Pre-production Requirements

There are different types of media types included in the creative media industry including television, film, games, print media, music, mobile phones, software and the internet. Television converts visual images and makes them accessible to view on a screen, whereas a film is recorded onto a disc and then played using a player and can be watched over and over without the need for a satellite and tends to be longer than a television program; a game, which is known as a computer or video game, is where the moving pictures on the screens are controlled by a person using a controller; print media is anything that has been printed using the traditional print base such as newspapers, books, magazines, comic books and graphic novels; music is a combination of different sounds put together in a way in which the listener will enjoy listening to it, music is used in different Medias including in films, television shows, games, mobile phones and on the internet; mobile phones are multimedia communication devices which means where they used to only be able to make phone calls, they can now hold storage for example music and photos and are able to play music, what helps to make this available is the software inside of the mobile phone which is also included in personal computers, software can also help to edit photos and videos and various other useful things; finally the internet is a communications technology which is used to connect computers together and provides users with information and to constantly communicating online. 

Pre-production is what happens before a product gets produced. The company comprehensively covers every detail about the product in order to get an overview before the product is made. Depending on what type of media is being produced, whether it be television or print media, will tell someone how the media should be produced using a pre-production. For example, with television, all shows before being piloted have been detailed enough to generate an overview of what will happen, when it will happen, why it will happen, how it will happen and if needed, where it will happen. Another example for print media on a newspaper, they would need to be able to know everything about the story and know what to include and not what to as well as font, font sizes, etc. Pre-production can be a long, tedious part of creating a product but is important to know whether or not a product will be worth it for the long run. 

A game pre-production plan differs from other media pre-production plans. A films pre-production plan includes ensuring three weeks for editing; taking notes of rough scenes; planning dates; realistic scheduling; planning crews to make sure you have everyone you need and everyone is working at their specific skill; visualise the look of the overall project; secure locations; secure casting; production design, for example, themes and finally, preparations for sets including costumes. A music pre-production plan is all about how the music will sound and ensuring that the sound will not ruin the overall songs, these include; structures of the song; running times; employing specialists; locations; making arrangements and ensuring all equipment is available. The game industry pre-production plan differs but also has similarities. The pre-production list they need to cover includes prototyping; ensuring a market; figuring out everything the game needs; timelines; building or choosing engine; core mechanics; designed progression; look and feel of game; marketing plans; budgets; concept art; progressions; procedures; testing; employing specialists and audio. There are many similarities occurring in all three of these different medias: all ensure that the general look and feel of the product is ideal as well as they all require specialists to ensure their product will be the best it can be. There are differences including that films need casting as well as games but music does not and films and music have a more need to secure locations however games usually have a rented space in which they do everything and no other location tends to be needed. 

In the games industry, pre-production will occur when a game has been pitched and the developer team will plan out everything that will happen in the game and the types of audience it will reach to determine when if it will break even and if it is worth funding the game. They will have to take into account finance, schedules, completion of tasks and to stop threats of production.

Pre-production can involve the developing company researching genres of their chosen games as well as similar games already published in the industry as well as ones that have not been published yet. Involved in the research would be market research and primary research where they will get information based upon their initial ideas and whether or not the public would buy the game. They would also research when games are being released when they have decided their initial release date so they know about all the competition and can be ready to make their game more unique and prepare for the competition. 

There are many different ways a developer company can get funds in order to produce their game and if needed, publish it themselves. Usually, if a game has been pitched by a publisher, the publishing team will give a certain amount to the developing team to develop and produce the game, otherwise the company will have to use other sources which may include fundraising, donations, out of pocket funds, bank loans, or if they are an indie company, they are more likely to use fundraiser sites like Kickstarter in order to receive funds to create their games.  

The company has to not only think of game production and how much that would cost, but also utilities, staffing, software, materials and possibly even publishing if they have not successfully pitched their game. So when a company asks for a certain amount of money from publisher teams or a bank loan, or even Kickstarter, they must be aware of the other things they will have to do with the money; renting office spaces, hiring specialists, salaries, etc. 

In the pre-production, the developing team would also have to think about timing and their deadlines for finishing the initial set up and deadlines throughout pitch to release. 

Keeping staff on time with schedules and ensuring deadlines are met along with tasks being completed can be hard for companies because by the time a company starts producing anything can happen until the end and they’re releasing the game. Having deadlines will ensure that tasks are completed by a certain time and gives them a time frame to complete them. Companies will have to make sure these time frames are reasonable and have the correct staff for the job or the employees may quit. The potential of employees leaving can affect schedules overall and therefore throughout the production, employers must make sure that they are not over working or under working their staff to the point where they are over stressed or feel as if they are not living up to their full potential. Having schedules included in pre-productions will help the reputation of a company and sticking to it can help the company seem more reliable, keeping publishers and consumers interested. 

The company will have to ensure that they have enough space to be able to hold the equipment, staffing and any other needed necessity and have all locations of which are needed ready and available. For example, the sound department will need places to create Foley, which may mean they need an outside area or a certain area of which to create sounds for the games to make them sound more realistic. Also, having a high end computer that can run every program needed and can be used by all members of staff is important to get the best results in game, for example good technology is needed for 3d modelling programs and animating. 

Having the necessary materials for developing the game will be important because you can finish the game and if you don’t have all of it the game will not be as good or will not be completed. Obtaining copyright early will stop anyone obtaining or stealing early ideas. Sound artists may use fruit and vegetables for Foley and it is important that they have these to make sure that the sound effects are the best that they can be. 

For a company, there could be many threats that could occur. There could be threats of people getting a hold of a product before release date, or releasing information or spoilers about a product before the company wants to release the information. To best negate these type of threats, all employees should sign a non-disclosure agreement in order for them to be put under law about releasing information, as if they did they could be heavily sued, as well as not releasing any information about production until all deadlines are set and the company know that the product will definitely be released at a certain date as not being well-organised can be a threat to a company, as consistently pushing back a date for a game can deem the company as unreliable and can lose the interest of consumers.

All employees should be well utilised which can ensure that the company is doing well. If a company does not know whether or not their staff are being utilised correctly that can harm production as if a staff member is over worked or under worked, it can put the company at risk of said employee leaving. To keep staff utilised correctly, the staff must be motivated by the company as well as happy in the job they are doing and are able to work places in which their skills will show and not something that isn’t anything they can’t handle; assigning the correct people to the right projects will keep staff utilised and happy in the workplace. Procedures to ensure staff are correctly utilised could be they could hire audits to come in and check staff and how they are doing and progressing as well as checking workloads for staff and seeing if it is too much or too little and keeping all workloads as equal as possible. Staff utilisation can also be put into place when employees come in for job interviews, the employers can then analyse their skills and put them in the place in which is best for them. Even though being able to afford the equipment is important, it is also important that staff have a high enough skill to be able to use said equipment professionally and well to create high quality pieces to be used in-game. 

Audits can also help with equipment being brought into departments as they can make sure all equipment is being used and what new equipment can be installed as well as what is not being used and therefore can be taken away and may end up gaining back funds for it. Ensuring that the correct equipment is given to the correct department could involve hiring a manager who ensures equipment goes to the right place as well as ensuring staff are in departments where they should be and where they are skilled for, for example, animators in animation and not in modelling. Also, companies could set up timetables for use of equipment which could be helpful in an indie company where they may not have a lot of equipment and therefore need set times on the machinery, etc. Also, excel documents can be helpful for this.

As most electrical items get checked by their manufacturer every year to test if they are working up to the legal requirements and will not break, testing whether or not they follow company standards shouldn’t be too hard. Allocating employees to check every few months that equipment is still up to standard can keep equipment up to company requirements. 

Companies can avoid legal issues by ensuring that all work produced by them have not been copyrighted elsewhere and have been created by the company and therefore these have been trademarked by the company. If anywhere else there are work produced by someone outside of the company, for example, a used engine, these should all be referenced.

Professional bodies that could be joined to develop the company as well as professional practises within the company could be Ukie which can help with claiming tax rebates from the government as well as offering advice of the most sold games and offers assistance with industry facts, discounts on business services, training and networking opportunities. They can also help with offering out meeting rooms and with employees; help to create contracts and find other companies to help expand and develop their company. Another professional body which could help develop a company and their professional practises is IDGA which also offers support for a company by giving resources in business and legal, which offers walkthroughs and guides and others but at the moment, these seem a few years out of date which may or may not make a difference. 


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