The business of film
The business of film

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The business of film

2.5 Money upfront: ‘pre-pre-production’

Before you even approach potential financiers to make your film, it is necessary to spend money. In addition to the costs of writers and other script development costs, you have to create your schedule and budget. These are critically important documents to plan and finance your film.

In this video, Ollie Madden talks about some of the activities in this stage of his film’s development.

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Transcript: Video 5 Ollie Madden talks about pre-pre-production

Pre-prep, as it's known, pre pre-production, is a vital part of the process and does require some investment. Some of the things that you need to do in pre-prep are get a budget and schedule done. And usually, we would hire on a freelance basis a line producer to do that work. And what they do is they break down the script into individual scenes and work out in what order they could be filmed and the sensible groupings for those scenes because as you know, you don't shoot the film chronologically. You do it in the best way, logistically, it makes sense to film the scenes.
 Based on that, you can work out how much the film is going to cost to make and all of the different budgetary elements that are required to produce a film on that schedule. So that you have a rough idea of how much the film is going to cost. And related to, how long it's going to take to film some of the other things that you need to do in pre-prep. Some initial casting. So you might have to pay a casting director to come on for a few weeks and help you cast one or two of the lead roles.
 You might get some visuals together so that you can create some concept artwork to help illustrate the visual language for the film and how it might look and feel. These are some of the things that you have to do before you officially have funding and financing.
End transcript: Video 5 Ollie Madden talks about pre-pre-production
Video 5 Ollie Madden talks about pre-pre-production
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Ollie was fortunate that the pre-pre-production stage of his film was funded by his own company, Shine Pictures, parent company of the television production company behind the original TV show, Kudos. However, funding this important part of the process can often be quite problematic. As you will learn, films are often financed by a number of different parties. If one party funds pre-prep before all the financing arrangements have been contracted, that party is taking a risk that the financing might not close and the film might not happen at all, in which case their pre-prep investment would be wasted.

Nevertheless, some parties are prepared to finance pre-prep costs if they are committed to the film. In particular, the two UK broadcasters active in film – BBC Films and Film4 – will sometimes provide support for this stage.


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