Within this week, we are focusing on audio and the elements that audio also has pre-production like filming visuals.




What is pre-production?

Pre-production is the process for anything to do with the production, whether that being audio or film visuals. Pre-production happens before the production begins, and is the most important part before everything else fits into place. Pre-production can take days, weeks, months and sometimes years depending on what’s being created.

How does pre-production apply to audio ? 

Pre-production is as important as preparing for a production for example:

  • Finding out what mic is appropriate for the script/location and actors.
  • Going scouting to find the perfect locations that will work with the type of scene that is being recorded and the actors speaking. Scouting for locations also helps the production crew know the different quality of the audio that’s going to be created in that certain location.
  • Making sure you have the best quality microphone recorder for the production.
  • If there are any background noises and other sounds (roads, people etc)
  • What type of audio is needed for that scene:  Foley, dialogue, ambience and re-recording extra sounds.
  • Discussing what roles for the production team (location reki, audio, director)
  • Testing out the different locations, and microphones that will be used for the production whilst being on set with the mic for quality and sound testing within that certain area.
  • Researching the location – This goes for every audio pre-production as whatever scene is being created will help the research of the location for example, we made a scene at the restaurant so we went and researched the different locations before the production.

What are the most important parts for the pre production for audio? –

Preparing – So, within our pre production of our scene we had to plan what microphones would be appropriate after writing the script which helped us a lot as we also picked the microphones we thought were right for the actors speaking the dialogue and the places it will be recorded at. We also had to plan the locations, health and safety as well as hazards that could happen in that location or with the equipment we were using.

Health and safety – Before going to find the locations, we had to create a health and safety hazards sheet before we started recording in our locations picked. This is an important part of pre-production as you don’t know what’s going to happen on that day and you need to have contacts and information about how you can fix that problem if it happens.

Time management – Time is also another important part as you, and your production team need to organise how much time you need to record the dialogue as well as getting the extra sounds such as ambience near by, cars, people etc!

Cost – Cost needs to be considered for every sort of production, especially with audio as you need to find the right locations and the right equipment as these two are very important. Another thing to consider with cost is being able to rent or use the location and being able to have that contact before recording.

Team work – Team work is a key element for pre-production because it links with organisation and recording what the whole team want to see/hear, so once on location the team will discuss the area, the sounds and the actors when it’s being produced so the best quality of audio is being recorded.


Storyboard –

For audio creating a storyboard for your audio plan helps your crew and team creating the sounds and audio understand where the microphone is going to be placed at that scene, and where it’s going to be filmed and what members of the crew are going to be creating those sounds. An example for an audio storyboard is:

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Risk Assessment –

Creating a risk assessment is always a must as you can never know what’s going to happen on production set. A risk assessment is for the crew, and the team have a list of possible problems that might happen, and how they can solve it. This helps make the team aware of what equipment they are using, and if problems that were written would happen and what they would do to solve that problem.

Here is an example of a risk assessment:

Will Taher (2016)

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Location Recce –

For the pre-production of audio, it also includes location recce and that’s when the crew go to find certain locations that will suit the theme and the script. The crew will write this information out on a recce form which helps the team know what scene or foley sounds are going to be recorded in a certain area.

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Schedule –

The schedule is one of the most important parts of planning as your crew need to know where and when the production is going to be happening and what time the set will be recording the audio.


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Contact list- 

Another thing that is included in the paper work and pre-production planning is having a contact list of the crew, the cast and services such as near by ambulances, or the police.

Having a contact list form helps the production team know who is on set, and where they are.

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Production –

Production is where the set, the crew and cast produce what the director and the client needs. This is where all the visuals, and audio are filmed and recorded before the editor brings it to life.

Sound in the film industry:

Sound and audio is an important part of any visual or non visual production as it helps the visuals come to life. An example of the crew, and the roles that are involved when it comes to sound are: