Anything Goes : Scheduling the filming days by Tracy Ellayn

Tracy Ellayn

Scheduling the filming days

What is your favorite process or forms/documents you use to set up the detailed hour by hour schedule for filming days, including times cast and crew are needed, time for travel to locations, crew setup/packup and so on? Being a new AP, I want to prevent overwhelming myself recreating the wheel.

Jack Binder

Hi Tracy, Generally this information is derived from the 1st A.D. in consultation with the Directors input, concerns and instructions. Your 1st should then consult with the production to sync. A.D.'s put out the word to the crew as well and call times go on the back of the call sheet. Hope this is helpful. Best, Jack

Ken Larson

The documents are created in the planning process. Your shot list and production schedule comes out of the script breakdown and the storyboard process. Here is a great little video on how that all works. Most film schools will teach this.

Don Bledsoe

I recommend that you teach yourself basic script breakdown, budgeting and scheduling. No, you won't be an expert, but you will gain an understanding of the product you will not get any other way. For example, I shot my first web series last year, got some used Ralph Singleton books plus some YouTube video and an Excel production board template. I did the breakdown on printed sheets of forms (later switched to a spreadsheet version I made) and made the boards. You'll not be perfect, but educated guessing is still better than doing it by the seat of your pants. After the shoot was over, I analyzed the schedule against the time it actually took to shoot and discovered we could do 50-75% more in a shoot day. In Season 2, we are writing longer episodes that will basically cost us the same as in Season 1 ... more product for the same money. You will only learn things like this by doing it yourself. Would I do this myself for a feature today? Probably not, although this experience has given me a more critical eye in looking over schedules and budgets. It's not easy, but you will learn much and have a more analytical view of your creative project. Caveat ... if I have Gorilla 5 (that's my next investment), I would do it again myself and then I'd turn it over to a pro to do it properly. It will be very hard to B.S. you if you've done it yourself.n Email me and I'll share my templates with you if you like. Good luck!

James Durward

As an indie producer that does not have control of talent time due to budget restrictions, scheduling is by far the most difficult aspect of an indie shoot. My last film had over 30 actors and 14 locations and scheduling was nothing short of a nightmare - but it got done over 4 months.

Peter Carr

Get an AD on board right away and have them do a complete breakdown and day of days and shooting schedual. You need an AD with a Board or you are lost forever.

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