As part of my director’s homework for my music video project, I had to compile a treatment, shot list, floor plan and storyboard in order to help me pre-visualise and plan exactly what I want to cover and shoot on set as director.
The treatment was helpful as it gave me a clear idea of the feel and tone I wanted to achieve with my music video. In my past experience, I seldom wrote treatments for the films I had been part of, but after this process on compiling these documents to prepare for my shoot, I found it to be surprisingly helpful. I now realise the importance of treatments and will make an effort to writing one on whatever project I direct in future.
The shot list was very useful for me as it made me know exactly what shots I wanted to cover on the shoot day as well as the precise action I wanted my actors to act out in each shot. By extensively planning out and illustrating in my shot list what shots I wanted and what happened in each shot, I was able to steamroll through all of my shots on the shoot day which led to production finishing earlier than scheduled. I seriously intend to keep the same format of shot listing that I used for my music video project on future projects.
The storyboarding process was very helpful as it really helped me visualise how I wanted to my music video to look by planning what shot/set-up cuts to what. In that respect, by the time it came to production, I already knew exactly how I intended my music video to look once it’s cut which really helped me plan and visualise my shots.
Admittedly, whilst I did produce a floor plan, I personally didn’t have a need for it. I don’t really like how my final floor plan looks and it perhaps would have been clearer if I opted to actually draw it out instead of doing it all electronically on the computer. But on the shoot day I never referred to it to help me decide where I wanted the camera as I already knew the landscape of the location pretty well from my previous recce to the location. Having said this, I do see the importance of doing floor plans, especially when it comes to shooting interiors as well as it really helps to plan out lighting as well as the blocking of actors. Despite never really referring to my floor plan to help me visualise how my music video will look visually, I plan to utilise floor plans properly in the next project I direct.
On the whole, I found doing this pre-production homework very helpful as during the shoot of my music video, I knew exactly what I wanted from the outset as there was no stalling during the production of discussing with my DoP what shot to do next. I definitely plan on keeping up with this approach to pre-production for future projects.