A great film starts with a great story. But filling the gap between the pages of a fantastic script and the screenplay is an art to itself. And any good filmmaker knows that pre-production is 80-90% of making a good script a great film. In fact, I would easily say that pre-production is the most important stage of production.
Now don’t get me wrong. It is so important to get the right shots, the right angles, clean audio, and dramatic lighting. And there is probably not one Filmmaker alive who hasn’t experienced the horror of trying to “make due” on a timeline with inconsistent background noise between shots. But the secret to a great visual story lies in the Director’s ability to see the entire film before the first ‘ACTION’ is called.
From the subtle nuances of a light breaking through the crack under the door to the sound of arrows breaking through the wind on a medieval battleground, a Director has to walk through the pages of the script as an invisible character. It is our gift. To pull out the details that, though overlooked, would diminish the essence of the story if left out. It is our sixth sense.
So the next time you get so immersed in a film that you find yourself talking to the screen, remember that you are watching it through the eyes of a great Director.