Abigail Producing Workshop
Today I attended a workshop with Abigail where we went into detail some of the tasks that are generally completed by a Producer in a project. The producers role in pre-production is vital to the project being completed on time.
This session focused on the process of making a viable production using softeware such as movie magics to create schedules and budgets as well as using traditional techniques to complete the process. One of the most important things to focus on was that the project is constantly evolving and the producers role is to balance three key areas in order to create a viable product.
Script – The script is the main blueprint for the production, all decisions are initial based around the script and what the writer/director want to achieve. The first step of scheduling and budgeting is to go through the script and highlight all areas that will have an impact on the schedule and budget. These will include Scene length, Location, characters, Props, Special effects set dressing and camera moves at the very least. Having an idea of all of these elements will enable the producer to budget effectively and schedule efficiently.
Schedule – The schedule is important in ensuring a project is delivered on time, there is an overall schedule for the project which should be started from the delivery date and work backwards, this will include post production, production and pre-production. Abigail noted that post production is often overlooked particularly in student films and it can take a lot longer than we imagine, she also reminded us that post-production elements such as sound, soundtrack and particularly titles play very important roles in the final look and feel of a film so they should be given enough time for completion just as the main filming element is.
Budget – With an idea of the script and schedule budgeting can now take shape, budgeting is a balancing act between saving as much money as possible while ensuring all the HoD creative ideas can be realised. The budget sets out how much a production is going to cost and takes into account talent and crew costs, travel accommodation, equipment and grip hire along with many post production elements such as copyright, soundtrack, marketing and distribution. Abigail noted that not all of the money will come at once and that backers will often pay in installments so this is an important to remember when budgeting,
All three of the elements above are working together to create a project, if any one changes then the other two will need adjusting and there should be constant checks and adjustments to the script, budget and schedule throughout the process to keep the project running on time for delivery and within the agreed budget.
For my role as Producer on Sineads drama ‘Behind closed Doors’ I have begun using a free software called Celtx. The software allows the imputing of a script in an industry format and allows the producer to highlight all areas relevant to scheduling and from this i can create strip schedules, scene schedules and effectually plan the overall production phase of the project. using the information from celtx I can also then include this in the budget and get an overall cost for the creation of the project.
I’ve used Celtx successfully in the past and have found it very useful for scheduling. It requires a lot of work initially ensuring all items are cataloged and in the correct format but the initial work pays off in the production phase as you are able to schedule days with ease and ensure that all the team are aware of what needs to be done on a particular day.