Good fiction and non-fiction films almost always have a solid foundation in research and pre-production. IFS’s film and video pre-production services are essential to all of our projects. Our attention to detail and creative concepts are the foundation to every successful production. IFS’s Pre-Production services provides you with wide range of services that covers every nitty-gritty of pre-production
There are six fundamental divisions to pre-production, all related to one another.
Management – This is the core, the only part that knows everything Administration – The paperwork Writing – The ‘Plan’ Talent – The people who feel they are the most important Location – The work that needs to be done but nobody wants to do it Production – Everything else
Management is the focal point of any production. It is the first to form, and the last to disband once production is complete. It includes key positions such as the Producer (and all its variants), Writer, Director, Unit Production Manager, First Assistant Director, etc. IFS will guide you and provide you with support from our pool of experienced and knowledgeable personnel who will perform or support for all key positions.
Scheduling is traditionally decided by the First Assistant Director in tandem with the Director. Realistically, only the director knows how long he or she will take to pull off a movie, and according to this, the schedule is drawn. There are many factors that affect the schedule. A schedule outlines the basics: Where do we meet? What do we do? Who has to show up? When do they have to show up?
Based on all the other factors, a full detailed production budget is drawn up. The concept of dividing pre-production tasks. Big budget companies or studios can afford to overrun their budgets, independent filmmakers cannot. Underestimating the budget is one of the greatest causes of production failure, and it is usually the result of the inability of the filmmaker to acknowledge reality. At IFS, we hand-hold you in a detailed preparation of your budget.
Production Management is the running of day to day operations of a movie. The person on whom this responsibility is thrust is the Production Manager. While the creative departments focus on the art, the production team runs the machine. We always prefer that you leave the production management to us.
It is no more a difficult process to import equipment into India as well as it will be very costly. Exporting equipments outside India also makes no sense. Sourcing it locally is more convenient and cost effective. IFP has its own studio as well as it is well connected with numerous equipment rental houses in wide spread regions of India & Abroad for all your technically sound equipment needs.
Catering begins as soon as a production is green-lit. Everyone has to eat, and this responsibility is handled by the production team, headed by the Production Manager. Everyone has to be fed well (doesn’t mean greasy comfort food). A well fed crew is an efficient and motivated crew. If you can’t afford to treat your crew well, get ready to face hell. We have association with catering companies, who will provide you with tailor-made food to suit everyone’s tastes.
Legal and Accounting
Every production must have a solid legal foundation. The day-to-day accounting tasks are carried out by the production team, but at the end of the day all debits and credits will flow through certified accountants, who will minutely inspect every detail. These are checks and balances that are in place to ensure everyone’s doing their job, and no money is being wasted or robbed. Our management team has Chartered Accountants who make your accounting procedure easier.
Permits & Contracts
Permits will have to be obtained from locations, individuals, agencies, governmental organizations, private organizations, and so on. These permits are not scraps of paper; they are legitimate documents valid in the eyes of the law. They are usually prepared by the legal team, and enforced by the production team. We have a separate legal team which assists our clients in all legal matters and contracts. Contracts are also prepared by the legal team, and they have to be duly signed.
The ‘finished’ draft of a screenplay is the basis of any production. This draft will be scrutinized in minute detail by many individuals, from every angle imaginable. A script is ‘broken down’ into the following documents:
- • Location breakdown
- • Cast breakdown
- • Crew breakdown
- • Scene breakdown
- • Effects breakdown (if any)
At every stage of the production, the research ‘team’ finds and distills information to ‘scannable’ form for the director or writer, especially where detail is necessary. We will do all your research work. It’s like someone else doing your homework for you.
Previz or Storyboarding
Storyboarding is the art of drawing or rendering frames as visualized by the director. Usually this is done by a storyboard artist. When it is done on computer, you call it Previz, or pre-visualization. This can take the form of still frames, presentations, motion, 3D animations, and anything else that catches the director’s fancy.
Once the director is locked in on how he or she wants to tackle a production, it is time for them to sit with the first assistant to prepare the shooting script. The shooting script is the screenplay with ‘shot’ information.
Talent – (Auditions and Casting)
Auditions and Casting are managed by the Casting Director and Director. Sometimes, these are filmed for later scrutiny. On most productions, the director is present during auditions. Casting is critical. There are very few directors who think casting isn’t the most important part of any production.
Once the cast and crew are in place, it is time to rehearse. This period might be one reading (a day), a week or a month. Depending on availability of talent, and what the director feels is required, this period may vary. Rehearsals are an excellent time for everyone to study the structure of the production from a safe distance. Changes can still be made without loss of time and money.
Location Scouting and Approvals
Location preparation begins with hunting for those ‘ideal’ spots that will end up as backdrops in your video or movie. In our opinion during location scouting all the key heads of departments should be present; mainly, the Director, Cinematographer, Production Sound Mixer, Production Designer, First Assistant and Unit Production Manager. During a location scout the cinematographer is looking for angles, light, blocking, and whatever else it is that interests him or her. The production sound mixer will listen for potential audio problems. A good production mixer will also look for unique opportunities to capture important ‘snippets’. The production designer will look at the aesthetics of the location, in close discussion with the director and cinematographer. If they are smart, they will include the production mixer in their ‘discussions’. Everyone else will study the location from a logistics perspective. It should go without saying that every location must have written and legally valid permits or releases.
Logistics is the art of moving man and machine within physical, budgetary and temporal constraints. A small crew is nimble and easy to move. A large crew demands military precision. The bulk of this responsibility lies in the hands of the production manager. Every item and person has to be at a specified location at a predetermined point of time. Executing this on a feature takes a lot of foresight, experience and wisdom.Auditions and Casting are managed by the Casting Director and Director. Sometimes, these are filmed for later scrutiny. On most productions, the director is present during auditions. Casting is critical. There are very few directors who think casting isn’t the most important part of any production.
To a small crew, transportation might at most be a car or public transport. When moving more than fifty people from place to place, it’s called a nightmare. Let us handle this nightmare for you.
Set Design and Construction
Once the set design is fixed and approved, construction and decoration will commence. These activities must be completed before the unit (everyone) arrives to shoot there. It’s like a construction job where the deadline is etched in stone. Our team of expert craftsmen will assist you in every step of design and construction.
Need to say that we are quite efficient in assisting our clients in the Visa paper work and visa acquiring process for the crew because of 8 years of experience of our “mother company” The Catwalk Holidays. All foreign residents require a visa to enter India.