Previz, Pre-visualization? Watching your film before it is made !
To simply put it, Previz or Pre-visualization is a planning tool for any Live-action (Film and TV) or Animation film.
It has been around since the first director framed a shot with his thumbs and
forefingers and the first pencil sketch illustrated a proposed set. Previz can be plainly described as a visual rough draft of a shot, sequence, or show. Not to underestimate its power, we’ll take a look at how the technology and scope of previs have grown.
In the silent era, Storyboards were used in one form or another for many decades as a pre-planning tool. In time they evolved into Leica reel or “Animatics for live action”, storyboards with specific timing to determine the pace of the story. Later on with the advent of economical video cameras and editing systems, animatics became a norm as a pre-production tool in the film and commercials production process.
Throughout these years, Previz was used by Directors to help visualize and plan more elaborate and complex sequences. Even though it was a norm, previz was seen as more of a novelty technical tool needed to plan complicated shots. That in the recent times has thankfully changed. Previz really demonstrated how concept becomes reality in the production process. Over the years, it’s become an all-inclusive process, a hub of communication, a new medium in which all the various departments and players in the making of a film, commercial, or video game cinematic, can gradually improve the quality of the work they are collaborating on. It’s exciting to see previz come into the forefront and be recognized as that medium of change.
It often represents not only the best way to develop a sequence but the best way to collaboratively link the variety of departments, technologies, and points of view that have to come together in a modern production to bring the sequence to life.
The focus is to support the director, producer and key filmmaking departments in making the film they set out to make in the earliest stages. Basically it help create a teaser trailer or proof of concept for their project that many production companies and major studios are using as a tool to raise financing and confidence in their project, their director, or both.