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The Self-Sufficient Filmmaker

Lesson 11 of 17

Preproduction - Working with Your Production Designer

Francesca Gregorini

The Self-Sufficient Filmmaker

Francesca Gregorini

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Lesson Info

11. Preproduction - Working with Your Production Designer

Lesson Info

Preproduction - Working with Your Production Designer

Production designer okay, so basically similar to, you know, working with the dp you do your own mood boards with your production designers, these do not live up in my living room, no offense to the production designer, but on basically, you know, I like to figure out a color palette for each of my characters, like what color hugh do they feel like look like and sort of, you know, make their rooms that color sort of influence production designer and the costume designer I like to I work with separately, but I like to then kind of marry them, so they both know kind of what we're doing with each character so they can kind of work intend them to sort of paint that color and that character and that world that lives around them, you know, the locations obviously super important with the production designer once I've scouted them and chosen them, they come and they basically, you know, set, decorate them to the core and, you know, we talk about like, with style is linda have with silas emanu...

el have, like, what's emmanuel's home look like a supposed emmanuel's bedroom because she's a team, you know, and it's like, just, you know, figuring out you know, the texture and feel of each space and each character and you know with my production designer I had this photograph of this lamb and it had this wallpaper behind it and I really wanted it to be the same kind of thing that I really wanted it to be the you know, the dining room of the manuals house and she found it from a photo she just search and search and search found where to buy this wallpaper and it made me really happy anyways but this is sort of like you know we just pulled different things from art and this is linda and you know how frail she is and she's just holding on and it's just fun to talk creatively about each character you know with each department and it's not just because they're doing you know production design that you just talk about pieces of furniture and whatever it's like you really want to get into discussions about who is this character and how and the more you can convey that effectively too you know you had the department the more that they'll you know understand who this person is and she's drowning and this is her house and you know this is what's left of her world after her you know baby dies and all this is you know it seems that the time you know just maybe you know b s but it's not it's really getting to the heart of the matter and you know and we may lose this color green. And so her room is green. And yeah, and this is the wallpaper that we found for her bedroom and it's, just like, you know, and the different paint colors and things for, you know, it's just all sort of you start building this book with them. That sort of is that world that these characters are going toe inhabit and move around in and this we can just sort of fly through. This is sort of the inspiration for all the underwater stuff that, you know, this is what we was our mood board for. What ended up being, um, the mad tank shoot with the drowning babies. And then this is more of sort of the typical, you know, ok, this is the bedroom of chloe. These air ideas for her, for her, what do you call it? Well, paper and, you know, these are the kind of stuffed animals she's going to have they're going to floating in the room and, you know, so forth and so on, andi, just make these books and just pull these images from the internet from catalogs from where it is, and you just make sure that you are, you know, on the same page and it's all, you know, pieces of building that world.

Class Description

Independent filmmakers are often called on to not only write and direct, but to produce their projects. Wearing all three “hats” can be a daunting, yet inspiring proposition. In The Self-Sufficient Filmmaker with Francesca Gregorini, you’ll learn easily-applied strategies for balancing the demands of doing all three very unique jobs.

Francesca’s work has been officially selected by the Toronto Film Festival and premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at Sundance. In this class, she’ll discuss both the advantages and challenges of producing a film you’ve written and will direct. 

You’ll learn:

  • How to decide when its ‘right’ to produce your script and when to develop it further
  • Which "hat" to wear at what time from start to finish
  • Personalized paths for fundraising, production, and distribution

Francesca will explore the processes of writing, directing, and producing and how leading the charge can make these three unique perspectives more efficient, productive, and artistic.

The Self-Sufficient Filmmaker will help you develop best practices for all aspects of indie film production and inspire you to take control of your own destiny as a filmmaker. 



I think there were TONS of marvelous takeaways, here, in this course. The examples she presented about Scene Cards, the hardships, and the beauties-- all of it was very beneficial information for aspiring filmmakers. However, the verbal hesitance; "um", "you know", "uh", "you know what I mean", "or whatever"-- that started to get really distracting really quickly. But the course and the overall purpose of the lessons, that was great!


The good - Lots of helpful info about pre-production, things to consider, and working with actors. The not-so-good - Not exactly self-sufficient. If you were to cut out all the " know..." clutter, the course would probably be about 30 minutes shorter.