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Ao1 – Unit 4 Max Kureishy

Pre production is a key part of production but they vary from the different types of production. For example Film pre production require filming permits whereas game doesn’t. This is because each productions requires different things like gaming pre production does not require filming permits as nothing is filmed, whereas film pre production obviously needs filming permits if they are not filming in a studio. Without pre production, the production team would not have any idea what is going on where and when they come to shooting the film. It also allows the producers and production team to establish a realistic release date, as they know roughly how long it will take to shoot and edit the whole film, taking into account any major issues that could arise, for example actors being ill or injured. If pre production is not properly done, major flaws in things like shooting locations or actors not being available during a certain shoot could rise mid production, which could severely slow down the production of the film, costing the production money as they might have already booked a certain studio for filming in, but have to rebook as an actor is not available for the shooting of a specific scene. This could also delay the final release of the film.

The function of pre production is to ensure the entire crew and cast know exactly what’s going on for example shooting schedules let everyone involved in the filming know exactly where, when and what they are shooting on a particular day. If shooting schedules were not used, actors and the crew might not know exactly where they are shooting on a particular day, which could lead to people crucial to the filming of a particular scene are late, which delays the whole shooting for that day. This can cause the film to lose money as it costs them money to be on location or in a studio. Pre productions also allows the producers to go over every detail of the film and make sure there are no problems with the cast and crew, and if there are any problems, they can be resolved during pre production before any actual filming takes place, which can save the production money.

Storyboards

Storyboarding is when a storyboard artist is hired to visualize how the final shot will look like by drawing simple drawings of the shot. Storyboards include information such as scene/shot number, camera angle and any extra information the producer might want.

In this example of a storyboard from ‘No Country For Old Men’, you can see the original drawing of a particualer scene from the storybaord, and the final shot from the film. At the bottom of the screen you can see information such as the camera angle the producers/ director wants. Thee arrow represents the direction of the camera. This image shows how effective a well thought out storyboard can be. As you can see the final film image is almost identical to the storyboard image. This shows that the storyboard artist has effectively visualised a scene exactly how the producer wanted it to look like. Storyboards are a necessity in producing a film as they help the whole crew to visualise how the producer wants the film to look like and also see if the producers vision even works. This can save a lot of time as the producers might not be happy with how a certain shot/scene turned out whilst watching some early edits of the final film. This means some shots might have to be reshot but if a well done storyboard is created, the producers can decide whether they like a certain shot or not before anyone has even picked up a camera.

Shooting schedule

A shooting schedule is a plan containing a list of every day that a scene is being shot. All the cast and crew are given the same shooting schedule to everyone knows where they have to be for what day and at what time.

Shooting schedules include information such as:

  • date of filming
  • location of the scene
  • scene number
  • actors needed for a specific scene
  • props/ equipment/
  • needed for a scene

Any other extra notes about the scene

A properly developed shooting schedule allows everyone involved with the production of a film to know exactly where they have to be, when and what will be filmed on a specific day. If a shooting schedule is not properly thought out and created, this could lead to actoras not knowing what day they are filming, or not being available for a specific scene, meaning that particular scene will have to be changed to another day to be filmed, which can be very expensive for the production as filming studios are usually booked in advance and there can be a long waiting list. This can also delay the release of the film.

Location scouting:

Location scouting is the process of researching and visiting possible filming locations once the script has been finalised and a storyboard has been drawn up. Location scouting allows producers to physically visit different locations, take photos and compare with other possible filming locations and choose which location they feel is most suitable for a scene. Making sure that the producers are positive on shooting in a location is essential, as for many blockbuster films such as Skyfall require thorough location scouting. First Assistant Director Michael Lerman said “the location itself, actually ends up, in some ways, dictating what the action of the scene” as many action scenes are only possible due to the location being filmed, so if location scouting is not properly done, when it comes to filming on location, a certain action scene might not be possible due to the limitations of the location. This could severely delay the release of the film and drastically cause the film to go over budget if an important scene in the films plot is not able to be shot. Well thought out film scouting can save productions a lot of time and money if everything such as accessibility, location etc is fully taken into account.

Section 2 – Finance:

Public funding:

Public funding is when money is sourced from the government (not always) ‘to provide goods and services to the general public’. This money is acquired from mainly taxes, but also fines and fees. The government allocate Money that the government sets aside for TV and film is distributed by the BFI (British Film Institute). An example of public funding is when production companies, like the BBC, set aside a sum of money to fund films. An advantage to private funding is that there are a lot moreThe problem with this sometimes is that the producers might have to alter the production if it does not fit the guidelines set by the source of money.

Private funding:

This is when money is not funded by the government from taxes and fines. Money instead comes from a private group of people or persons, who can donate as much money as the want. An example of this is online websites where producers can set up a profile and anyone can donate as much money as they want to. The people donating who want to donate can read a bit of information about the production on the site. An advantage to private funding is that the producers have full control over the production. A disadvantage of private funding is the amount of money that producers who privately fund their productions is usually much smaller than privately funded productions as many people will not donate or donate very small sums of money.

I believe, that for small productions, i believe that private funding benefits them the most, as they are given full control over their production and are not limited in any way, other than that their budget might not be as large as a public funded production. Whereas for a larger production, such as a feature film, public funding benefits them the most as they have access to a lot more choices for institutions to source a budget from, although they may be limited by what they can do if their production does not meet the agreed upon requirements

Reservoir Dogs:

One example of a low budget film is Reservoir dogs. It is named as “The greatest Independent film of all time” by Empire and made a staggering $2,832,029 in the box office.The film was originally meant to be shot by Tarantino and a few of his friends using a 16mm black and white camera and a budget of $30,000. Producer Lawrence Bender was playing a police officer chasing Mr Pink. He gave the script to his acting teacher, and his wife then passed on the script to Harvey Keitel who liked the script so much he signed as a co-producer. This made finding funding for Tarantino a lot easier and raised $1.5 million. Not only did Keitel help find funding, he also payed for a casting sessions in New York where Steve Buscemi (Mr Pink), Michael Madsen (Mr Blonde) and Tim Roth (Mr Orange) were found.

Paranormal Activity:

Another example of a low budget film is Paranormal Activity, with a budget of only $15,000, but within its first week of release, it “took $36,146 on its opening day and $77,873 on its first weekend for an average of $6,489 per venue”, “bringing the total gross to $33,171,743”. Director Oren Peli used a technique known as ‘rotoscoping’ where actors are only given outlines of stories and situations and have to improvise, giving the film a more natural feel. The film was also shot on a home video camera, to add to the sense of realism. This also lowered the budget of the film. The camera was also stationary for the majority of the film which eliminated the need of a camera crew, also lowering the budget even more. In 2007 the finished film was screened at ‘Screamfest Horror FIlm Festival’ and it caught the attention of a creative arts agency, who sent out copies to “as many people in the industry as they could”. Dreamworks executives Adam Goodman, Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg made a deal with Peli, But wanted to remake the original on a larger budget and just have the origional as a ‘DVD bonus’. Peli agreed but requested a test screening before beginning on the remake. During the screening to everyone’s surprise, people began walking out, but later found it they were walking out as it was too scary, so scrapping the original was obviously not the right choice. Paramount pictures who had acquired DreamWorks in 2005 bought the rights to the film for $350,000 and several changes were made to the original film. Two new endings were shot and some scenes were cut and new ones were added.

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

An example of a high budget film is Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, with a budget of $200 million, and made a profit in the box office of $836.3 million. The film received “unprecedented support from the US army”. Director Michael Bay was given access to:

Two A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’ tank killing jets

Six F-16 Fighting Falcons

10 armoured Humvees

The Army’s Golden Knights parachute team

Two Abrams tanks

Two Bradley tanks

Two missile-launcher vehicles

Two armoured personnel; carriers

Army’s New Mexico missile range

-scene from Transformers involving 770 gallons of gasoline and a high explosive charge (dynomite)

The Egyptian Government allowed the production to film a battle scene on the site of the Pyramids in Giza. “It’s the first time access was granted to the 5,000-years-old site”

The reason Michael Bay was given so much access was because Michael Bay also directed Pearl Harbour and Armageddon, both involving military cooperation, so he is already on good terms with the military. But allowing Bay access to all these weapons and vehicles allows the military to ‘show off’ its latest technology and vehicles. Allowing the film to use all these vehicles saves the production a lot of money in props and special effects, so it is a ‘win win’ situation.

Section 3 – logistics

Team America: World Police

Team America encountered many problems during filming, mainly to do with the limitations filming with real puppets came with. Team America co producer, Matt Stone, described the filming of Team America as “The worst time in my entire life”, “You work 20 hours a day, take sleeping pills to go to bed and drink coffee to stay up. You feel like a piece of s**t”. Although the filmmakers hired three dozen marionette (puppets worked with strings) operators, simple performances from the marionettes were nearly impossible; “a simple shot such as a character drinking might take a half-day to complete successfully”. Not only was it a pain to produce, it was an expensive one too. “Just building the tiny Uzi used by Team America members cost $1,000, and the production quickly stacked up a $32 million price tag” which is “expensive for a puppet show”, to say the least.

Another issue the film had was staying on schedule. Stone stated that the jokes that they had written in the script just were not funny when said by puppets, so many of the jokes from the original script had to be scrapped or rewritten. This massively slowed down the production of the film, although the film did release on time.

These issues, in my opinion, could have been easily avoided if the producers didn’t set such an early release date. The early release date put a lot of stress on everyone working on the filming,especially since it was the producers first time ever using puppets, and clearly didn’t know the limitations that working with puppets comes with.

Star Wars: A New Hope

The first problems Star Wars encountered were filming in Tunisia for the planet: Tatooine. Firstly, many of the props and robot droids experienced ‘electronic breakdowns’, probably due to the build up of sand and the intense heat. The crew were also hit with a ‘rare tunisian rainstorm’, which severely delayed the filming of all the Tatooine scenes, which caused the whole filming schedule to fall behind. Once all the filming was completed (eventually), and the first edit was was produced, George Lucas (the director) stated that it was a “complete disaster”

The Weather wasn’t the production’s only issue. The character C-3PO, was played by actor Anthony Daniels and when he first put on the head to toe costume on set in Tunisia, the plastic leg pieces shattered, stabbing his leg in the process. The cast didn’t even take the production seriously. Kenny Baker, the actor who played R2D2, didn’t even think the film would succeed, he thought the film “would be a failure”

I believe many of these issues could have been resolved if pre production was properly done. For example, if the production had taken more time to scout the location better, they could have prepared for problems such as electronics failing due to sand and heat. The issue with the C-3P0 costume could have been resolved if the costume designers built the costume around the actor himself, which could have resulted in more of a better fit and not leaving him with stab wounds.

Section 4

A basic definition of codes of practice is: a set of rules which describe how to behave in a particular profession. Codes of practice exist to provide safety within a certain profession for everyone involved in that profession. In the case of TV, and Film, there are also codes of practice for the viewer. For example, watershed is a “well-established policy of making 9pm the pivotal point of the evening’s television”. This is to ensure that children are protected from explicit imagery on tv or harmful content such as drugs or violence.

Here are some codes of practice that filmmakers must abide by: health and safety, age restrictions and copyright