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How to Create a Film Production Schedule

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Creating a film production schedule that works is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider, and it can be difficult to find the right balance between ensuring everything gets done on time and not overworking your team. In this blog post, we will take a look at the overall process of film scheduling and what goes into each step.

What is a film production schedule?

Scheduling in filmmaking is the process of creating a schedule for the production of a film. This schedule includes all of the elements that need to be captured for each scene and arranges them in the best order for shooting. It also takes into account the time available for each element and the order in which they need to be captured.

Why is scheduling important?

Scheduling is important because it helps to ensure that everything gets done on time and that the film is completed within the allotted budget. It also allows you to plan for contingencies and make changes as needed.

How do you create a schedule?

There are a few steps involved in creating a schedule:

1. Budget

At this point, you should have already prepared a budget, if not, now is the time to go and complete that step of pre-production. Having a budget will help you determine how much time you can allocate to each task and, ultimately, how long your production schedule should be.

If you are working with a limited budget, it is important to be realistic about what can be accomplished in the given timeframe. It is also important to consider any potential overages that may occur and build in some buffer time to your schedule.

2. Create Break Down Sheets

Script breakdown sheets (also called a “tear sheet”) are an essential part of the scheduling process. One sheet is created for each numbered scene. They help to identify the length of each scene and all of the elements that need to be captured for each scene. This includes everything from locations and props to cast and crew.

Creating breakdown sheets can be a time-consuming process, but it is worth it to have all of the information in one place. Once you have created your breakdown sheets, you will be able to move on to creating your shooting schedule.

3. Building a Production Board

The information from each breakdown sheet is then transferred onto a colored cardboard scene strip and arranged in the proposed shooting order on the production board. Building a production board will help you to determine the order in which scenes will be filmed. This is an important step in scheduling as it will help to avoid any potential conflicts that may arise.

Historically this process was done physically with real cardboard strips that can be arranged and rearranged by hand on five-foot-long production boards. However, as with so many other things in modern filmmaking, there are now scheduling software options for production boards that can be created and shared online.

The important thing is to find a system that works for you and your team so that everyone is on the same page.

4. Create a Shooting Schedule

With the production board completed, the actual shooting schedule can be created – usually by th first assistant director. This schedule will list all of the scenes that need to be filmed and the order in which they will be shot.

The shooting schedule should also include any important information from the breakdown sheets, such as cast and crew required, location, or special effects requirements.

As production begins, the shooting schedule will be revised to adjust for any unforeseen obstacles that force changes to the schedule.

Call Sheets

During production call sheets will be created on a daily basis using much of the information that is contained in the shooting schedule. This is yet another reason why the shooting schedule is important and needs to be as accurate as possible.

Wrapping up

Film scheduling can be a daunting task, but it is an essential part of the filmmaking process. By following these steps and being prepared, you will be well on your way to creating a production schedule that works for your film.

Now that you have an overview of the process of creating a production schedule, we can take a deeper look at each individual step in the process. As mentioned previously, you should already have a budget, so we’ll take a look at creating breakdown sheets in the next installment.

FAQs

Who creates the production schedule for a film?

The production schedule is typically created by the first assistant director, the production manager, and the line producer. However, there can be some variation depending on the size and scope of the project. For smaller projects, the director or producer may create the schedule themselves.

How long is a typical shooting day for a film?

There is no one answer to this question, as it can vary depending on the project. However, a general rule of thumb is that a shooting day should be around 12 hours. This includes time for set up, filming, and wrap-up. This also includes 1 hour for lunch and a few breaks throughout the day.

What is a Stripboard schedule?

A stripboard or production board is a tool used in filmmaking to help visualize the shooting schedule. It is typically made up of cardboard strips that represent each scene, which are then arranged in the order they will be shot. This helps to avoid any potential conflicts that may arise during production.

What software is used for film scheduling?

There is a variety of software options available for film scheduling. Most options offer a suite of tools to create a production budget, call sheets, and other production documents in addition to a film production schedule.

Some popular options include Movie Magic Scheduling, StudioBinder, and Gorilla Scheduling.

When should the production schedule be created?

The production schedule should be during pre-production when the script has been green-lit and after the budget has been created.

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