Dec 11

Pre-production crunch

Getting ready for your production day is a very long and difficult process. It takes a while to visualize and prepare all the details. And then you come to the set and bam! everything is different from what you thought it will be. That’s what happened to us two weeks ago.

Going back to our set day #1 the plan was to shoot two locations at the same day: one is interior with whole set decor and second on the green screen. Interior decor was meant to be for the scenes which are “outside” of the ship and are meant to feature kiosk where my heroins pick out the ship. The whole crew of set designers did a great job of turning closet/storage room into a sci-fi location.  We chose some specific camera angles and used them for every film.


But setting up took such a long time that we had to reschedule green screen fro another time. And I think it was even for the best. Firstly,, because we weren’t in the rush to finish up the first day and running through the shots. Secondly, We have now more time to think about green screen setup and visualize how the interior of the ship will look like to place lights and props at the right place. To start pre-production in general I would advice this website that helps to breakdown a script and create shooting schedule. So take a look at this very useful resources first. And then start you creative process of imagining how interior design and your shots should look like.

Speaking about my script, it’s a … comedy! As you remember from my previous posts (if you were lucky enough to check them out and if not you can still go back to my written masterpiece here ) my concept was that meant for the environmental experts, which are saving universe’s flora and fauna. BUUUUT scriptwriters made a comedy out of my poor Sparkles Bumble Bee and I have to live with it. Of course, it makes sense from the point that my movie will only be 1 min and you cannot save an earth in one minute. So comedy was the most practical genre from this point of view. Take a look at my script right here.

The first thing in analyzing the script for the green screen compositing is thinking about the props. Think about if you need some real things prepared before or maquette made or everything will be done in post. That being said for my script I don’t need any real life props. I only need light placed in strategic places to emulate the real-life conditions. I also need special lights to emulate lights from the panel, when they will be turning it on.

To plan all the details I met with my director. It’s very important to communicate at this part of the pre-production, because at the shooting of kiosk scene it was obvious how room looks like and where should actresses go, but when it’s only green screen in the room you cannot tell without preparation where action should unfold. I created this collage to visualize my interior design.

As you can see I want to go for the very sleek clean white design. All additional lights they are placed on the edges of furniture and on the ceiling should be warm to support bumble bee idea. Also I want to add panels that look like stylized honeycombs on the wall near entrance. I keep all my inspiration for the bridge room here (and please check it out 😍).  I also have some sketches to see how everything can be placed inside. We decided to build simple 3D  scene that will be inside of the bridge room and use it to project design on top of that.  Considering the lights I also should say that as I have a humongous window in the room I will need lots of lights to simulate real life conditions.

Hence, after having all sketches in place we decided that the action will be pretty simple, just going through the room to the control panel. In the end we’re cutting to the outdoor shots of my amaziiiiing ship ❤️

Not good at drawing, but I made quick storyboards 🎞 I will have to work more on them and turn them into animatics (it is an animated sketched storyboard, to put in place how many seconds of each shot will be in the movie, so VFX department can work on them).


And here’s a very cool gif of my Sparkles at it’s finest and ready for texturing  😍