Specialist Project – Pre-production


Unlike pre-production for a short film, documentary requires a slightly different approach to pre-production.

Pre-production Storyboards

For example it would not be possible to create full Storyboards for the complete documentary as without knowing in advance the subject and the location it would only be a guess at best but it is possible to do create some storyboards as a guide to the type of shots I would hope to record in an interview. It would also be possible to create storyboards for some of the B-roll.

Personally I find that when working alone, having total and sole control of the camera and filming I do not really need Storyboards as I’m very good at visualising what I want to see on video. I can really work just from a shot list, however if a team was involved I would use storyboards to convey my visualisation to the other member’s of the team so that they have an idea of what I am trying to achieve.

Pre-production Interview Questions and Shot List

What is important is going armed to the interview with a list of questions and a shot list. You may have to be prepared to take the interview down a different path depending on the answers you get to your questions but make sure you get answers to your planned questions and get those shot list video clips.

I created a first draft of my interview questions and forwarded these onto my interviewee and to my classmates for feedback. From this feedback I then created another set of questions and again forwarded these on for feedback, which after some minor changes all agreed were acceptable and relevant.

Ben Interview Questions 2

  1. Did you always want to be an actor
  2. If not acting what was your second choice
  3. What influenced you or inspired you to study acting
  4. Who is your acting idol, who would you, love to work with.
  5. What’s it like being a Student and studying acting
  6. What have been the really good things – making new friends, social life etc.
  7. And the not so good – money worries, cost of living etc.
  8. What’s been your favorite production, what role did you play.
  9. What about the social life is it better than you expected
  10. What would be your ideal job at the end of University
  11. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Ben interview shot list

  1. Mid shot – from side at reflection in the mirror (Majority of Shots will be like this – vary the distance?)
  2. Close up – Bens Face
  3. Extreme Close Up – just Bens eyes – make up being applied
  4. Extreme Close Up – just Bens lips – make up being applied
  5. Close Up – of Bens Hands
  6. Close Up – Paula’s Hands and makeup brush
  7. Close Up – Paula’s Makeup Kit

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