Planning a Short Film

March 5, 2018


When starting work on a film, one of the most important and challenging parts of the process is the Scheduling. In filmmaking, proper scheduling and planning is key! Everything rides on it. But how do you go about it? Today, I'm going to go over some of the methods and ideas I use frequently when making a schedule/plan for a film.



1: Timeline. Always a part of the process for me, making a timeline. Essentially a very rough outline of when

and where important moments of the film occur. Usually I'll make a horizontal line starting with a 0:00 timecode, and ending with the full length of the project, 5:36 for example. Now between those two timecode's is the whole film. So if I know I want a certain type of shot to be at say, 3:04. Then all I do is write that above or below the timeline in the general area where I'd imagine three minutes landing. It's always an essential thing for me to do on every project!


2: Spreadsheets. Yup, might sound daunting, but it's really quite simple! Using spreadsheets is a practice I've only adopted recently. But I'm already enjoying it! You have a lot of flexibility, and can print out physical copies to have around and draw on as well. I use these for schedules, budgeting, shots and more. If you're in pre-production on a film and are looking for a clean and simple system for managing some of the things I mentioned above, I'd definitely recommend checking out Google Sheets



3: Production Schedule. I've found it very helpful to start making long-term production schedules early on in the film. These might range from three, four, or even twelve month schedules. But it's good to start early and lay out a basic idea of what you want to achieve and when. 



4: Cork Board. Get a huge cork board! I've found having one of these to be essential. As a place to tack storyboards, schedules, timelines, you name it! It's just a great accessory to have around. Even just to get ideas up and in view. Pick one of these things up!




5: Storyboard. I mentioned it above, storyboarding is another important element. Now not everyone does storyboard their films. Sometimes it's not needed. But very often it's a good idea. For me, it gets me closer to the story and the characters. Physically drawing out every shot of the film really forms a connection.




6: Shared Documents. Often, you're working in a team. And it's extremely important that everyone stays on the same page. So using a service like Google Docs, or Dropbox, can be key. Having a central location where all your schedules, storyboards, ideas, shots and everything else lives. Where everyone on the team can access them at any time. It's a helpful practice to get into. 


 7: And lastly, organization. You can't have enough organization! Well, ok maybe you can. But in any normal planning or scheduling situation, it's vital! Why? Because lack of good organization could lead to losing information, miscommunication, frustration and so much more! Keeping papers in folders stored somewhere you'll remember. Saving links to important resources. Not deleting emails. There's a lot that goes in to staying organized. But it's worth the extra time, trust me!


Thank you so much for reading! I hope this has been able to help someone out there! If you'd like to receive these posts regularly, you can sign-up for my Newsletter here, or using the box below.

Please feel free to share this post with anyone you think might find it useful! There are also built-in share buttons for popular social networks below.

I'll be back on Friday with more!


Until then,

have a great week, stay safe, and be kind <3




Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Other Posts:

where did the blog go?! | writing a new film | and merch! |

August 25, 2018

Please reload

Enjoy the Blog? If you'd like, you can donate below! Flexible with Custom amount
Never miss a blog post! Sign-Up for the Newsletter below!

Related Posts:

Please reload

©2019 by Tobias LaMontagne