1. Make a Shot List.
A good shot list is the backbone for every production. It is essentially the blue print for what will eventually be the final product. Having a good shot list means everyone shows up to production on the same page and it makes sure that the director's vision is as clear as day. If you have the resources, story boarding and even 3D modeling can be great tools for making the production process that much easier. Even in pre-production, its a good way to see how a scene will generally play so you can make changes early on if need be.
2. Finalize locations as well as everything you'll need for a shoot.
This is where the shot list we made will come in handy! With a list of shots, we can then figure out what we need to get the shots we want. This is especially important when working on a budget! It would also be a good idea to finalize the locations you will be filming at and making sure you get all the necessary permissions to use that space. Making a list of the locations you will need will also help later on!
3. Confirm Your Cast and Crew.
Getting people to work on your movie can be more difficult than you would think, especially if you are a first time film maker who is relying on cast and crew volunteering their time. Make sure you confirm that everyone is available for the time you plan on shooting for. Also, plan for last minute cancellations, they are more common than one would hope!
"Having a schedule is crucial because it keeps the entire production on track."
4. Write up a Schedule.
With the locations found, cast and crew hired and the gear gathered, its time to get the ball rolling. Having a schedule is crucial because it keeps the entire production on track. It gives the production process a set deadline. When writing up a schedule, its important to use your time wisely. For example, if you rented a location for an entire day, make sure to schedule all the necessary shots in that location for that day. Seems like common sense but it can be easy to miss especially since your initial shot list is most likely in chronological order. Trust me, you don’t want to make the mistake of renting out a space, only to have to spend the money to rent it again because you missed a minor shot.
5. Check ALL your Gear.
Nothing sucks more then finally getting to a shoot to realize, all your batteries are dead or that one of your lights has a bad lamp, or that your SD card is full. It's all the little things we tend to forget, trust me we are all guilty of it. Making yourself a small checklist before any shoot is a good idea and it'll save you the headache later. Things break, shit happens, coming to a shoot prepared makes your life a lot easier!