This, of course, is called pre-production. It's the time before actual shooting starts wherein cast and crew are hired, locations are scouted, and gear is rented. But that's just the tip of the iceberg -- the list is seemingly endless. Luckily, producer Devin Reeve, in this interview with Film Courage, shares a checklist of sorts that details a bunch of the big and little things that you'll have to accomplish before you head into production.

Here are the tasks Reeve mentions in the video:

Pre-Production Checklist

  • Cast your actors
  • Lock the script
  • Scout locations
  • Finalize your budget
  • Hire your crew
  • Set up vendors for equipment
  • Rent gear
  • Do a tech scout
  • Do a table read

If you're looking at this list and thinking, "Well, that's not a lot," just remember that these are macro-tasks, and completing them means completing a bunch of micro-tasks. For example, casting your actors alone is a big undertaking, taking an incredible amount of time and preparation in order to hold a successful audition.

There are countless pre-production checklists that you can look at/download online, some of which are much more lengthy and thorough that this one (including storyboarding and finalizing legal stuff, like insurance), but in the end, I think the lesson here is knowing that you must allow yourself ample time to prepare. The more prepared you are walking on set, the smoother the entire production will be. 

Source: Film Courage