Producing : Scene breakdown question. by Dawn Gray

Dawn Gray

Scene breakdown question.

Not even sure what category to post this in so, here goes anything. I'm breaking down my feature to get a general idea of budget, but I'm stuck on one thing, and it might sound stupid, however, I have a habit of getting fixated on it if I can't find the answer on my own. So, here goes...

All of Act 2 and most of Act 3 are the seven primary characters all together. I'm trying to figure out how to list the props in these scenes. Say all seven are wearing backpacks the whole time, would I list all seven backpacks every scene breakdown?

This is my first time jumping in feet first with this so I figured I might as well reach out.


Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Yes, you list each backpack on each break-down. Normally, you would do a separate breakdown sheet for each scene, and on that sheet you list every prop, wardrobe, makeup, hair, special effect, stunt, piece of set dressing, specialized camera equipment (if needed) and anything else required in the scene. At the end of the entire process, you will transfer info from all the sheets to category lists and eventually what are called a "day out of days" list - which charts which day which item is required.

Dawn Gray

Thank you.

Karen "Kay" Ross

Yep! What Shadow Dragu-Mihai said - if it helps, you can identify them by character - John's Backpack, Sarah's Backpack, etc. - just so they are all accounted for. For budgeting purposes, you wouldn't need to know how many days you'll need them since you aren't paying for them per day like you would a crew. With one-time purchases, you just have to identify the need for them, and then add it to the budget.

Dawn Gray

Thank you! I have a few vehicles that are used for the entirety of the production as well. I didn’t realize how much went into this part of the process.

Doug Nelson

Doing a complete production ready breakdown can easily become overwhelming. There is software available that can help but I find that manually going through the script with a bunch of colored markers really gets you invested in the story/script. It's time consuming.

Chris Riddle

Not sure if your still working on this, but I do breakdowns regularly and would be happy to give yours a look if you want another set of eyes on it.

Dawn Gray

Thank you, Chris. I am still working on it. I ended up doing a rewrite, eliminated pages and scenes, so now it's all a mess.

Chris Riddle

Well keep at it! I'm sure you'll find the story your looking for. Good luck!

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