So you’ve got a great idea for a short film, possibly even an awesome idea for a low budget indie feature? Maybe you’ve even cranked out and polished the script. That’s awesome! Congratulations! For a lot of new filmmakers, at this point it gets real tempting to quickly amass a crew and cast and get to the fun part: shooting the movie. But what a lot of new filmmakers overlook is how crucial it is to carefully plan head. Thorough pre-production and thinking through all the logistics of filmmaking are a huge part of the whole process. But it’s easily the least glamorous part of filmmaking, which makes it easy for novice filmmakers to want to rush through so as to get to the more exciting stuff, shooting and editing.
There’s also the temptation for new filmmakers to believe the myth that planning ruins creativity. For some people, the dominant idea of creativity is that of a person doing some sort of free association mental gymnastics on the spot to come up with something brilliant that seems to happen spontaneously. The truth is, the most brilliantly creative filmmakers are painstaking planners! Recently, I made a short video in an effort to address this myth and talk about why planning matters. In it, I bring up some key ways that planning is essential to any film production, no matter how big or small. Take a look below.
You can read more about how to think like a seasoned producer and about how the whole medium of short films have changed dramatically in the past ten years by checking Short Films 2.0 on Amazon. The book addresses the unique challenges that short films face when compared to feature films and includes real-world examples and stories as well as loads of links and bonus materials like sample scripts and suggested reading. The book is out now on Kindle and will be out in trade paperback on June 7, 2016.