Being an Assistant Director is an incredibly stressful and difficult job and it’s very easy to miss things. Even the most experienced AD’s make mistakes from time to time, especially in the creation of a films schedule. It is also possible to have more than one person working on the schedule such as the Production Manager and the Director.
There are plenty of things that need to be considered when creating a schedule, so we decided to create a simple checklist for creating a film schedule.
Checklist for Creating a Film Schedule
- Make sure to gather all of the timing of your talent. Your actors may only be available on certain days and have other jobs booked. Make sure to have a list of all cast members and the days that they are available.
- Make sure to be aware of the weather; although the weather patterns change and a storm might come out of nowhere, it is good to know if rain or snow is expected. Try not to plan any outdoor shooting in bad weather as it makes the day more difficult for everyone.
- If possible, schedule locations that are close to each other on the same day, location moves can be a huge time waster and the closer the locations are to one another the less time wasted.
- Try to shoot out a location entirely, meaning don’t shoot there one day and then go back four days later. Sometimes this is unavoidable but if you can, work it so that you shoot out a location before moving on.
- Schedule exterior shoots at the beginning of your schedule, if the weather does turn on you it will be easier to try to reschedule exterior shoots. If you put them at the end of your schedule and then get rained out you might have to add more days to your shoot or scrap the shots all together.
- Make sure you know all of the restrictions and limitations of a location, some places will have certain times that you can enter and times when you have to be out by. Make sure to have this information and schedule your days to fit these requirements.
- Map out locations and know how much time it will take to get to all of your locations. You need to include travel time if you are doing more than one location in a day.
- Know how much time is needed to set up each scene, know approximately how much time lighting and art are going to need to set up and make sure to include pre-calls when necessary.
- Don’t guess on timing, if you think a pre-call may be necessary make sure to speak to the DP, Gaffer, Key Grip, Art Director or any other key that might need extra time, ask them how much time they will require and whether or not they think they will need a pre-call.
Use common sense when scheduling your days; don’t make things difficult for yourself or your crew. Remember to schedule enough time for meals and breaks as well as travel and set up. Each shoot will have special requirements that will have an impact on your schedule. Use these tips as a guideline and adjust your schedule to what makes sense for you.
We hope that we enjoyed our checklist for creating a film schedule, please get in contact with us if you have an questions of suggestions.
Don’t forget about Movie Magic Scheduling to help with all of your scheduling needs!