Pre-production is the process of preparing all the elements involved in a film, play, or other performance.


In the film industry, pre-production usually only commences once a project has been developed and is greenlit. At this stage a project will generally be fully financed and have most of the key elements such as principal cast, director and cinematographer in place, as well as a screenplay which is satisfactory to all the financiers.

During pre-production, the script is broken down into individual scenes and all the locations, props, cast members, costumes, special effects and visual effects are identified. An extremely detailed "schedule" is produced and arrangements are made for the necessary elements to be available to the film-makers at the appropriate times. Sets are constructed, the crew are hired, financial arrangements are put in place and a start date for the beginning of principal photography is set. At some point in pre-production there will be a read-through of the script which is usually attended by all cast members with speaking parts, all heads of departments, financiers, producers, publicists, and of course the director.

Even though the writer may still be working on it, the screenplay is generally "page-locked" and "scene-numbered" at the beginning of pre-production to avoid confusion. This means that even though additions and deletions may still be made, any particular scene will always fall on the same page and have the same scene number.

See also

* Film budgeting
* Principal photography
* Production board
* Production strip
* Screenplay (script)
* Screenwriting
* Shooting schedule
* Storyboard
* List of film-related topics

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • pre-production —   the planning stage in a film s production after the project is finally greenlighted, and before principal photography or actual shooting commences, involving script treatment and editing/rewriting, scheduling, set design and construction,… …   Glossary of cinematic terms

  • pre-production — noun work done on a film, broadcast programme, etc. before full scale production begins …   English new terms dictionary

  • pre-production — noun The process of preparing the elements involved in a motion picture, theatrical play, or other performance …   Wiktionary

  • Pre Production — VP The planning and overall preparation that occurs before you begin filming …   Audio and video glossary

  • Pre-Production — PP The planning stage before shooting commences. This includes casting, location scouting and budgeting …   Audio and video glossary

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