I have never been lost. But I will admit to not knowing where I was for a few weeks – Daniel Boone
One of the things we’ve been putting an emphasis on more and more here at Hand Crank Films is pre-production. More and more of our time and effort are pointed at at this phase to make sure we share the same vision with our clients before the cameras even roll. This looks something like:
1) Concept Development (often in concert with an agency); in association with budgeting and project schedule
2) Script Development
3) Story Boarding
4) Shot lists
5) Shoot Day Schedules, dialed into the 1/2 hour.
We’re using the Google Cloud to share all of this, and the approach helps us see red flags before they turn into major project potholes. By walking through a project and visualizing it as much as possible, we can help determine early on if something is going to hit or miss. Storyboards, for example, help us visualize how the story might unfold. We did close to 80 boards for a project we’re working on for Mackie, and though this process is time and thought intensive, it forces us to hit the ground running. Need to escape from a zombie? Let’s see how that looks on paper.
We find that if we front load this phase of the project, we save considerable time, effort and budget during both the shoot and in editing. But more importantly, we come out with a much better film.
This sort of ‘pre-production’ philosophy has also begun to carry itself across our company as a whole. Sure, we’ve always tried to dial in on financial projections, marketing plans, and solid business strategy in an effort to know what the future might hold, but we’re putting even more of an emphasis on that as we go along. By really defining ‘What Success Looks Like to Us’, we can develop better roadmaps to getting there and hopefully not get too lost in the wilderness (though this does still happen, believe me).
We’re working on it. We’re getting better at it. And maybe there’s some ideas here that can help what you’re up to as well. Let us know.