Notes on Production Scheduling

Article Written by Charles Matthau

Any team of director and producer will face the age old problem of production scheduling. The challenge is to get a movie made within a certain amount of time so it can be marketed and sold, but there is so much to consider before you ever set foot on location. Pre and post production also add to the already challenging prospect of completing the film. Here are some notes to help smooth out the process of production scheduling.

Get to Know the Script

Everything you do will be determined by the script and its complexities. Begin by numbering your scenes, which helps you determine their length and gives some indication of the time you might need to put into shooting them. Next, determine what elements and effects are in the script that you’ll need to address. It’s common to work your way backwards at this point, finding the most complex sequences first.

Also, before you begin production you should have some ideas on the kind of script you want to shoot. Low budget films work best when there are not many locations to travel to, and shooting can be done quickly. In other words, make sure the script you’re working with is written with your budget in mind.

Make the Schedule

Once you have your scenes numbered, it’s easy to see which locations you’ll need to utilize and how much time it might take to shoot something. Start breaking the script down into pages you think you can film in a single day.

Author’s Bio: Charles Matthau is a film producer who is best known for his adaptation of Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp.” Charlie Matthau also heads the Charles Matthau Company, a production company for film and television.