Short Film Pre-Production

The Pitch

You will have half a lesson to work with your teacher on presenting and developing your idea.

You need to bring the following to the meeting:

  • The Logline
  • Shared Vision Slideshow

During the meeting you will have an opportunity to discuss your inspiration for the short film and explain the specific camera, editing & sound design techniques you wish to use.

The outcome of the meeting should be a shared creative intention that you can then adapt to reflect your production role.

The meeting will be filmed, so that you can review the discussion, creative intentions and next planning targets.

You will also need to discuss the narrative shape and the individual scenes in your short. Once agreed, you will need to complete a step outline for each scene.

The Step Outline

Once you have got a more visual idea of your short it is time to start developing it in more depth and detail, considering what will happen step by step and what we SEE and HEAR how the scene will unfold.

Use this document to develop this for each scene. Once you have completed this you should start plotting out your short step by step using an extended step outline for each scene.

This work should be shared among the group with each person being responsible for drafting at least one step outline document, which they then bring back to the group to discuss.

If you have a director they have final editorial decision, if not, you will have to reach a compromise in the group.

The Animatic

An animatic is an animated storyboard. Images from the storyboards are brought into an editing program and are cut together with the correct timing and pace of the film. An animatic should include basic sound effects, dialogue recordings and temp soundtrack.

What is it used for?

Similar to storyboards, animatics are used for pre-visualizing the film before production starts.   This is when you first get a sense of the pacing, the rhythm and the progression of your film.

We are not going to draw a complete storyboard, but will use a combination of drawn and found images to complete your animatic.

It will be the job of the cinematographer to find stills for the animatic and the job of the editor to cut them together. The sound designer will also put together a multi-track mix of music, dialogue and sound effect.

You can also use titles if you can’t find an appropriate image. These will be helpful in giving you a sense of timing. You could also use some images from location scouting.

An Example Animatic