Pre-production Techniques for the Creative Media Industries

Requirements for production

Background research on topic and summary

My documentary will be about how technology has progressed so quickly in such a short amount of time and its connection to religious influences decreasing globally being the cause for this.

For more information of this unit see Communications Task 1

Funding organizations

Most of the time an amateur like myself is going to need funding because i won’t have enough to fund for crew, equipment, recces, travel expenses and anything else that i may need. Places that i could pitch my idea for funding are:

Channel 4

Documentaries FAQs

What are your commissioning priorities?

We are looking for single films in the Cutting Edge strand, Documentary Series, half-hour films from new directors in the First Cut strand, and international feature docs which we showcase in the True Stories strand.

What are you not interested in?

There are some ideas that clearly don’t fit with our stated purpose of reflecting Contemporary Britain, and won’t work for our C4 output.

What are the tariff prices for programmes you currently commission?

It varies, but roughly £150K for a one hour fully commissioned Channel4 programme. For True Stories roughly £40K for a pre-purchase, £10K for a licence but it can vary depending on the project.

What is the biggest creative challenge your team or genre faces?

Finding the really big ambitious ideas that will re-write the rules in the new post Big Brother world, and will break through to become major events in the schedule.

We are always looking for great new presenters.

As most True Stories are international co-productions and the financing of these films can occassionally be tricky.

What advice would you give to new talent companies keen to connect with your team?

Research what we commission and what each commissioner is looking for, then target that commissioner directly via the 4producers online submission sytem.

For projects looking for co-production funding, please submit online. For acquisitions / licences, please send direct to Anna Miralis.


BBC 1 Overview

Docs on BBC One play a key role in building both the distinctiveness and the broad appeal of BBC One’s factual output.

All titles should have broad mainstream appeal, and have the ability to both entertain and inform along the way.

They should also be rooted in the present tense and the national mindset, telling the strong human stories behind the big national headlines and exploring dominant social issues.

Though they should have an accessible entry point for a broad audience, at the same time, they shouldn’t be afraid of tackling important, gritty issues or of innovating with modern new shapes and concepts.

BBC 2 Overview

Our goal on BBC Two is to be recognised as the home of documentaries. This means that diversity and range of ideas, voices and tone are prerequisite across the slate.  And we want our documentary output to feel distinctive from other channels.

Documentaries should make BBC Two feel relevant and modern – populating the channel with compelling real lives, interests and concerns.

To manage our commissions, we split the slate into entertaining and immersive ideas that explore better ways to live your life on one side, and modern provocative, challenging and contemporary subjects on the other.

In particular, we’re looking to strengthen our reputation for award winning observational docs about modern life. These one offs and series should simultaneously inspire and challenge viewers to reappraise their view on modern life and society.

BBC 3 Overview

Docs on BBC Three engage with subjects and issues that matter to a young but broad BBC Three audience.

Think both about the most important issues for a young adult audience (16-24 at its core and 16-34 at its broadest), and about their perspective on the issues that affect us all.

On one side of our slate, the stories are compelling and often intimate – the extraordinary personal stories of ordinary people.

On the other, this is THE place for docs to be entertaining, bold and upfront in style and tone to break through to future docs audiences.

Whatever the idea, a punchy title that will capture the attention on the EPG is crucial.

BBC 4 Overview

Docs on BBC Four engage and entertaining curious minds with big ideas and debate – covering a really broad range of distinctive and mainstream subject matter from nostalgia to urgency but always with something to say: from Tweed and Perfume to the Golden Age of Canals, Tales from the National Park, Catholics and Sandhurst.

Docs output on BBC Four is characterised by tackling mainstream subjects and ideas in an imaginative, often counter intuitive way that offers a different perspective on a subject.

We’re particularly looking for directors and presenters with a strong voice and a unique approach.

Cut through and impact in a digital landscape are absolutely vital to the channel, and we’re looking to build in this area with a variety of eye-catching shapes and approaches. Seasons will remain a crucial part of building impact but how else can we bring people to the channel? What would BBC Four’s live or stripped event look and feel like as an impact-led moment in the schedule?

Equipment/Facility hire and costs

  • Video camera
  • Microphone
  • Tripod
  • Lights
  • Editing software


Crew CVs

Cameraman/Soundman CV

not like the usual  CV’s it only list who he has worked for as well as the email to contact him a picture and his loog

Production and post production equipment

  • Final Cut Express
  • Sony Vegas Pro
  • Final Cut Pro
  • CyberLink PowerDirector


Documentaries usually require asking the public for their opinions and/or using volunteers to assist in controlled experiments to see their reactions or other such things, however i would have to ask permission which would require the participants to sign a contract of which they must be eligible for according to the contract details. (the image below is an example of this)

release form


around some historical placements

but interviews will be recorded with people passing the streets in popular locations around the production area

(Kings mall, Hammersmith)

Recces/location permission

It’s law that i obtain permission to record in certain areas, by contacting the owner of the premises or land, or if it is public land then i would  need to get in touch with the local authority upon which they would tell me there conditions which in most cases would be a fee of some sort

Filming in Hammersmith and Fulham

We fully support production companies who wish to film here. However, you need to apply for permission first. Our Film Location Officer, Janet Potter is on hand to lead you through the process. With her considerable local knowledge and technical expertise she can help find you the best locations and keep your shoot running smoothly.


Film Office, Room 47, Town Hall, King Street, London W6 9JU

Janet Potter, tel: 020 8753 2171; fax: 020 8753 2247; mobile 07860 400 741 email:

Bernie Bernard, tel: 020 8753 2351; fax 020 8741 2685; mobile 07779 348 122

Filming links

» Application to film form and other forms

» Location database

» Street filming

» Parking suspensions

» Useful contacts

» Other locations – not council owned

» Students

» Unit parking

» View map of the borough

» Production stills gallery (opens Flickr website in new window)

Library sources for Archive materials details

looking for archive material can be done in a number of ways the easiest is searching online or going to a library but some places specialize in resources such as The National Archives which is best when looking for historical information, and you can get your own copy to keep at reasonable price

The Photographic Library Directory is a unique resource that provides a broad range of visual solutions to enhance the creative process.

Photo Archive – Historic Image Collections

Photographic – Video – Film – Directories – Resources

Science Photo – Video Images

Technology Markets – Media Innovation

these four sections are what would be most relevant to the documentary i would be doing

Codes of practice

Copyright – the rights to copy and license other people’s work such as audio and video

People who are caught breeching copyfight terms have to pay a oenalty which varies depends on what and how they did it, examples of charges are:

Damages pay damages – unless the work copied has little or no value

Injunctions – restraining copying, displaying or broadcasting of the work

Accounts of profit – to hand over all profits

Orders for delivery up – to hand over all copies

Queen sued Vanilla Ice for using a part of the popular song “Under Pressure” in his song “Ice Ice Baby”

Vanilla Ice vs Queen & Bowie

Vanilla Ice became a household word for a while, not because of his talent, but because of the copyright infringement that occured in 1990 when it came to light that he had sampled Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” without consent or license. Ice Ice Baby hit number one on the charts in the United States and Vanilla Ice became the one ‘under pressure’. Vanilla Ice altered the rhythm of the baseline thinking he would thereby avoid any question of credit, royalties, license or even permission. This case never went to court as it was clear that Vanilla Ice had stolen the sample without permission. He settled out of court with Queen and David Bowie for an undisclosed but very likely very high amount. Ice Ice Baby has been released in many different versions, since then, with all of the legal procedures followed.

famous music copyright infringement

Pre production Documentation


A documentary explaining how and why technology has advanced so fast in such a short amount of time while in other parts of the world where people have different walks of life technology hasn’t advanced as effectively as well as its ties to religious influence over the country

What Should Be in the Treatment?

  • A Working title

How has technology advance so rapidly

  • Introduction to key characters

The main person would be myself but also we would have professionals with their name and profession stated

  • Who, what, when, why and where.

why has technology advanced so fast

who made technology in the first place to get to this stage

when did technology advance in relation to religion


  • Set the scene, dramatize the main conflicts.

introduce the questions

  • Should dramatize how the conflicts introduced in Act 1 lead to a crisis.

start to answer the questions

  • Dramatize the final conflict and resolution.


Equipment checklist

Call sheet

an example taken from the web


Risk assessment

a PDF of how to make a risk assessment

Booking forms for equipment

Production and post prod schedule

an excellent example of a 2 day post production schedule HERE


How to write a script

although my work will involve a lot of conversations with people rather than script which means i cant control the replies but i could plan the questions ahead of time and give replies appropriate to their answers

1) Do you own any gadgets

2) Have you ever wondered how it works

“so there bringing better and better technology out all the time in such a short space of time where as for thousands of years there was nothing”

3) Why do you think technology has advanced so quickly

4) Do you think religion has anything to do with it (if they didn’t mention religion)

5) Did you know back when religion had more influence over the country scientist work was referred as the devils work and even had people executed (depending on prior 2 answers)


I would make a storyboard in which plans the area and camera view as well as the order in which i show the finished product it would also include some direction as to what is happening in the scene as a picture doesn’t really explain what i was doing when i look back at it later

Mood board

I could make a mood board to give ideas based on my brainstorm but with images instead

technology moodboard

Location recce

I wouldn’t need a location recce as I would be hand drawing the locations in the animation and so therefore wouldn’t use real locations

Contingency plan

a contingcy plan is just a plan b in case something goes wrong

above is an image showing the process to make your own back up plan in case something goes wrong

in my case i am doing a documentary so problems that could occur:

the location recce is raining

resolved: booking a green screen room and have it not rain

not getting permission to film in a certain location

resolved: finding other places in advance which i could use


The logos I would use are my own companies and companies that have assisted me or that I have used something from them for example Adobe Flash CS5.5 I would need to mention somewhere that I have used it so I could put their logo in.


Minutes of meetings

Shooting script

my production would be a documentry finding how technology advance so fast which means we would be having to ask professionals and civilians for their opinion and since we wouldnt know how they reply a script would be useless apart from choosing the ordering we talk to people in and the order we queestion people so below is an example of a someone else’s shooting script unrelated to my documentry


5 responses to “Pre-production Techniques for the Creative Media Industries

  1. Talent, crew CVs, Risk assessment form for location – (you may not have used an outside location for this production but need one for future work.) call sheet, budget.

  2. You have not changed the release form link – you still have the volunteer form on your blog. you need to get a form that asks people to give their permission for the filmed interview to be used in your film.. Also, for a Merit – give a list of the sort of questions you would put to yr interviewees.

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