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Breaking the four minute mile

March 3rd, 2006

My hat’s off to a production crew in India that recently wrapped an entire
feature film in just  two hours and fourteen minutes.

"Wrap" means to totally complete the production phase of making
a movie.  Normally feature films take weeks to shoot. Sometimes
even months.

There’s a lesson in this for all of us…

To shoot with such incredible efficiency  requires mastery of one of
the most important, little discussed, and unglamorous part of film
making: Pre-production.

That’s where the director and staff meticulously sort through
all the details about what will be needed and what will happen
and in what order during the production.

Pre-production is often where the battle is won or lost. And
when it comes to producing moving pictures with efficiency and
economy, it’s the critical choke point.

Do it right and life is good. Do it haphazardly and expect a
much a bigger production bill, frustrating delays, and less than
optimal results.

From this perspective,  the most sophisticated tools in film making
are a pencil and paper and the film maker’s willingness to plan.

Interesting note: The film’s director Jayaraj was an engineer
before become a director.


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