A movie production schedule or shooting timetable is a blueprint that any movie, TV show, or commercial ad follows to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
It is an easy breakdown of each scene, talent, time off, crew changes, and individual day breaks.
It breaks it all down and lists who does what from start to finish.
If you are a director, writer, producer, or any member of the crew, this will be invaluable information to have at your fingertips when the time comes to write the screenplay, put together the locations, and begin filming.
What Is a Shooting Schedule?
A shooting schedule is a document that outlines when and where all the scenes will take place for an entire film.
A production schedule often includes the following:
– The location of each scene,
– What time of day it takes place,
– How many actors are needed (including extras),
– Whether there’s any special equipment or props needed,
– Who is in charge on set at the given moment; whether it be director, cameraman, or script supervisor.
In addition to this information, a shooting schedule may also include what kind of shots are required for each scene; fixed headshots with no movement for dialogue scenes or wide-angled shots showing more than one person talking to each other might be included.
What Is a Shooting Schedule?
Each scene in the screenplay should go on the shooting schedule for that particular shooting location.
For example, the second page of the script should go into the location where the car chase occurs, not the next scene.
By using a simple call sheet, you can create a schedule and stick to it.
To begin, you will need two to four pages of a call sheet or an index card. You will need to know the exact times for every scene during the screenplay so you can create the proper shooting schedule.
You may find that there is not enough time between scenes or there may be too many times on one day. Write down how many hours you will spend on each day of filming and you will be able to divide the days accordingly.
Next, you will want to use your computer or call recorder to create a spreadsheet with your notes about each day’s activities.
How To Make a Shooting Schedule Like a Pro
You will want to note the starting time of each day as well as the end time and the exact location of each scene.
You may need to cut out certain scenes if you do not have enough time or if you would rather not have someone driving a vehicle into the location for you. Be careful not to mix up these locations.
If you are doing a period piece, you should have the locations going back to the beginning of the last known time through the film production.
Using your computer’s scheduling software, you will then be able to see at a glance if you have enough days scheduled.
If you are short on days, you can add extra ones through the various strips on the left side of the stripboard.
Beyond The Shooting Schedule
Each day’s activity is listed beneath the appropriate act or scene.
For example, if you are shooting a scene in which a character goes on a date, you will write that down below the date.
After the schedule has been established, all you have to do is apply it to the project.
On your rough draft, you may wish to just stick with the main events or the location and the strips that indicate specific moments in the shooting.
As you work through the script, you can add more details and get rid of scenes you do not need.
You do not want to start planning the next scene when you are behind the scenes editing.
Always remember to set priorities for your projects, which means you need to set aside some time to address potential problems that could arise in the process.
Shooting Schedule – Wrap Up
Most film scheduling software allows you to easily keep track of the number of strips you have scheduled during each day.
In addition, you can enter information about your cast and crew so you can easily calculate their average production times per day.
You can also use this feature to enter special effects into your shooting schedule. For instance, you could add a dance sequence into your schedule even if there is no dancing involved in the script.
By the end of the day, you would know exactly how many takes it will take to complete the project.
Another pro tip is to add daybreak to your shooting schedule.
This can easily be done by creating a worklist or simply adding one to the top of each page in your script.
Then, you can add notes about who will shoot the best shots, the most complex sequence, etc.
If you stick with your plan, you will see your movie come together much faster than if you had forgotten about daybreak.