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farmerswife Blog

8 Steps of Production Scheduling for Filmmakers

By Stephanie Watkins on May 10, 2018 in


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A production schedule is the framework and outline of film production that is
usually developed by a first assistant director during the pre-production phase.
This is the stage of the film project management process where all of the pre-
production information is gathered to provide a solid schedule for the entire
filming process.
To help guide you through this process, we've broken down the eight most
crucial steps in film project management during the scheduling phase.
1. Complete the Script Breakdown
Breaking down a script can serve both creative and organizational purposes.
When creating a script breakdown for a production schedule, you are
"tagging" items in the script to create a catalog of everything you will need.
This provides you with a context for location scouting and to calculate a budget.
2. Create a Budget
You can't plan for a production schedule if you don't know how much you are going to spend. Once you've completed the breakdown, use it to roughly determine what equipment, crew and cast you will need and how much each will cost. If you end up over-budget, review it to see where you might be able to cut costs.
3. Decide What Equipment You Will Use
Since you have created your budget, you can use it to determine the types of equipment you can afford. Once you have decided what to rent and the dates that you'll need them, you can keep track of everything with the Equipment Management & Tracking add-on.
4. Figure Out When Everybody Is Available
It is important to keep your staff organized so you know where they are and when they will be working. With farmerswife's Personnel Management feature, you can keep track of availability, cast and crew time sheets, overtime and billable hours (which are crucial to a union film project) and vacations or absences.

5. Create a Schedule Outline
Farmerswife provides an all-in-one media management system that allows you to define project stages, milestones and checkpoints. By utilizing this software to create an outline of a schedule, you will be able to better understand how to create the shooting schedule once it's time to put everything in place.
6. Review, Review, Review
Once you have a solid script breakdown, a conclusive budget and a good idea of everybody's schedule, you will want to go over your production schedule outline and make sure you're not missing anything. Review, review, review — that way, when you create the shooting schedule, you will save time and not have to second guess anything.
7. Create the Production Schedule
You're ready! It is easiest to begin this process by determining how many pages you want to shoot per day. In the film industry, a typical production can shoot up to five pages per day, but this depends on the intensity of each page and the contents of the scenes. For example, if your scenes require extensive lighting setups or stunts you will need to allow for more time.
8. Create and Send Out Call Sheets
Now it's time to create call sheets for each day of production. Because you have a clear outline of who and what are needed and where they will need to be, creating a call sheet at this stage should simply mean transferring the information from the schedule to the call sheet and including additional information like weather forecast and hospital information in case of emergencies.
Scheduling Project Management with farmerswife
Production scheduling for filmmakers can be as easy as you want it to be if you understand the variables involved in the planning process and have gone through the steps above. With the help of farmerswife scheduling tools, it becomes as simple as plugging in the numbers for each scene and watching your film come to life!