Pre-production: Planning and Storyboarding

Peter Jackson – Lord of the Rings

  • The pre-visualisation process in making a film is often expressed through the storyboarding of different angles, shot sizes and film filters.
  • Peter Jackson uses miniature models of scenes in preparation for shooting, these models are refined and detail and allow him to be able to visualise whether or not a particular shot will work.
  • After this process of storyboarding, Peter Jackson takes it to the next step of animations (3D graphical representations) of the scene on computer software. This better helps him with the specifics of a scene.
  • Peter Jackson, on some occasions, actually chose to create a storyboard even before the script is finalised. This is a risky thing to do, but enables him to determine which of his ideas are viable.
  • Peter Jackson’s storyboards are always detailed sketches and drawings, making it easier for camera crews to comprehend his vision of the scene.
  • Peter Jackson used Animatics, Miniatures, Location Shots and 3D in preparation for filming.

Pre-production – Planning


Treatment > Synopsis


  • e.g. Bilbo enters through the door, Looks at the ring, Flipped it in the air and walks into home.

Shot List – e.g. Bilbo’s ring scene

  • Shot 1: Empty frame of Bilbo’s house
  • Shot 2: Bilbo appears (effect) – Long shot / Eye level.
  • Shot 3: Bilbo twirls ring in fingers – Extreme close up / High level (POV of Bilbo).
  • Shot 4: Bilbo flips ring into the air – Mid shot / Eye level (upward and downward tilt following ring)
  • Shot 5: Bilbo places ring in pocket – Extreme close up / Eye level.
  • Shot 6: Bilbo walks off camera – Mid shot / Eye level – Panning to follow.


Shooting Schedule > time, location, props, actors and costumes


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