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Pre-Production Forms

7 Essential Pre-Production Forms For Your Shoot

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We all know the feeling you get when organizing a film shoot and you’re trying to keep everything on schedule. Well, this doesn’t need to happen if you have these basic handy pre-production forms.

So, if you want to get serious and up your game then you need to start getting organized and anticipate every scenario.

Talk to any professional director or producer and they will tell you that having an obsession for paperwork will only improve your skills in the industry.

The following pre-production forms are relatively basic however they give you the bare bones for each production stage.

The best part is that they are free so you no longer need to worry about keeping your project on track and on a budget!

1. Storyboard


This is one of the most important pre-production forms. When you storyboard your video you are basically setting up a plan for production.

Firstly, it includes all the shots that you will need, the order that which they’ll be laid out, and how the visuals will interact with the script.

With the help of a storyboard, you can communicate vital decisions with the DOP in terms of framing and composition. This really comes in handy when you are making your video, as it ensures that you won’t forget any shots.

Secondly, it also comes in handy during editing, as it serves as a nice guide for your editor so they can piece together the video according to your vision (saving you time and money with revisions).

Finally, it allows you to show actors where they need to be positioned and key movements within the shot.

2. Call Sheet

Call Sheet

If you are shooting a film, you might want to use a call sheet. All cast and crew members will get a call sheet at the start of every shooting day.

On the whole, call sheets are the main point of communication for everyone working on set. They have details on breaks, crew parking and locations and much more.

3. Production Schedule

Production Schedule

A film production schedule or shooting schedule is a plan that every film, TV show, or commercial follows to make sure that the video production goes smoothly. It’s a simple breakdown of the scenes, talent, time, cast, company moves, and day breaks.

So, if you want to avoid plot holes and having to go back and shoot a load of pickups, then you might want to use it.

4. Camera Shot List

Camera Shot List

During post-production, you don’t want to waste time searching for the right clip. Proper shot logs are one of the essential film production forms used to catalogue footage that you are trying to edit.

During the shoot, the camera assistant typically logs the start and end timecodes of shots, and the data generated is sent on to the editorial department for use in referencing those shots.

It’s important to record the precise length of scenes whilst at the same time, information such as scene/slate number, camera ID and camera operator.

5. Model Release Form

Model Release Form

This particular form is a legal release typically signed by the subject granting permission to publish the video in one form or another.

So the question is “Do I need a model release?” which seems simple but is deceptively complex. Depending on how a video is used, a release isn’t always necessary.

However not having one (or at least an appropriate one) when consent is required, can potentially create all sorts of problems later.

In our opinion, it’s always best to have a model release form and not need it rather than the other way round (no matter how big your shoot!).

6. Location Release Form

Location Release Form

The location release form outlines when a location will be used, the dates of use, an insurance agreement, and an acknowledgement of liability.

It’s a good idea to have a copy of the location release form with you on the day of production. It will help you if any disputes come up regarding your right to shoot in the given location.

7. Video Equipment Checklist

Video Equipment Form

Finally, don’t be that guy (or girl!) who turns up to a shoot with everything except the memory cards.

Tiny mistakes tend to ruin an entire day, and this can interfere with the schedule as well as the budget.

As a result, it is good to be professional and keep a checklist of your video equipment to avoid these problems. This is one of the main pre-production forms which people neglect.

Wrapping Up

So that’s it! once you have these essential pre-production forms you should be good to go. Also, make sure you check out our free film production form section for more.

Getting all of the paperwork out of the way first means you can concentrate on other things on the day. Good luck!

Our resident copywriter at the Video Collective. Loves coffee.. hates marmite.
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