?
Above-the-line film crew is usually most invested in creative and technical decisions in filmmaking, in conjunction with Producers whose money is heavily invested. Henceforth, the latter exert an enormous influence in decision making where monetary logic plays its own role. This is why a clutter of team inputs from every side needs to be curtailed, else decision-making slows down and consequently costs increases disproportionately.
Proper planning goes a long way in reducing shooting days and saving time and money. Location scouting provides a proper geographic, artistic and monetary perspective for director and DoP to choose shots, plan them and implement them accordingly with complete understanding and support from the main Producer. Scheduling ensures proper procedures to be followed by the film crew and the smooth process of shooting must be commensurate with the time invested into it so as to wrap it up by the day’s or night’s end.