In Focus-Magazine

Directors – How to Run a Concept Meeting
Tuesday, 03.05.2019, 10:00 AM

Peter D Marshall


Vancouver, Canada

Directors – How to Run a Concept Meeting

By Peter D. Marshall


The Concept Meeting


The Concept Meeting is held during the early stages of a film’s pre-production and it is run by the Director.


It is the first opportunity for the Director to communicate his/her creative and logistical ideas to the producers and to the creative department heads (DOP, Production Designer, Costume Designer, Location Manager etc.) who will help to realize them.


It is your chance to demonstrate your tone for the film - as well as show your own personal style. The concept meeting basically sets the early priorities for the director and for production and lets everyone know how you want to shoot the film.


It also gives the crew their first chance to get a sense of the vision for the film. The crew wants to know if you are a director who is prepared and well organized. (re: a professional.)


Concept Meeting Order


1. Make sure the 1st AD has given everyone the latest script at least a day before the meeting (if possible.) This will give them the opportunity to read the script, digest the story and make notes.


Remember, this is a meeting where your creative crew get to ask questions and suggest ideas as you go through the script scene by scene.


2. Everyone at the table introduces themselves and their role.


3. The director goes through the script scene-by-scene.


4. Each Department Head can ask for clarification from the director about each scene as well as discuss their ideas and give notes.


NOTE: If you get hung up on one scene or in a very detailed discussion with one department, schedule a “side-bar” meeting to discuss it after the concept meeting


5. Concepts that are discussed in this meeting: (not necessarily in this order):


- Overall look, mood and tone of film (mood board)

- Locations (describe practical locations)

- Sets (describe sets built on stage – and why)

- Colour palette (of overall film plus individual scenes or locations)

- Shooting style (lighting, lenses, special equipment)

- Editing style (fast paced, slow and deliberate)

- Visual Effects (can you show any examples)

- Special effects (rain, street wet down, wind)

- Logistical Issues (working on water, working in snow)

- Stunts (describe how you see them)


Peter D. Marshall is a filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada, He has worked in the Film and Television Industry for over 35 years. He also publishes the free monthly filmmaking ezine "The Director's Chair. You can check out his website at and his film directing blog at Peter can be reached at [email protected]





Peter Marshall

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