There are a myriad of other things to get situated before you ever even turn on your camera.
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:
- 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.