A film starts with the script – a story that makes everyone tingle, one you can’t stop telling our friends and neighbours about. That’s Jadoo.
When we, the producers, think that we can get the film financed then the script is scheduled – determining how long will it take us to shoot it, and in what order the elements such as seasons, talent availability and locations dictate we should shoot it in. And then the script and schedule is budgeted, with an upper figure in mind. Finally a cashflow is drawn up.
Those four key documents: script, schedule, budget and cashflow are both dry and hot documents – constantly flexing and demanding attention as they turn from desk-bound ideas to stark reality.
We’re in the stark reality phase now as our key team of experts fills the annexe of the Premier Inn off Leicester’s Narborough Road. (And Lenny Henry’s right, what a great place…)
First with their feet under the trestle tables: the Line Producer, the Production Designer, Supervising Art Director and Location Manager. They start to identify the key locations, check availability, measure up and start to draw, model and cost the sets.
Next comes the Production Account, First Assistant Director, Prop Buyer and Graphics Designer. They help lock-down the schedule and cashflow and minutely cost-out the design.
This week we welcome the Cinematographer, Chief Electrician, Costume Designer and Location Scout. All of them further distilling the creative vision into a practicable shooting plan.
Next week we start the Editor who alongside the Director, Cinematographer, Designer and the First Assistant Director will solidify that plan – under the eagle eye of the Line Producer – into the final shooting schedule that will make Jadoo a beautiful, funny, hit movie.
Running parallel to this quite formal process the director and producers are working with the Casting Director on talent (about which more next week). And the producers are finalising finance, establishing distribution plans and fire fighting. Not too much of that yet but the asbestos gloves are in the right-hand drawer…
The production roles outlined above are filled by the some of the kindest, calmest and hardest working experts I’ve met. And, saving their blushes, our Heads of Department have, between them, more than 300 years of topflight professional experience. We’re blessed.
Three and a half weeks to go. All very exciting. More soon.