Film Pre-production Template

Film Pre-production Template, within the Milanote app

Plan all aspects of your film in one place

This pre-production template is the perfect way to start your next film project. It includes beautiful templates for the key parts of pre-production. From developing a concept to exploring the look of your film, storyboarding scenes, and much more.

Whether you're making a short film, music video, documentary, or feature film, a solid pre-production plan will set your film up for success.

This template is part of the Filmmakers collection.

  • Includes 6 free templates
  • Organize visually
  • Save reference images & video
  • Share with your team
  • Comment & gather feedback

How to use this template

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, follow this step-by-step guide to learn the modern process of planning film pre-production in Milanote, a free tool used by top creatives.

1. Open the pre-production plan template

The pre-production plan template is the central hub for your project. It includes the key parts of every great film plan: Your ideas, moodboard, storyboard, shot list, and call sheet. There are also checklists for your workflow and gear so you have everything in one easy-to-access place.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new board for your project.

    Create a new board

    Drag a board out from the toolbar. Give it a name, then double-click to open it.

  2. Choose the Film Pre-production Plan template.

    Choose a template 

    Each new board gives you the options to start with a beautiful template. Find the Photoshoot Plan template, then choose "Use this template".

2. Open the Brainstorming template

Once you have an initial concept for your film, the next step is to see how far you can take it. Brainstorming is the perfect technique for the job.

Brainstorming is a classic creative technique that helps you create lots of ideas in minutes. You can use it to explore the topic for your film, dream up new characters, locations, or even the visual style you're after.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Open the Ideas in your Photoshoot Plan.

  2. Choose the Film Brainstorming template.

    Choose a template 

    Each new board gives you the options to start with a beautiful template. Find the Photoshoot Brief template, then choose "Use this template".

3. Run a brainstorming session

Start by writing the central concept for your film in the middle of the board. Next, spend 5 minutes adding ideas related to your concept.

Think about the characters, their relationships, the locations you could use, visual styles, and the topic's history. Finish by sorting the best ideas into groups. This gives you a strong foundation for your film.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note for each idea.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

  2. Use the built-in image library.

    Use the built-in image library

    Search over 500,000 beautiful photos powered by Unsplash then drag images straight onto your board.

4. Open the moodboard template

A film moodboard is a great way to explore and communicate the visual style you want to achieve. It can help you visualize any aspect of your film. You might want to focus on lighting style, color, set designs or costumes. You can create a moodboard for each of these separately or mix them all into one board. There are no strict rules.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Open the Moodboard in your Pre-production Plan.

  2. Choose the Film Moodboard template.

    Choose a template 

    Each new board gives you the options to start with a beautiful template. Find the Shot List template, then choose "Use this template".

5. Add inspiring images & references

Drag in images from your computer and drop them onto the image placeholders on your moodboard. Then, use the built-in image library to add inspirational references. Finally, move and crop your images to communicate how you want to frame your shots.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Drag files from your computer.

    Upload a file or document  

    Click the "Upload file" button or just drag a file onto your board. You can add images, logos, documents, videos, audio and much more.

  2. Use the built-in image library.

    Use the built-in image library

    Search over 500,000 beautiful photos powered by Unsplash then drag images straight onto your board.

  3. Crop images.

    Crop images

    Double-click an image and press edit to crop or rotate it.

6. Open the storyboard template

Storyboards are a powerful way to visually organize the composition, action and look of a film before you start bringing it to life. As director, producer and screenwriter Martin Scorsese said, “The storyboard is the way to visualize the entire movie in advance.”

Traditionally, a storyboard would be created with analog sketches, but with a modern digital tool, you can use photography, animation, color and notes to highlight key characters, scenes and objects.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Open the Storyboard in your Pre-production Plan.

  2. Choose the Film Storyboard template.

    Choose a template 

    Each new board gives you the options to start with a beautiful template. Find the Shot List template, then choose "Use this template".

7. Fill in the storyboard template

The best starting point is to break up the script or narrative you’ll be working from. Identify the key scenes and start to map them out on your storyboard.

Next, add images or sketches that represent each scene. These could simple sketches, photos or examples you've sourced online.

Finally, describe the scene. Think about the style, mood, and behavior of characters. Consider how the camera will move through the shot and how you'll transition from one scene to the next.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Drag files from your computer.

    Upload a file or document  

    Click the "Upload file" button or just drag a file onto your board. You can add images, logos, documents, videos, audio and much more.

  2. Add a note to describe each scene.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

8. Open the shot list template

Coordinating a shoot can be stressful and costly, especially if that critical shot is missed on the day. But a clearly defined shot list will make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

A shot list is a simple checklist of each shot (or scene) you need to capture on the day of a shoot. It usually contains a list of specific shots, some visual references and extra details like camera angles or lighting set-up so you don't forget a thing.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Open the Shot List in your Pre-production Plan.

  2. Choose the Film Shot List template.

    Choose a template 

    Each new board gives you the options to start with a beautiful template. Find the Shot List template, then choose "Use this template".

9. List each shot you need

Start by adding reference images or sketches for the scenes you’re planning to shoot. This will make your shot list easy to scan.

Next fill in the checklists for each individual shot you want to capture during filming. Finally, add any specific details about how you'll film on the day. These might be reminders about the tone, mood, composition, or how the camera should move through the scene

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Upload images from your computer.

    Upload a file or document  

    Click the "Upload file" button or just drag a file onto your board. You can add images, logos, documents, videos, audio and much more.

  2. Create a new to-do list for each of the specific shots.

    Drag a to-do list onto your board

    Start typing then press "Enter" to create a new item. Add a title to your to-do list using the left hand toolbar.

10. Open the call sheet template

A call sheet is used to share information with your crew and make sure everyone is prepared and on schedule. This template helps you easily communicate the shoot location, key contacts, arrival time and schedule. Share it with your team ahead of your shoot so everyone can come prepared.

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Open the Call Sheet in your Pre-production Plan.

  2. Choose the built-in Film Call Sheet template.

    Choose a template 

    Each new board gives you the options to start with a beautiful template. Find the Call Sheet template, then choose "Use this template".

11. Fill in the call sheet

The call sheet is primarily content for other people, so start by providing a little background on the shoot. Add the location of the shoot and any details that will help people arrive safely and on time. List your talent and crew along with their contact details.

Finally, fill in the schedule—specifically the general crew call time. The general crew call time is when everyone needs to arrive on location. Under this, add the key events for the day so everyone can clearly see what's on and when. Don't forget lunch!

How to do this in Milanote
  1. Embed a Google map for the location.

    Drag a link card onto your board

    Copy the share link from Google Maps, paste it into the link card in Milanote and press Enter.

  2. Publish and share the call sheet with your team.

    Add a welcome message to your board.

    Write a welcome message under the "Publish & share" menu. This will display the first time someone views your board.

Start planning your film

Plan all aspects of your film in one place.