Filmmaking: Pre-Production

This phase of the filmmaking process is when students explore the science content, decide on the topic for their film, and do all the preparatory work before filming begins. Although students generally want to dive right in to filming, this phase is critical to producing a quality film and ensuring that the scientific basis for the film is sound. The pre-production lesson plans and activities are designed to provide scaffolding for students as they begin to think about these important background issues. The LOCC program emphasizes scientific film topics, however, the methods are applicable to films around many topics and genres.

Context for Use

This is the first part of a 3-part unit on the filmmaking process for both formal and informal education settings. See also other lessons in this unit:

To access all LOCC program resources - including lesson plans, worksheets, slides, and instructional videos - see the interactive educator guide: Sharing Science with Film: A Guide to Student Productions.


LOCC students working on their storyboards.

Goals Header
Learning Goals

• Students will apply their knowledge of climate change science to a local problem.
• Students will discuss the importance of various local climate change issues.
• Students will understand the effects of a global issue on their community.

Teaching Materials

LOCC Pre-Production Lesson Plans
LOCC Brainstorming Worksheet
LOCC Storyboard Worksheet
LOCC Storytelling Principles and Exercises
LOCC Assessment Rubrics
LOCC Film Glossary


Lesson 1: Topic Selection

Lesson 2: Topic Research

Lesson 3: Script/Treatment Writing

Lesson 4: Storyboarding

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