5 tips and tools to help your pre-production process

It's been said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And that couldn't be more true then when you get on set for your latest production. Even though it isn't the sexiest part of the filmmaking process, pre-production is definitely the most important. Pre-production that's done well...Down to...Every. Small. Detail. Can be your best friend. Pre-production done poorly, well, that will create more unnecessary work, a grumpy crew, and likely make the production go over budget. Management, administration, writing and finding your talent all fit under the pre-production umbrella.

To keep your production on length, on time, and on budget, pre-production is key. Here are some tips and tools that can help your pre-production process flow:

1. Studiobinder

To make any production a reality, the business and administration side of the production is key. Studiobinder has software to help any filmmaker manage this process, and has plenty of handy (free) templates to help you create your next call sheet, storyboard, or shooting schedule. Making sure all of this is nailed down before you get on set is key to avoid a runaway budget.

2. Mandy.com

Need actors? Crew? Are you filming in a new location that extends beyond your contacts? Mandy.com has millions of industry professionals from all over the world listed. So from the industry hub of Los Angeles to right here in Edmonton to Europe or even South America, you can find actors, crew members, and voice over artists for your next project.

3. Locations Hub

Location, location, location! Like real estate, location matters when trying to get that perfect shot. So, if you're at a loss for ideas, and there isn't a budget for a location scout, let your fingers do that walking. Locations Hub has a long list of locations for your next shoot, be it that you're looking for a James Bond-style house, or the perfect place for sunset. Location scout sites like Locations Hub help keep your budget under control, and are also a real time saver in pre-production. Besides, you'll need that extra time to sort out finer details of the production.

4.Get to know your film commission

Film commissions are there to help local filmmakers. Partly governmental, partly non-for-profit, film commissions want to attract crews to film in their location to promote it. The handy thing about film commissions is they can also help you navigate through the legalities and paperwork to help get your project off the ground. Here in Alberta, for example, Alberta Film helps with production resources, funding, and locations.

5. FunctionFox

The worst thing any filmmaker can do when planning a production is over promising and under delivering. Managing your time every step of the way is key. Quoting a client for one day of filming that quickly snowballs into six days, would kill your profits, and can destroy your reputation. FunctionFox helps with managing your time and keeping your project on budget all within one platform.


There you have it! A few tips that will make the pre-production process flow every so smoothly. Filming in Alberta? Here are our top 5 picks for best locations.