Scheduling & Breaking down a script — Filmmaking Advice

A Chapter selection from the Bridgeport Film Club Guidebook

As you go in search of cast and crew, it is important to do some prep work with the script. On some of our earlier films, we planned to film on one location, during one time, and with a limited cast and crew. Typically the films would be two to six minutes long. The shorter length ensured we could get all of the coverage in one day.

With longer films, especially dealing with multiple locations, it’s important to break down a script by scene, actors, location, and time (day or night). We are currently in the midst of filming a web series and we were able to film three short scenes in a half day because we were able to plan our day out for the three locations. One of them was at a disc golf course, and the other two locations were at the home of one of our crew members. Moving from one location to another can cause delays for your film. Luckily for us the two locations were maybe fifteen minutes apart.

Typically we plan on shooting at one location for each shooting day.

After you’ve broken down your script by scene, actors, location, and time, you will be able to see what scenes happen at the same location and who you will need from the cast. For example, if your script calls for three scenes at one apartment, and one scene at a bus stop, you would probably want to film all of the apartment scenes in one day or back to back, and then the bus stop scene.

The difficulty can come in when you’re dealing with the schedules for cast and crew.

One one of our more ambitious films, we were able to schedule one or two shooting days in a month because of the conflicting schedules of our cast and crew.

If you can, plan your film two or three months ahead after you’ve got together your cast and crew. That will help make scheduling easier to nail down. If you do schedule ahead, I would recommend figuring out one or two back-up dates in case a conflict comes up that a crew or cast member can’t avoid.

By breaking down your script by cast and location, you can get multiple scenes shot in one day and ensure you get the coverage for your film in a timely manner.

Call to Action

Thank you for reading this article. What would you like me to write about next? What questions do you have about filmmaking? Please hit me up in the comments.

Next on Deck!

We’ve realeased our web series Squarehead! Check it out at:

Check out the previous chapter section: Feed your film

Check out my new vlog: The Film Vlog Episode 1

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