Pre-Production: Evaluation

More than 10,000 Attorney prepared forms

What I learnt

-Beat sheet – learnt how to structure a film using a beat sheet and Blake Snyder’s story structure which helped me improve the structure of my own film
-A lot about producing: stripboards, the producer’s role, how to budget more effectively
-How to determine visual style more clearly as a director by using a visual wall – also allows more effective collaboration with art department and director of photography
-The role of the screenwriter in pre-production – I didn’t realise how much they collaborated with the director before

What I could improve

-Budgeting – I found this difficult initially because of how daunting the film was due to having so many elements – I think I overestimated the total of the budget a bit too much
-The script – could still be simpler as a story because I think Vera needs a clearer goal
-Directing plan/schedule – need to spend more time on planning how I’m going to direct the film since I focused more on the producing and writing of this unit – changing my directing plan will change the schedule

What worked

-Outlining – didn’t feel like had time to do this initially – but has always been part of process – found it useful to come back to this as “beats are also a wonderful tool for revision. Say a scene you wrote isn’t working. Outline the beats. You might well discover what’s wrong. You might have a beat that doesn’t work in the scene, but it’s important to the overall story. Try moving it to another scene in your screenplay” (Hunter Johnson, 2010:110). Although this can be done with index cards I found outlining helped with finding the flow of conversation beats so that the character’s wants and needs were clear, but not too direct
-Research – researching other filmmakers and how they approach their work, as well as researching into my roles helped me improve my own work and solve problems
-Reading other screenplays – this helped me figure out how to use different elements such as showing emotion in action blocks which I hadn’t considered before
-Characters – Vera and Roni became quite clear characters – but I don’t think this comes across in the script as well as it could

What didn’t work

-I don’t really like how the story of the film turned out – I still think it could be simpler so I intend to work on this next unit to make it the best it can be before filming begins
-Getting behind with the script – meant I got behind with the blogging/research/website so some of the presentation of work isn’t as organised or as detailed as usual which means I didn’t learn as much as I wanted to – next time I need to find a balance between the script and the research so that both get done, and also because the research helped the script improve by helping me learn
-Not researching before writing the script – I didn’t do much research into the science before writing the script initially – even though I had a vague idea it wasn’t enough to write a whole story on
-Casting – I didn’t find time to cast any actors and I didn’t want to rush this


Hunter Johnson, C. (2010) Creating Short Screenplays That Connect. London: Focal Press.

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