Pre-production can and is always hectic. Crews are being interviewed and hired, casting in under way, set being designed; director is revising the script, figuring out how to shoot the commercial and the producer its attempting to maintain the budget and making sure all is going as planned It’s really busy, but it’s the most important aspects to making a movie or commercial. In this article, I will take you on a realistic portrayal of what goes on in pre-production, at least a taste of what goes on.
So, here we go. Now casting, “Prominent female spokesman needed for public service announcement commercial”. Things were moving full steam ahead, crews were being moved around, script was being e-mailed and we gearing up and of course so were costs, so we quickly had to remind the crew we were under tight restraints.
Meanwhile, the writer in another office was conducting some re-writes. We needed to shoot in a classroom, a hospital room, and a neighborhood. Which means set dressing, wardrobe, props and actors were needed.
Since we worked at a studio, we utilized our resources and attempted to get permission from the producers of Heroes to use their hospital set for a day. I walked to their production office and pleaded my case and walked away hoping I would get a yes answer.
I asked my producer if he would mind being the doctor in one of the scenes. If welcomed the idea. Keep in mind, when doing things for free, there is less incentive for someone to work. When doing projects such as this, make sure you have dependable people working on your show, or you won’t have one. And after all the hard work, the last thing you need is for a crew member or one of your cast members to not show up.
Although we didn’t have the location picked out, I hired our producer to portray the role of the doctor. If my producer does not show up on set, then I guess the odds were against me. I, the director, took the gamble.
Since we placed the casting notices in the industry trades and with our casting directors, we began receiving submissions from the young to the more mature, and all were willing to donate their time for the cause. I was delighted. Nevertheless, disclaimers would have to be signed by each person who participated. Never take chances or the risk. All it takes is one person to disrupt the good your doing for others by taking you to court because they thought they were going to get paid for their time.
After revising the script once more, I needed to get into the props. Again, favors were needed, because there was no money to purchase or rent anything. I called a good friend who is well known in the business who specializes in police and military props and weapons. He said yes. All we needed to provide was the waist size of the actor and someone to pick up the items and return them when we were done.
By now, we have been in development for 4 days and we are well into the process. We have had individuals wanting to be hired but only if we were to hire their kin. We have had people asking why we were doing it for no pay.
We have had close associates (at least who we thought was close) that are involved with the company and whom we have worked with take the opportunity to be dishonest and attempt to extort from us, while others not even lending a hand. But, as you will read, this minuscule and negative energy will neither slow nor alter our mission. This has been a team effort all the way.
Know your mission, maintain your vision, be real and keep everybody motivated. http://www.whatistheflipside.com
Louis C. Simon