What’s Going on During Pre-Production?

What’s (really) going on during pre-production?

First off all the company needs hands to execute the TV production. Almost the entire crew is freelancers, and reach over 100 people at any given time.
In this post, at first we concentrate on just a couple of them.

In the preparation phase, also called Pre-production, the TV production company’s executive producer will hire the editor in chief. The editor in chief is the person in charge of the content of the show in a nutshell. The editor in chief will decide the overall content of the show and coordinate with the executive producer and broadcaster
But you also need somebody to take care of the practical stuff and the money. The production manager. He will schedule the TV production, hire the crew, book equipment, and make sure everybody is synchronized. He or she will also keep track of every dollar spent and make sure the TV production is not going over budget and refer to the head of production.
It’s like a marriage.

The editorial in chief and the production managers ability to collaborate, is the key to success from pre-production to post production.The editor in chief and the production manager work side by side. They are in charge of two very important things: content and money. These two things always drag in opposite directions, you want to have as much production value as possible, for lowest price. Roughly said the pre-production phase is a long road of compromises!
If it’s not a happy marriage you either end up with a show that not will be approved by the broadcaster or major budget overruns. Neither of these will logically make you very popular, so make sure to look each other in the eyes once a while.
Plan, plan and plan.

The TV production schedule is made in the pre-production phase to get an overview of how long it will take to produce the show. In this matter, “time is money” the longer it takes, the more expensive it will be. When you plan it helps you face what’s realistic and what’s not. Be too optimistic and you will end up with half a show, too pessimistic you will also end up with half a show, because the budget is gone through before the production is finished.

After the TV production manager makes the first draft of the TV production plan, the next step is to hire your crew. The editorial crew is hired first. They will with the editor in chiefs supervision, write all content for tv show. When you have the content, you’re able to be more specific in the production plan, and start making detailed plans in the practical aspects of the recordings, because now you know what to produce.

Time is you number one enemy in pre-production.
The big challenge is time. The time from the green light to the first delivery is usually way too short to have everything in place from the start. That’s why the collaboration between the entire production crew that has been working together since pre-production is so important. One little miscommunication, can have large consequences for the end results.
With that in mind it’s of course awesome to be a part of TV production.

Read more about how you can optimise the workflow with

We made a nice infographic to show you what the pre-production is all about for a TV production manager.


 Pre Prod info gfx


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