How long do you typically spend on pre-production?

Hugh B. asked: Your emphasis on pre-pro is outstanding -- from your generosity on sharing very specific details of your Dave Jacka research phase before even meeting him to the months and hundreds of hours interviewing people at BCG.  But it begs the question (and it may simply be too early): do you find a fairly constant relationship or proportion among pre-pro, production an post?

It's a great question, one I wish I had more time to do a statistical look at the cost of the project and the time of pre-production. Off the top of my head, I can say that projects in the $20-30k will have a day or two of pre-production. Projects in the $80-100k will have closer to 1-2 weeks of pre-production. And projects above that are so large that it is variable how much time needs to be spent up front, but it will be the minimum of a couple weeks, and often more like months.

The biggest thing I'd stress though is that even on a non-profit film we do pro-bono or a small commercial piece worth a few thousand dollars. Spend a half-day at a minimum developing your story and 'Listening,' and it will already allow you to go much deeper, connect the viewer better, and be way more fun to make.