Pre-production is the steps filmmakers take before the physical production of the film.
What are the steps that a filmmaker must take to transfer an idea in their head into a form that is ready to be filmed on camera?
Pre-production begins with an idea, whether it's a story, a concept or possible visual. Once that idea is clear enough, I will put elements I can visualize into a basic story structure, and fill in the gaps until I have a complete story.
Once I have the structure of the story down, I begin to write out a script. I generally try to write one page of the script to about one minute of the screenplay.
Next, I begin looking for actors, equipment, money, locations, props, and crew that I'll need to make the film happen. This is usually the most difficult step in the process.
Now, I'll either begin writing a shot list myself or write it with the crew that is working with me. I'll also go to each location I've listed in the previous step and make edits to the script.
Lastly, I'll make a checklist of all of everything I'll need for the production to begin. By then, I am usually ready to begin the production process.