Pre-Production Documents

What Are Pre-Production Documents?


Definition of Pre-Production Documents

Factory records comprise production documents created after the implementation of the production plan. These documents are essential in establishing the platform for the implementation of the project as they capture the goals and tasks, the project’s coverage area, the specifications or the project needs, and the project resources.

Importance of Pre-Production Planning

It is critical in the production process since stakeholders must be coordinated and the project’s objectives should be clearly defined, resources streamlined, and risks and legal aspects controlled. Pre-production documents help to facilitate the relationship between each of the team members so that everyone is informed on what is expected of them prior to the commencement of the production process.

Types of Pre-Production Documents

Project Proposal

This is done in a project proposal that highlights the goals, schedules, and products of a project. It acts as an official request from the promisor to the promisee for him or her to sanction the proposed situation and provide support in terms of financial resources.

Creative Brief

A creative brief is a summary of the information regarding the scope of the creative direction of the campaign including the audience, their customers, and brand attributes.

Script (for media projects)

A script is a written or typed document that outlines the words, movements, and events that are to unfold in a movie, a play, or any production project. The Project Narrative is built from this part hence it is the very core of the project.

Storyboard (for media projects)

A storyboard is a technique of showing the projection of the actual script in a comprehensible form of images depicting scenes and shots. This is important in the planning process of other aspects of the project, especially in giving out the artwork.

Shot List (for film and video projects)

A shot list describes the shots needed for each scene, which could range from the focal point for each shot, where the camera should be positioned and the manner in which it will move. It is useful in the manner in which shooting is planned.

Budget Proposal

A budget proposal indicates the approximate expenses that are assumed in a given project most of which are for human resources, equipment, and other materials.

Production Schedule

A production schedule indicates the time frame the project is expected to take along with the main steps to be achieved within that time.

Casting Sheets (for film and theater projects)

Audition sheets are usually used to give details about the actors who are interested in joining the project. They assist in the selection of characters to be used.

Location Scouting Reports

The location scouting reports give information on the film location options with pictures, measures, and other useful information.

Technical Requirements Document

A technical specification document records the technical characteristics of the project such as the apparatus and software necessary in the project.

Risk Assessment Document

A risk assessment document is a document that deals with the possibility of a project being faced with certain risks and how to avoid them.

Legal and Compliance Documents

Legal and compliance documents also guarantee that all legal and other regulating requirements are met to the letter.

The Purpose of Pre-Production Documents

Aligning Stakeholders

Pre-production documents facilitate the process of achieving stakeholder alignment as they offer a vision and steering plan for the project.

Defining Project Scope

Writing is the process of planning and creating the material that will be used in the project by providing specifications and guidelines to guide the workers on what should be done.

Resource Planning

Pre-production documents are useful in predicting the available resources such as people, equipment, and any other material that may be needed in shooting.

Risk Management

Risk assessments are employed in the pre-production phase to pinpoint obstacles that may occur in the process and ways to deal with them.

Ensuring Legal Compliance

Legal documents refer to papers that keep making sure that all legal and regulatory issues in relation to the project are met.

Best Practices for Pre-Production Documentation

Start Early

Begin the pre-production planning phase well in advance, in order to conceive and organize the forthcoming activities.

Involve Key Stakeholders

Involving key stakeholders in a meeting to discuss the pre-production strategies so that the people in charge are all in agreement.

Be Thorough and Detailed

Be very strict and comprehensive in all the heading documents you prepare in the pre-production stage so that you do not encounter problems later.

Keep Documents Updated

Remember to update any relevant documents before the planning process is complete if any change has occurred.

Use Collaborative Tools

Some examples include the use of shared online document platforms to present information gathered from the different teams involved in pre-production planning and sharing of the critical path technique.

Common Challenges in Pre-Production Documentation

Changes in Requirements

Stakeholders may request alterations to the pre-production documentation at some point, which may lead to alterations in requirements.


Gaps in communication among the different members pose a problem with work progress and may cause confusion in the entire project.

Budget Overruns

Negligent management of the budget can also result in going over the estimated cost, which is a concern for the whole project.

Time Constraints

It also causes pre-production planning to be compressed where it ends up being hurried in order to meet specified timelines hence compromising it.

Case Studies

Successful Pre-Production Planning in Film

An example that captures a good pre-production plan of a movie with specific reference to pre-production instruments.

Effective Use of Pre-Production Documents in Video Game Development

An example that can illustrate how different elements of pre-production documents were applied properly in the creation of a video game.


Therefore it can be concluded that pre-production documents are crucial for any project as it is these documents that create direction required by the whole team. Consequently, with adherence to the recommended guidelines and shared tools, the project managers will always have successful project planning and implementation. 

They can also make it easier to prevent potential problems from occurring in the project as well as make certain that the most suitable assets are allocated to the right tasks for smooth production of the project.

FAQs About Pre-Production Documents

1. What are the benefits of creating pre-production documents?

Pre-production documents help in a better understanding of the project by the different stakeholders, managing project scope, hiring resources in an efficient manner, addressing issues that may cause risk in the project and legal requirements making the whole project more successful.

2. Who is responsible for creating pre-production documents?

The development of some of the pre-production documents usually lies under the project manager or a specific group solely for project planning.

3. How detailed should pre-production documents be?

The documents that are prepared before the actual production must be clear and sufficient in order to make the task easier for the project crew, but it should not be rigid so as not to hamper the ongoing workflow.

4. How can pre-production documents help in managing risks?

Risk assessment documents are handy in defining possible barriers to the project, and an action plan on how to address or avoid the hurdles hence minimizing the occurrence of problematic circumstances within the project.

5. Are pre-production documents only necessary for large projects?

In the case of location and scale of the project, Scribe stated that pre-production documents are helpful even for small-scale projects to establish the structures in place in a project’s organization.

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