Script Breakdowns and Shooting Schedules
Now we're moving into way finished the script, we're starting the lead into preproduction, we're either passing things off on the people who are helping us out most of time, we're passing things off to us wearing a different hat seen numbers is what you'll put on first, just so you can have that for your breakdown scene one, two, three uh, pretty much all script writing software will do this for you, but then we get into the script breakdown. When I'm breaking down my script, I'll grab a bunch of highlighters of different colors created color legend care cast member is yellow stunt is orange and go through and color code things like cast wardrobe locations, stunts, props, set dressing, the effects, practical effects, sound effects, vehicles, hair and makeup, special equipment, just anything that you're going tohave to get anything that you're going to need on the day you're going to want to put in there, even if it's something like there's a script, says there's a slight rain enough to...
supply the rain so it's a special effect, make sure you highlight those things so you don't kick yourself later. I always assigned my character's numbers, which is going to come into play later when you're doing shooting schedules, so instead of always saying taylor, you're going to put one or terror you're gonna put two so that way when you're doing your days use but one and two you know taylor's one terrorist to save space breaking your script into eighth eso an easy way to do this if you've never done it is take a piece of paper and folded up three times open it up and you have eight and the reason we do this is because scenes aren't usually one page or two pages you get a lot of scenes that will be just one eighth of a page two eighths of a page three eighths of a page so this way you can break it down when again you're doing your scheduling the scene is two eight three eight if you go past a full page into a page and an eight page two pages three and so on shot list doing a shot list which you mentioned earlier eyes is big especially when you're starting out I don't do it is much now if we're super under the gun I'll just go with it but it's only because I've done it enough before towards kind of been green did me some of the coverage principles that we're going to talk about later but we shot list I'll just read through my script playing the music that I played when I wrote the script and I'll start just writing down what's happening in the scene how my seeing this play out and why? When are we cutting it? Okay, I'm gonna need that close up. Because when he says this is very important, I want to punctuate that moment. So I'm putting that close up in there. I'm going in scene by scene s one scene one has to seem too, and the location of that scene just it's, really sloppy, not formal at all. I'm just putting in ideas of shots, slowly but surely, and I'll go overboard here, not restricting myself. I'll put fourteen shots when I really needed five uh, just shoot for the stars with this one, because when you get the storyboarding, you're gonna start to trim down, you start to realize what you really need and what you don't different story board options. You have cinema hq hd for the iphone. I think it's on the ipad too as well. I'm not really sure about that one, but this is great just take pictures and then it has all the things that you need. Like the tracks, the arrows in things like that. Teo to put your storyboard together, you can also almost create an ana matic with it because it has motion to its frame forge this one's pretty expensive, but very cool. If you have the cash for it I really loved this one because you get to practice what exactly you want the camera to be doing you could set up your virtual world move around it and you do things like set the hype of the walls how far they are from each other and it's all accurate so then when you set the lens on the camera how high the camera is it's all accurate uh and that's really good practice to be able to look at all right well how what's three feet from the ground on a thirty five gonna look like with a six foot character things like that so that's really really helpful and then hand drawn which I prefer I did this recently and one of my director friends said to me which I totally agree doing your story bored with the storyboard artist is actually the first time you direct your film you have to justify your ideas and this is where you really trimmed down your shot less because you're like I forget it just forget that shot I don't need it I know I don't need it this being precious will question your ideas because these are very visual people with really good ideas of composition I will blow your mind new ideas really I didn't think about that so if you can swing it I would definitely do this the way I found mine was just by looking at local art schools and just picking out for people looking at their work and you can find somebody who will be excited with you and not break the bank any questions on what we've done so far is that a joke? Is there a million is that yeah million okay with the questions all right, we'll start here so someone in the chat room had asked he says, hey, ry guy, I'm trying to write a feature film but I feel like I've been coming up with too much story a lot of it is background information I'm wondering what I can do to help drive the story in the present without completely abandoning the character's past so there's too much background just how do you incorporate all the background like subplots are the background of the characters I think without you know actually you know what you saw I think I think a big problem if a lot of people is they try too hard with the background characters on I think you said it you don't trust your audience you're talking down to your audience, we get it, you know? I mean you have to do one little action and I get it you're a douchebag, you know? I mean visuals say way more than saying something that's often the advice I give when I read scripts is you have the characters talk less and do more I could just do one thing I could yell it, josh for five minutes or I could just punch him in the face, you know? I mean, that tells you everything you need to know it was unmerited I punched in the face that tells you what you need to know about me s o doing things, doing things instead of saying things is going to make the you know, the backstory of your character has come through a lot faster also people think they have to do a lot more back story than they do there's only a central group of characters that you really need to do backstory for everyone else doesn't really need it we'll get it through social cues, they're more archetypes than anything else to drive these other characters that really matter and then also don't stop the story to tell me who the person is keep doing it, figure out how you can tell me all about this person as the story goes on that's a lot more rewarding so for mid act too and it finally clicks that's who this guy is that I figured it out that's a lot more rewarding. So tell me by doing don't tell me then do great well, do we have any questions in the studio you talked about listening to music while you're writing? Do you have different types of playlists for the different stuff that you're writing, the different tone you're trying to get, what different playlist do you have and what were you listening to when you wrote tell? So do you mean different play? What playlist per project or different play with lists within the same project? Different playlist pert what that whatever the tone is that you're going for, okay, I'll create a playlist for per project, so for tell create just one play list, this is the play list and I just listen to it on repeat, but I'll find stuff that hits the different like elements in my script like this one's far more intense because this is a big moment this one's more like background music because it terry just suspenseful when he's walking through and I just have to write that because it's like my mama and he's just like walking through it's kind of like not really helpful tell I believe it was okay I had six cents I had the orphanage having seen the orphanage such a good film um and I think there was a little pan's labyrinth in there too continuous and continued have seen continued on scripts just interchangeable name no continuous will be used when you're doing like scenes and you're going from one seen the other continuous continued is where you're going from one page to another or if I keep bringing you up josh speak and josh is giving his monologue and I break that monologue to say something real quick. He moves to here and then he keeps talking. He never stopped talking. This is a continuous monologue, but we broke it there. You don't really see it much in professional screenplay, so don't worry about it too much. I really hate moors and continues, I hate them so much when it's on the bottom of page and like, go away forever anything else before I move on? Good. All right, so camera plots were not really going to talk about this too much salt shot designer. Polite pro is really the only thing I used to do it. Uh, some people use illustrator and photo shop. I get frustrated because it takes too long. This thing is awesome. As you can see, you have the circles are the actors the cameras on there you can also put in your storyboard bits in there and you could play it back. You can actually animate it and show what you want. The camera moved to do you really on ly going to need to do this at the grill a level if you're doing a really complex shot and you need a bunch of people to get on the same page as you. So instead of sitting on set trying to really you just look at this and then it becomes very very clear so definitely check that out I think it's only like twenty bucks and it's another good thing too practice if you know that's something you're wanting to dio shooting schedule time in this script could be a little tricky one page does not always equal one minute everybody says that but things like action and dialogue will play a lot faster or a lot slower depending so action could play really fast if you actually write out the action scene and it's a fight scene that's going to play way faster than what you wrote but a lot of writers will just put car chase and obviously that's going to be a lot longer dialogue if your drive it's going to you know, half a page is going to be ten pages and ifyou're gilmore girls ten page is going to be half a page so what you need to do is this is something the would do but we're usually all our aids I only know gilmore girls because of my wife stopped looking at me like that she likes it not me can't believe that happened a luke and lorelai um so uh what you'll do is you'll take a stopwatch you read through your script and as the director and a d which is usually what we are you envision your script well, actually play it out in the timing that you wanted to be with a stopwatch start the stopwatch read your script do all the pacing put on all the beats at the end of that scene stop! Now you have that time scene that you could put in for your schedule if you put in one page one minute to do this scene it's not gonna work out for you. Uh, schedule smart, start with easy days and work into it I did the opposite one time it was just a nightmare. Everything went so, so, so, so bad, eh? So if you put in like big special effects upfront, especially when you're starting out, you're getting volunteers. Usually people haven't done it before or brand new to it, usually even at the higher end. It's oftentimes people you've never worked with before. So you're getting that connection with them. You guys are getting on the same page starting toe meld together, but if you start with the hardest stuff is going to be very difficult, very stressful. If you start with really easy stuff, you could slowly but surely work into that with your crew or with the people that haven't done it before when I shot tell if you watch film, right, you already know this, but when I shall tell it was all family friends, I think there were two people on set that knew anything at all. Anything I'm like get that one came only with one guy and get the boom pole. What s so it was a matter of teaching these people because we started off very, very, very easy. By the time we got to the difficult stuff, we were all one unit and everybody knew exactly what their job was, which is, you know the thing you don't always need professionals to make your film, you just need a couple people who know what they're doing and then the rest, other passionate people who are excited about what's happening and willing to help out try not to have company moves. The company move is not set up, but rather moving location if you have to pack everything up into a truck and move it to another location that is going to kill you on time. If you have to do one fine doing multiple it's just going to be a nightmare, I usually try not to do them. I usually try to schedule everything from one location doesn't always work out, but it's the best way to do it space out specialties like effects if you're cool enough to have pyrotechnics clearly pyrotechnics, special effects make up things like that don't put them up together even space them out on days if you have a big special effects makeup situation happening like zombies or something a big gory you know wound and then you have another one six hours later that's still going to be difficult for your artist because that takes a lot of time to prep then you're gonna want to keep in mind things like set up time a lot of people don't keep in mind set of time setting up the lights and the camera for your dp finding exactly what they want to do especially if you're new if you're starting out because this is one of one stuff it's a new dp they're going to be very you know, unconfident and it's going to take a little bit to really find and dia linn and if you're the dp plus director plus a d and doing all these things it's going to take extra time for you to set all this stuff up so keep that in mind makeup in wardrobe I'll usually have that happening while I'm setting up moving setups so if you know obviously you're going to want to schedule from filming you guys one way me the other I'll get everything that has you from getting a single on you'll get all your singles gets your master, I'll get everything then I'll cut to me that way we're not moving setup because once we cut to me were re lighting everything lunch obviously uh you know a full crew is a happy crew hungry crew is mutiny working with blood or anything that needs to be reset keep that in mind if somebody had shot and there's blood you're gonna have to reset set that you want to shoot it again it's a new shirt it's a new set up for the effect everything if they get a gash to get blood on the face, you have to take all of that off you have to redo their makeup and start the scene over so that's that's a big big setup reset strip boards isn't something that you're all often going to use this is usually when you have, uh a nadie they usually do this stuff I never do this I've only done it when I work with aids because it's just it's tvs and like I'll figure it out on the day, but as you can see here you have the location that you're actually shooting at the name of location so this would be creative live for instance, you would have what sheet you're on the scene number into your exterior it's highlighted in yellow here because that's outside then you have the location that it says in the script valley day right here you can see these are the characters, so these air the character numbers I was talking about earlier and then script pages estimate time thatyou would fill in once you've timed your script and how long it's gonna take for those set ups shot lister is what I actually is. This is a godsend for any film makers it's, glorious it's on the ipad, it's not expensive at all once I do my basic shot list and some kind of word processor all then transferred over into here, which usually I'm not doing storyboards. I only do storyboards. I'm working with a bigger crew, otherwise it's just all in my head, and they're not often reason to, uh, transfer my shots into here and that's when I'll do my, you know, downgrading of all those massive shots, it's great, because it also switch your shots right over to a schedule. So once you're done with your shot, lest you switch over to scheduling mode and you could start scheduling your days once you're done with that, you can shoot into production mode and then it's going teo, balance out your days for you show you where you are. If you're getting behind, it'll show you that it's really easy to move your shots around. They didn't pay me to say any of that.