Task 1 – Pre-Production Report

Pre-Production Report Essay


Pre-production is all of the planning and organising made before the production of a video/advert/film. It is important because good planning and organisation ensures that the making of the product goes smoothly and comes out well. When making a TV advert, it is important to have planned and structured everything out otherwise it will not go well and money spent by companies to advertise their product might be lost and time and effort might be wasted. Planning and pre-production help advert productions to run smoothly because it ensures that every detail is covered and nothing is missed out on or done badly.

There are plenty of things that may go wrong if an advert is not pre-produced and planned properly. For example, budgeting may be calculated wrong and a company may end up spending more than they thought and they lose profit. They may not organise the location of the advert properly and be unable to use it. They may not have back up for if they lose footage or the weather may be bad, or they may not have organised people to step in if the cast or crew is unavailable on the day. These are just a few examples. An example of when things have gone wrong in pre-production is in Alien 3. In Alien 3 they didn’t plan out a script properly and were set back majorly in production.

Finance, Budget and Personal SP

The money to fund an advert mainly comes from the company itself that want to advertise their product, but they can also apply for other companies that specialise in funding to help with budgeting costs, for example tvadvertising.com (https://www.tvadvertising.co.uk/advertise-on-tv).  This depends on how big the company is and how much profit they make. A company such as Apple or Coca Cola don’t need to apply for help with funding, as they are such huge companies they will have independent departments that deal with advertisement. For example, Coca Cola are committed to high standard advertising and spend over 3 billion yearly on advertisement. However, a smaller company, such as Delish, would have to apply for help with advertising on TV as they don’t have enough to fund the advert entirely by themselves.

How much an advert costs to produce and air depends on a variety of factors. For example, when producing an advert, it would cost less to shoot actual footage than to have an entirely CGI advert (e.g. the Andrex advert). How much it costs also depends on the airing, and how long the advert is. The longer the advert, the more expensive. It also depends on when its aired – autumn advertisement is more expensive than summer, and the time of day also is a factor of how much and advert costs. Adverts cost the most to air between 6-7pm as this is the time of day where most people are likely to watch TV. In addition to this cost also depends on region – an advert in an area I.e. south-west will cost less than a nationally aired advert. On a local TV station, a typical 30 second advert would cost £200-£1500, but a nationally aired advert of the same length would cost an average of just over £300k. It also depends what TV show the advert is shown between – an advert slot between a popular TV show, such as The Big Bang Theory, would cost an average of just over £260,000 to air.

The money would be spent on pre-production and planning, producing, and airing. Some producing costs might be paying for cast and crew, location arrangement, lighting, or if there’s no shoot the money would be spent on the digital production. Examples of people needed to be employed may be actors/cast, film crew, editors, directors, lighting management, supervisors, and technicians. You could find these people by setting up a page asking for applicants, for example mandy.com (http://www.mandy.com/advertise.php ) allows people to advertise spaces/roles available in advert production. You would decide on who to employ by narrowing down applications to who is best suited to each job. You would decide based on experience, qualifications and examples of other projects candidates have been involved in. You would make sure everyone kept to production deadlines by inquiring on how far they’ve got and giving them a fair amount of time to complete their work.

Equipment, Materials and Location

To produce an advert, you would need a variety of materials and equipment:

  • Cameras (if the advert involves shooting footage)
  • Editing software/hardware/programs
  • Scripts
  • Schedules
  • Storyboards
  • Risk assessments
  • Tripods
  • Lighting
  • Set materials, for example props (a beverage advert such as Oasis would feature a bottle of Oasis), and costume (there might be a certain character required to wear a certain outfit)

The equipment can be either hired or purchased depending on the budget of the advert. If the company advertising something are small and not as well as known as other companies – for example Delish is a smaller company than Apple – then equipment is more likely to be hired rather than purchased because they will have a smaller budget. You might borrow equipment from a website, I.e. https://www.hireacamera.com. If a company buys their own camera, the prices would be £300 and up, going into the thousands. Depending on your choice of location, you may or may not need to ask permission to film at certain locations. In general public you are allowed to film without permission, but you may need to choose a specific area to film and make others aware of this in case people don’t want to be caught on camera or if you specifically don’t want random strangers in shot. However, at other locations, for example in buildings or closed off sites, you may need to receive permission from authorities to film or record material there.

The Law

 As a professional advertiser, there are a lot of laws and regulations to consider and abide by when in the work place, including advertisement. The ASA (Advertising Standards Agency), are in charge of these rules and regulations that apply specifically to advertisement. The BCAP code outlines these regulations. The rules come under a selection of categories, for example here are a few:

  •  Compliance (i.e. 1.3.1. Advertisements must not state or imply that a product can legally be sold if it cannot.)
  • Recognition of Advertising (i.e. 2.3 The use of a title, logo, set or music associated with a programme that is broadcast on that medium needs special care. The audience should quickly recognise the message as an advertisement.)
  • Misleading Advertising (i.e. 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.)
  • Harm and Offence (i.e. 4.1 Advertisements must contain nothing that could cause physical, mental, moral or social harm to persons under the age of 18.)
  • Children (i.e. 5.1 Advertisements that are suitable for older children but could distress younger children must be sensitively scheduled (see Section 32: Scheduling).
  • Environmental Claims (i.e. 6 Advertisements must not suggest that their claims are universally accepted if a significant division of informed or scientific opinion exists.)

These are just a few examples out of a couple dozen sections in the BCAP code. An example of when the ASA may have affected a production is the Rustler’s advert in 2011. They were appealed to because the audience felt the advert was sexist and misleading. The company got in trouble but it was not banned, but it was moved to be aired after the 9PM watershed instead of being aired in the day time.


BCAP Code 0712

Alien 3 Making Of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEf5XSKFjo8

Advertising funding link and info: https://www.tvadvertising.co.uk/advertise-on-tv

Andrex advert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brZ88Byh544

mandy.com: http://www.mandy.com/advertise.php

Camera equipment hiring: https://www.hireacamera.com


One thought on “Task 1 – Pre-Production Report

  1. Interim feedback- Good so far

    Could you find some actual costs of the production of adverts, the cost of equipment such as cameras and the costs of tv rates for advertising spots.

    You could find an example of when the ASA have affected a production.

    You need to expand on ‘set materials’ what do you mean, props, costume. What about music for the advert, how might you source this?

    What about specialists for the advert e.g. Special effects etc.


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